Bubbleboy Loves Cupcakes

Every kid's favorite, many a mom's nightmare: the colorful, sugary cupcake © George Bailey | Dreamstime.com

My friend G likes to tell the story of a time when her kids, now all grown, successful professionals, were young. The story goes like this: G, a professional single mother of three, had the audacity to bring a tray of cupcakes to school for one of her kid’s birthdays.  The popular outrage was not over the cup cakes per se but over the fact that they were – gasp – store bought not homemade.  Now if you knew my friend G you would know that she didn’t just pop down to 7/11 the morning of and bought a bunch of crumbly, sticky, good-until-2013 type cupcakes. The woman went to a nice bakery, carefully selected a variety of cute cupcakes and yes, OMG, outsourced the task of actually making them to a qualified professional.

We all had a good laugh about that story, including her, but I could tell it was still eating at her, all those years later, the self-righteousness of the other parents. Just glad that her kids are happy, healthy adults, else whatever problem they might have might get blamed on their mother’s refusal to bake and decorate cupcakes between the hours of 11 pm and 2 am.

Well, that was then and now: I am forbidden to bring home-baked goods to my child’s after-school. The third “DON’T” on the Birthday & Food Sharing Event Policy reads: “Don’t bring any homemade treats such as cakes, cookies, or cupcakes.”

Huh? No explanation given. I assume, though, that they just don’t trust me. I might not have cleaned my hands with disinfecting wipes before kneading that dough, I might have used sugar of the non-approved, non-organic type, or decorated with something that contains artificial flavors and coloring, I might just use a baking sheet that hasn’t been steam cleaned and therefore might carry remnants of last weeks banana bread on it. All sorts of dangerous, unsavory things might happen in my home.

Now, you might say that I should be glad about Rule #3, at least I can’t be shamed into feeling guilty like G back then. I can just skip down to Safeway and pick up one of those big sticky-sweet cakes that come adorned with Dora the Explorer, Superman, or race cars – depending on the child’s preferences. I could, if it wasn’t for Rule #2 which specifically prohibits me from bringing large sheet cakes with icing. Together with Rule #1 – bring nothing that contains any nuts whatsoever – that makes it pretty much impossible to buy anything.

Where does that leave me with regards to my son’s birthday celebration? A nice big tray of carrot and celery sticks, a fat-free dip, and some gluten-free crackers will be just lovely. The kids are going to have a blast and my son a handy excuse for everything that might go wrong in his life: “Mom, do you remember my 6th birthday party when you brought the celery sticks to my school party? That day I realized that you don’t love me and that’s why I feel compelled to smoke pot/drink beer/race my motorcycle now that I am 17. It is all your fault.”

I am a lucky mom, though. My son’s birthday falls smack in the middle of summer. So the luck of the draw (I could call it careful planning but that would be disingenuous) is saving me this one time.

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