Monday, December 5, 2011

Steppin' on Toes

It's only the 2nd week of Advent, and apparently, plans are already being made for Luke's birthday, which isn't until January 16th, when he'll turn 12. Usually, I like to get through the holidays before I start to plan his party with his father. WITH his father.

Luke came home pumped up last night after a weekend at Craig's, having been involved in a frenzy of trying to get to commitments on time (none of which were accomplished, as is typical with them, unlike me) and he was excited that the new super-powered laser pointer I ordered for him from American Science and Surplus had arrived in the mail over the weekend.

At dinner, he proceeded to tell me about the fantastic cake Craig's girlfriend, Kelly, planned to make him for his birthday. It's some fancy ice cream cake with whipped cream and cherries on top, a concoction too complicated for my cooking/baking abilities. Kelly's made cakes/cupcakes for Luke's birthday before, and I'm always rubbed the wrong way by it. Isn't that sort of a Mom's job?

Perhaps the gesture is genuine as she cares for Luke, but it never ceases to amaze me that nobody ever asks me if perhaps I, Luke's mother, would like to bake my son a cake for his birthday party.

The last time I made a competing cake (last year, Kelly did angel food cupcakes since Luke was dieting) was 2 years ago, and the only one who tried a piece at the birthday party was my friend Wes, who ate it out of politeness. It wasn't that it was a bad cake; it just wasn't fancy. It was Devil's Food with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. That year, Kelly *had* made an ice cream cake, that the kids (and adults) devoured.

My friend Patti, this year, suggested instead that I bake a cake for Luke's actual birthday and have it at home instead of at the party and let Kelly make the cake for the party, so I guess that's a fair enough compromise.

It was just the way Luke said to me, when I told him at dinner, "What if Mom wanted to make you a cake?" and he said, "Please, Mom. You even ruin cupcakes." He can't forget his birthday in January of 2008, when I was hitting rock bottom with alcohol, weeks from going into rehab, and made cupcakes for his class forgetting to put eggs into the batter, and the cupcakes turned out like hockey pucks. I guess sometimes you don't get a second chance to make things up to your kids.

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