I'm not sure when this trend started, but lately you can't say "first birthday" without someone mentioning a smash cake. It's just a thing you do now. I doubt I even got to eat cake at my first birthday, and now little one year old's everywhere are getting their very own cake. Meticulously baked and decorated... only so the child can smash it to pieces while trying to get a bite in their mouths.
It's as cute and messy as you can imagine.
Also part of the trend is to book a fancy photo shoot to capture the moment. But knowing me, not only was I going to bake the cake myself, I was going to take the pictures myself too. I'll save the professional photos for another time. Cheaper, easier, and knowing our Bubba, it would be way more relaxing for him too. He likes to be in places he knows, with people he knows. He does fine in new and crazy situations, but I knew more of his personality would shine through if we were at home, just the 3 of us.
Also we'd be able to decide when to do it without messing with naps, and throw him in a bath immediately after. Sounds like a plan.
Originally I didn't even know what day I was going to do the smash cake. I figured we'd do it a day when no one was around so it would be quiet, but I wasn't sure if it would happen on my birthday, first thing on the weekend or his actual birthday. The way things worked out, the 3 of us were home alone on his birthday, which made it the perfect day.
We played it by ear during the day, watching how tired he was, when his naps were, and as it turned out the perfect time was after his second nap. I set up a video camera and had both my phone and my fancy camera at the ready. I'd created an area that gave us a cute background, but would also make clean up nice and easy. He'd already gotten a taste of cake the day before, so we knew he liked it. We were ready.
We set him down for a few pictures first, bribing him with puffs to sit still. (Otherwise he'd just crawl into my lap). Eventually we moved the cake in front of him. Unlike the day before when we gave him a cupcake and he immediately picked it up and took a bite, with the cake he focused more on the frosting. He kept using one finger to pick up some frosting and taste it. Eventually he'd eaten almost all the frosting off the top of the cake, without eating any of the actual cake. Which left us with a very purple Bubba.
Eventually he went for the cake too, and managed to make quite the mess. It seemed like he enjoyed it, although he liked the bath he got afterwards almost as much!
And now for the pictures! (Video at the end)