Saturday afternoon I was attempting something that is highly unusual for me. Making a cake.
I rarely make cakes these days. My sister makes all the kids birthday cakes, I never even have to think about it. She just shows up to each party with a fabulous cake. But since it’s her birthday, I can’t have her making her own cake now can I.
No I can’t. Despite the fact that we all know my kitchen escapades are highly unreliable, I decide that I cannot allow her to make her own birthday cake.
So, I’m in the kitchen attempting this delicious creation.
It’s a healthy not-really-cake cake, and since we’re all on diets we decide that this cake is perfect.
Fresh, light, low fat, delicious.
I’m trying to whip the coconut cream; it’s not going so well and I’m deliberating with my mother and sister on the ideal temperature conditions and other possible variables for whipping coconut cream.
Suddenly we hear a rather loud crash.
Now let me preface this by saying that there’s always a loud crash of some sort happening in my house. Crashes, commotions, crises, catastrophes and calamities are common. More than common, they’re expected.
So I do what I always do. I stop for a beat…listen for crying, groaning or worse – dead silence and when nothing seems amiss, I carry on. Continue chatting, whipping, chopping, agonising because the coconut cream won’t do as it’s told.
You have to understand, if I stopped for every little thing…
So, attention back to the second batch of non-compliant coconut cream, and it’s looking nothing like it’s supposed to.
I’m busy Google-ing ‘how to whip coconut cream’ when Actor walks past the kitchen; iPad in one hand, telephone in the other, en route to the rumpus room he looks back over his shoulder and ever so calmly declares “oh I just fell from the roof” and he keeps walking.
“That’s nice dear” I say. Or something to that affect. There is nothing unusual about Actor stringing a combination of alarming words together, just for effect. He does that, call it a quirk. Combined with his incredibly nonchalant demeanour I assume this is one of those times.
When Princess appears a few minutes later screeching “Did you have to do it in my room?!” I am totally pre-occupied with the defiant coconut cream to really realise that these events are all somehow linked together.
My mother and sister are not so oblivious. Off they go to investigate. I start the third batch of coconut cream. Perhaps I left too much coconut water in the cream……
“Umm Rach…..have you seen this?”
“Yes Ma I know….the roof is leaking a little, Owen is up there fixing it now.”
‘Umm, No. You might want to take a look at this”
This not-really-cake cake has to be good. It has to be perfect. My sis does an amazing job of everything she does for me; I have to get it right. Damn coconut cream! Why won’t you whip!? I’m talking to myself as I wander up the hall to see what my mother is having a conniption about. Probably over reacting, I tell myself, I bet it’s nothing at all.
At Princess’ room I stop, look up.
Call me stupid but my brain does not yet compute.
And then a rush of images and realisation hit me all at once.
Actor – “…fell from the roof”
Princess – “Did you have to do it in my room!”
Hole. In. The. Ceiling.
“ACTOR, Get in here!”
“Yes Mum?” He saunters in, barely lifting his eyes from his iPad.
There are no words. I cannot speak. I point to the gaping hole in my roof.
“I already told you.” He says “I fell from the roof”
“You mean, you fell through the roof? Through? The? Roof? ”
“What exactly where you doing IN the roof?”
He shrugs. “Looking for Dad.” He says that as though it’s totally normal for children to go looking for their father in the roof cavity. As though it happens every day. He’s looking at me like he’s not sure what part I’m having trouble comprehending.
Incredulous is not a big enough word. I am dumbfounded. “In the roof? You were looking for Dad in the roof?!” Have I just landed in the twilight zone?
My mother told me later that Actor said to her ‘Mum is gonna go spaz when you guys go home’
But I didn’t. Once I got over the shock of the ridiculousness of the situation, I checked him to make sure he hadn’t hurt himself. I told him that I wasn’t angry, just scared because he could have really caused himself a serious injury. Cuddled him while he cried with a mixture of shock and relief, and then commissioned my sister to call a friend who is a plasterer.
Then I shit canned the coconut cream, went to the milk bar and bought two tubs of extra fat double thick dairy cream and two six packs of bourbon.
I made this.
I ate steak and potatoes and drank bourbon with real coke. I sang happy birthday to my sister not caring about the fact that the healthy cake was not perfect, nor totally healthy. Not caring that my temporary diet hiatus would set me back at least a week, and surprisingly unconcerned about the gaping hole in my roof.
It’s all fixable.