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Toddler Philosopher or An Ode to Cupcakes

May 21, 2018

Apparently, cupcakes are a pretty big deal to two-year-olds. Well, at least to my Sweet Pea. The first time I saw him eat a cupcake was at his birthday party, which was only a few weeks after he arrived. He enjoyed his birthday cupcake immensely, but he still couldn’t say the word cupcake. It was only when he learned to say it, that I realized just how often his thoughts seemed to be dominated by cupcakes. And I thought I was the only one thinking of cupcakes thirty-seven times a day. We are two sweet peas in a pod. 


One morning, on our drive to daycare, Sweet Pea said cupcake over and over again as he looked out the window. I had no idea where he was seeing them. Did I miss a billboard adorned with a giant cupcake? Was someone waiting at a bus stop eating a cupcake? Was he imagining that the clouds were giant, fluffy white cupcakes? I never figured it out. 


The random cupcake sightings continued. And then they became requests. What was I to do? I mean, I firmly believe in cupcakes, but I knew that I could not in good conscience feed this child cupcakes at every request.

One evening, after he finished dinner, Sweet Pea asked, yet again, for a cupcake. There were none in the house, and even if there were, I probably would not have been sharing them. So, I gave him a bowl of peaches topped with a dollop of whipped cream. And then, a breakthrough. 


Sweet Pea looked at that bowl of peaches and that dollop of whipped cream, and he saw a fluffy, delicious cupcake. He practically licked the


bowl. “Cupcake, cupcake,” he repeated gleefully.  


Naturally, when a child shows this much interest in anything, he must have books about it. Luckily, as I scrolled my Twitter feed full of children’s authors one day, I stumbled upon the work of Joyce Wan, whose new book, COUNT MY CUPCAKES 1 2 3 was just being released. When ordering, I discovered another one of Wan’s books, YOU ARE MY CUPCAKE. Two books with “cupcake” in the title! Joyce Wan is my kind of lady!  


Both books are charming. Board books, perfect for Sweet Pea, who, despite his love for books, is pretty rough on them. Whimsical illustrations (including a cupcake on a tree swing…come on!). And perhaps most importantly, squishy cupcakes that Sweet Pea loves to touch, count, and probably dream about. YOU ARE MY CUPCAKE is a super sweet ode to nicknames, including “my mushy little sweet pea.” 


Perfect. Now we can indulge in our love of cupcakes through books, and I can continue to trick Sweet Pea into eating various foods disguised as cupcakes. I will eat the real cupcakes after he goes to bed. 


Seriously, I love that Sweet Pea sees cupcakes in everything. Isn’t that a fabulous way to look at the world? Sometimes we adults need to look harder for the cupcakes. They’re out there. Some days they’re harder to find, but even on those days, they’re there. With sprinkles and everything. 

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