a BIG help...
So...after I broke the first layer, I baked two more layers- they came out absolutely perfect. I put Camille in her chair with some animal crackers for a snack, and set out to make my buttercream. She was really well behaved, so I wasn't paying much attention...until I happened to turn around to see this:
What was I thinking?! Rookie mistake! Who puts their baby within arm's reach of a cake?! This cake has been doomed from the start. At least we know she likes her cake, right? :) (and I was able to come up with a decently sturdy cake when I leveled, mixed, and matched the different layers. The fun decorating comes tomorrow!)