Never Make A Christmas Cake With Baby Brain

Merry Christmas 2

It was a week before Christmas and the MOSY household had only a few weeks before been blessed with the birth of a son. Another one. To match the pair they already had, aged two and five. Life was…busy.

For some reason, Mother Me had offered to make the family Christmas cake. [1]

For some other reason (or possibly the same one), she had also decided to ice the cake. Despite the fact that it was usually left plain. Despite the fact that she had never iced a fruit cake in her life. [2]

So just before Christmas, on a hot summer day, when the baby had gone down for a nap and the other two boys were occupying themselves upstairs, she set out to tackle the challenge.

After a while, it occurred to her that the house was a little too quiet. Going upstairs she found the two boys in the bathroom, standing on a stool together, playing in the basin.

“At least they’re amusing themselves,” she thought. “So they might get a bit wet. It’s a hot day. What’s the worst that can happen?” So she left them to it. [3]

Some time later – a time that was filled with swearing, tears and cries of “why the hell did I decide to do this” – the cake was finished. It was hardly masterful – she’d tried to hide a patched corner with a sculptured bit of icing holly – but at least it was done.

She went into her bedroom to check on the baby. Hearing a faint noise, she leant on the bed to try and work out what it was and found it wet. Very wet.


She ran upstairs. Even from the end of the hallway, she could see the large spreading dark stain in the carpet outside the bathroom door.

The boys were standing on their wooden island in a sea of water. They had made the scientific discovery that if you put the plug in and leave the tap running, eventually the water volume will exceed the capacity of the basin. They’d obviously decided to test the theory to extremes.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much water on the floor as there should have been. ‘Unfortunately’, because most of it had run down the heating vent in the floor. [4]

The nearest exit was the vent in the ceiling above the bed.

As she set the two miscreants to mopping up the mess with every towel she could find in the linen closet, she went downstairs to call the Maternal Parentals to come and collect said horrors so that they might live long enough to see Christmas. Or even dinner time.

Going back into the bedroom, she discovered not only was the bedding wet but the mattress, the mattress base and the floor. So, quite a bit of volume versus capacity testing, then.

She had, of course, just changed the sheets on their bed the day before, so she hauled the doona off – cover and all – and lugged it outside to the clothesline.

In the midst of gardening works, the rotary clothesline was not in its usual hole in the ground but leaning against a brick wall and tied to a couple of stakes where it had been functioning quite normally for a number of months.

She threw the sodden doona onto the clothesline.

It fell down. [5]

She started to laugh. She laughed and laughed until the tears flowed freely.

What else can a mother do?

* * * * * * * * * *


On Christmas Day, she proudly cut the Christmas cake that had caused so much havoc. It was raw in the middle. She’d doubled the recipe but forgotten to increase the cooking time and had not checked to see if it was cooked before taking it out of the oven.

She’s never made a Christmas cake since.


1. Those who have read this blog are not surprised.

2. All together now, “Of course she did!”

3. I know, I know.

4. Honestly, who puts a heating vent in a bathroom floor??

5. Of course it did.



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