My son will be eleven the day after tomorrow.
Eleven is great. Young enough to be sleepless with excitement at the thought of a new bike. Old enough to ride it without a parent running alongside it.
It’s a funny time though – a grey period, where birthday procedure isn’t clear. Before eleven, it was de riguer to take a sweet treat to school to mark the passage of another year. This could be a large cake, a box of cupcakes, or if you were (quite literally) the cool kid, you brought Paddle Pops. The Paddle Pop scenario could only be achieved if your family was a favourite of the school secretary, who policed staff-room freezer space like a bouncer at The Birdcage on cup day.
Thankfully, that’s behind us, but it still seemed weird to send my birthday boy off to school with nothing. ‘No,’ he assured me last week, ‘We don’t do that any more. It’s a little kid thing.
But predictably, today, two days before the event he said nonchalantly, ‘You know, Miss D said that some cakes would be good. But only if it’s no trouble.’
It wouldn’t be any trouble because I was planning, as always, to use a packet mix.
‘No worries, love,’ I said, channelling my inner Julie Goodwin. I might even have winked. ‘How many boys in your class again? I’ll whip up some cupcakes.’
‘Twenty eight,’ replied Ben, ‘And Mum, Betty Crocker is heaps better than Green’s.’
It felt like the bowl of batter was poured over my head. I’d never truly believed I was fooling anyone with my late-night baking, but surely my own son could have maintained the charade?
What are your secrets to successful faking it? Do you bodgie up shop-bought cakes like Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in I Don’t Know How She Does It? Or do you leave a handbag by your desk at work to give the impression you’re still there at 9pm?
Share your secrets here and you could win one of ten I Don’t Know How She Does It prize packs, each with a 100ml bottle of Lovely, by Sarah Jessica Parker and a DVD of the movie. The 10 comments with the most thumbs up will win! This competition closes on Wednesday the 14th March at 5pm AEST.
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What are your secrets to successful faking it?