When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s in Chapel Hill, Brisbane eggs on toast (or baked beans on toast) was a standard dinner at least one night a week.
As a child this seemed like a perfectly legitimate dinner offering. In fact during my mum’s crockpot phase of 1985 — it was my preferred dinner option.
It wasn’t until I was an adult with kids of my own that it clicked. “Ahhhh, so that’s what mum served up on those nights when the cupboards were bare or she was too exhausted to make anything else.” It had never occurred to me.
To say that realisation was freeing is an understatement. In my eyes my mum had always been AMAZING and so the ‘eggs-on-toast’ revelation subconsciously gave me permission to do the same now I have kids of my own.
This past week has been crazy in our household. The week featured in no particular order: a swimming carnival, a Prep Information Night, a family member in hospital and a sixth birthday (many of those on the SAME DAY) along with all the standard mayhem of three kids, a dog, homework, missing PE shorts, a dining table covered in photo frames and two exhausted working parents.
But I realised that in this week where I lowered the bar even lower than usual (“It’s scrambled eggs for dinner! Again!”) … I hopefully embedded an important memory into my own kids’ childhood recollections of their mum.
Every year I’ve always made my kids a birthday cake. I’ve made train cakes and handbag cakes, t-shirt cakes and dinosaur cakes. Look I’ll be honest — they’ve never been great but still, I’ve done it EVERY YEAR. Every year except this one. This week, inspired by my friend Mia who for years has waxed lyrical about the benefits of buying a chocolate slab cake from Woolies for birthdays — I followed her lead and did exactly that.
I went to Coles and bought a small round chocolate mud cake, tipped bags of lollies on it, whacked a candle on top and presented it to my son on the night of his sixth birthday.
And he bloody loved it.
When they think back to their childhoods and the type of mum I was, I want my kids to recall being loved and safe and accepted and a priority and I also want them to remember that sometimes I BOUGHT THE CAKE.
Kids? Mum is officially giving you permission to lower the bar.