Bits of life / microessays / Musings

When can I give you cake?

When can I give you cake?

I give you cake and you misbehave. It was one of your birthdays yesterday, but today is another day. Yesterday, a birthright; today, a treat. We had birthday cake leftover. I promised. You ate. You partook with expectation.

Yes, I did mention board games, but you couldn’t agree. You turned into monsters. You fought, tried to kill each other. I sent you to an early bed.

I gave you cake. This is my fault, really.

I gave you cake.

So when can I give you cake?

In the afternoon, you’re all pent up from school. They shut you in. When you run around, the sugar goes straight to your heads, makes you loud, get the sillies, encourages the use of sharps in inappropriate ways. After dinner, it stops you from sleeping, gives you tummy aches, bad dreams. Cake for breakfast? I don’t think so.

When can I give you cake?

You’ve got uneaten caramels from last week’s birthday party’s lolly bag but I’m not giving you those, not when you’ve just seen your dealers: there are other relatives and friends sugaring you up. They’ve already fed you full of chocolate frogs and lolly snakes. And you love them all the more for it. When do I get to give you sweet treats? When is it my turn to be so loved? You’re already loaded so full of hidden sugars and numbers, I’m in constant detox mode.

When can I give you cake?

You eat so little sugar, it affects you. A lot. I have reduced your tolerance to this drug to the point that you react terribly. Because sugar is a drug, did you know that? Do you know it takes precious nutrients from your little body to process this antinutrient? What does that mean? For your body to process it, you use up vitamins and minerals. And it has a faster route to body fat than eating fat itself. This is why most of what I give you is goodness. It has to be.

When can I give you cake?

When I bake a cake, it’s from scratch. I use organic flour, unrefined sugar, eggs from our girls. You choose the decorations. Proper vanilla bean. It’s your favourite. Still, it’s hard for you to process, there are friends of ours who can or will not digest, no matter how good it looks on Pinterest. But there are aspects of cake that are too darned good to give up.

Cake is a symbol of elation. It’s meant to be a one-off, special, celebration thing. A treat. And it is, when it’s from me. But when it’s backed into everyone else’s semi-regular one-offs, I have to ask the obvious question:

When can I give you cake?

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