My oldest child Sun-Bun is four, so I am still a relative newbie to the world of class parties. But last week I got my first taste. Sun-Bun’s pre-school class hosted a “Spring Fling” and her teacher set out a sign-up sheet —which read more like a catering menu than food stuffs for four year olds: veggie tray with dip, assorted lunch meat, buns, fruit tray, juice, cupcakes. And alone, at the bottom of the list: Napkins.
It was at this moment I realized that I would be choosing my destiny. Was I going to be a napkin mom or a cupcake mom? Would I be Sun-Bun’s hero, swooping into her class with a platter of delectable nut-free cupcakes swirled with miniature mountains of butter cream?
As I reached for the pen to sign my name next to cupcakes, I had a flashback to just a week prior, when my dear friend, anxious to make a good impression at a new school had grabbed the coveted cupcake slot. She called me the night before the class party, in tears, from the all night grocery store; she had forgotten her cupcake commitment and was desperately trying to find thirty gluten free cupcakes at nine o’clock at night. (When that failed, she was forced to stay up all night creating candy-kabobs).
It was an important lesson for me. I could see myself ending up in the same predicament, forgetting about the cupcakes until ordering my morning latte and then spending an entire week’s pay at the Starbucks drive-thru on cake-pops. I’m a forgetful, hopelessly disorganized mom. Plus, I am not a baker. The last thing I attempted to bake were cookie-brownie bars. I forgot them in the oven and they turned into a molten mess. (which I devoured with vanilla ice cream after the kids went to bed).
Standing in front of the sign-up sheet, I felt it would be wrong for me to rob the spotlight from a more deserving mom, one who bakes, sews and has a family calendar. Sigh. I was feeling pretty bummed. I turned to walk away from the sign-up sheet. But then I stopped myself. After the little darlings binged on butter cream, how would they clean their faces? Napkin mom to the rescue! And I proudly put my name in the slot. I am, after all, the Mom who always has
Heading into class with our package of paper goods, Sun-Bun and I bumped into a mom juggling a giant platter of cupcakes, on top of each cupcake was a tiny fondant butterfly resting atop a giant swirl of pastel colored frosting. They looked glorious. “Oh mommy, look at those!” Sun-Bun exclaimed, staring in wide eyed wonder at the cupcake creations. “Yes, honey” I replied sighing, “They are beautiful, now look at mommy, you’ve got a little something on your face.”