He tumbles past in his father’s shoes, an industrious look etched onto his little face. He looks up at me and a smile touches his eyes just as my heart explodes in love once again. I swoop him into my arms and cover his face with kisses. He’s already old enough that kisses are not always welcome. A scrunched up nose as he pushes my seeking lips away and wriggles to be let down. His independence is already a source of pride and heartache.
He sits on his bed, rocking back and forth as he tries to pull off a sock. It’s a fighter and he nearly tips over mid heave. His face is a mask of furious concentration and the tip of his tongue pokes out in homage to his maternal grandfather. He wails for help, defeated for now, but assured by the support and love that surrounds him and his sockless endeavours.
He arches his back against the car seat, seemingly convinced that to give up and be strapped in would herald the end of the world, or so it seems. “Nonononononooooooo!” he screams, and I duck my head in the car, both to get a better grip on my wriggling progeny and to hide from imagined neighbours, craning their necks to see who is abusing that poor, sweet boy. He dissolves into hysterical tears as I win and his strap clicks into place, great gulping sobs that reflect utter devastation at his loss. He is distracted moments later by a bird or a plane and the apocalypse is averted.
He pulls himself onto our bed and plants a big kiss on my cheek. He’s just learned to add the ‘Mwah’ sound, picked up from the oohs and aahs that follow each utterance. His open-hearted giggles fill our room as I nibble his fingers and toes, and stomach and neck and anywhere else that will elicit that golden noise of my child in joy.
He bats at the baubles on the Christmas tree we put up this weekend. He’s already well aware that it’s not allowed. Judging from the smirk on his face when I voice my firmest, “No,” he’s testing all parental boundaries. I’m assured later by a laughing friend with older children that I ain’t seen nothin’ yet. We’re looking to start Christmas traditions for him, but neither of us were much for Christmas before him – any ideas in the comments section would be wonderful (translation: HELP!).
He opens his mouth wide to allow the new flavour to slide onto his tongue. We’re lucky that he will try anything and likes most everything he tries. When he tasted this cake his eyes stretched wide and he immediately opened his already-full mouth for more, apparently convinced that the space inside was infinitely fillable. It’s a sign of high approval and I think you’ll feel the same.
- 300g frozen raspberries, thawed
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup crème fraîche (if you can’t find any crème fraîche, use sour cream)
- Fresh raspberries to decorate
- 85g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 180˚C/350˚F
Place raspberries in a bowl and lightly crush, set aside 2 tbl sp of juice for the icing
Cream butter and sugar in a bowl, then add the eggs and mix well
Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well
Add sour cream and mix well
Grease and line a 23cm springform tin
Spoon about 1/3 of the cake mix into the pan
Spoon over about 1/2 the raspberries
Add another 1/3 of the cake mix on top
Spoon over the remainder of the raspberries
Add the last of the cake mix
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean
Allow to cool before turning out and icing
To make the icing, add the melted better to the reserved tbl sp of raspberry juice
Slowly mix in icing sugar until the icing is a nice, runny consistency
Spoon over the cake
Add raspberries to the top of the cake, pushing very gently to embed a little in the icing.
Serve with joy!