I remember many years ago , 14 to be exact, my 8 year old son Dylan had just started school after being homeschooled and we were all excited about his first real cake sake.
He gushed that whole Monday afternoon demanding certain coloured icing and types of treats for Friday.
Each day , as we got closer he changed his mind to yet another favoured treat to take to sell to his friends.
Thursday finally dawned and we stopped after school to buy the dry ingredients to make the cakes.
There I was , baby on hip and 5 helpers in the kitchen mixing and stiring ( and eating most of the dough) as we prepared to make 60 cupcakes.
They were barely out the oven and Dylan was ready to ice them.
As was tradition I mixed up bright bowls of different coloured icing for my older 4 kiddies to help me ice.
An hour and a filthy kitchen later the kids were sent to bath and get ready for bed as i boxed up the cakes.
Bright and early the next morning we all carried these cakes the 3km to the school. I don’t drive so we’ve always kept healthy and done what we need to do by foot, sharing the load, as big families do.
Finally it was 10 am and cake sale time.
I nervously watched Dylan set up his stall and handed each of the bears R5 to spend. I then watched as not one child went for the yummy just like gran made bright blue, green and red cupcakes.
I was more shocked … what 8 year old doesn’t like a cupcake? …or sugar for that matter?
And then …. with the echo of a pretentious woman this little voice asked him “Why aren’t your cakes from woolies?”
To save my child further embarrassment and humiliation I promptly walked over and bought each and every one of my own cupcakes.
This story has always stayed with me … not for embarrassment but out of sadness.
Sadness that children that young were forced to be so materialistic and status bound.
Sadness that the simple pleasures of our childhood are lost on the quick conveniences of today’s kids.
And sadness that children,via their status conscious parents, are so quick to succumb to peer pressure.
That was 14 years ago ..
I still bake hideously bright granny made them cakes. Some flop, some are lop sided and others look great.
Because every child deserves the delight of licking bright blue icing off sticky fingers on a hot day .