Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Flavor of a Birthday

Last month, Luke celebrated his birthday at school. I asked him what type of cake he wanted me to bake. "X-Men," he replied without a thought, as though he had been planning for the day I would ask him this question. "Actually, I meant the flavor," I replied, "since you aren't allowed to have characters on your cake." After a long pause, Luke responded. "Okay, punch." Punch as in punch-flavored. Here's where I remind everyone that Luke attends a Waldorf school. A school where he wears a crown for his birthday celebration, listens to a sweet story about how he chose his parents from heaven, and receives a beeswax candle and homemade cards in a basket. The cake I bake will be eaten after their standard Friday snack of homemade, organic soup.

And do punch-flavored cakes even exist? I'm envisioning a garish, red-colored cake, store-bought of course, with Red#32 as one of its primary ingredients. Maybe we could take Spongebob ice cream bars (anyone seen these things? they leave black and yellow dye streaming down a kids arm) and Spiderman fruit snacks to serve with the cake. Actually, while Luke has, unfortunately, had the latter two, he has not, to my knowledge, ever eaten a punch-flavored cake. (Nor has he seen X-Men, the angel on my insecure shoulder tells me to add.)

Something about birthdays inspires the American consumer superhero junkfood freak in Luke, although I must admit that it doesn't always take a birthday to inspire his, shall we say, less Waldorfy traits. One of Luke's school friends, Anna, recently invited him to her birthday party. I asked him what he would like to give her, envisioning a great old fashioned book or some homemade finger puppets. "A remote control princess!" was his enthusiastic reply. Oh how I didn't want him to give me this gendered, technology-heavy reply.

And yet. And yet. He was so sweet. He wanted to think of something sparkly and exactly perfect for Anna. He dreams of a remote control robot for himself. But, since she is a girl, what better gift than a remote control princess? Really, aren't birthdays supposed to be a little indulgent and fantastic? And, really, what could be better than a day celebrated with a dayglo, punch-flavored cake and a remote control princess?

1 comment:

Lynn said...

A remote control princess would be PERFECT for Anna. When I was a child, my 5-years-older-than-me-and-none-too-bright brother decided that he hated "mocha" flavor. So from that point on, every single cake my mother made we told him was mocha. He was so dumb that he didn't even try them. You know what? I hate mocha flavor now, too.