Of Turkeys and Tiger Moms.

Friday was the last day of school before Thanksgiving.  At the beginning of that last week (or maybe a little before), my son’s teacher sent an email requesting some help putting together a “classroom Thanksgiving celebration” thing.  As I am devoted to helping out at school any chance I can get, I sent a responsive email telling her I’d do whatever she would assign that the other parents did not choose to do.

I was assigned to be one of “six moms/dads with lots of patience” to help out in the classroom.  I loved it!  And feeling extra “nice”, I volunteered to bring cut up apples since no one took that job, as well.

Truthfully?  I was feeling pretty special.  Look at me – I’m helping.  I’m such a nice mom… You know that feeling,  a smidgeon- smug, proud, “nice”.  You know the type, right?

So, Wednesday rolls around and I do my regular volunteering in the classroom.  When I show up though, it seems that some other mother has brought in a tray of cookies that looked a lot like these:

Now, as delighted as I was to oogle and think about eating those cookies, I did not because of this.   Also, the purity of my reaction was “Gee, how nice was that?”  and “That’s so sweet that some mom did that for the class!”  But, by the time I left class on Wednesday, a few doubts about the height of my halo started to creep up.  I wondered if I should be doing something more for Tootles’ class?  The thought was fleeting and it quickly passed.

What was that I was thinking about?

Thursday morning rolled around.  Every morning when we get to school,  the tutor and I walk Toots onto the very crowded playground where he lines up to go in to class.

As I stood there, I noticed his teacher’s hands were full.  She was holding these:

There were two of these trays!!

Now, I knew these were homemake by some other mom.  Look at them!  They are adorable! Now, I’m no pastry chef.  I’m not even a poor reproduction of a baker. So when I saw these, my jaw dropped and I felt that ugly little thing called —  shhh!  — jealousy.  C’mon!  Look at the cuteness:

They were all individually wrapped in that cellophane.  Look at their faces!  How does one do that?!  Don’t tell me.  It won’t help. I asked the teacher where she got those.  “They’re from J’s mom!” she replied.

And the gauntlet was thrown.

Now, you all realize I’m Asian.  I may have mentioned this.  J’s mom is the other Asian mom in Toots’ class.  J’s mom is sweet and kind.  J is sweet and kind.  J’s mom is one of the few moms that I always talk to because she’s so nice 

But these?

The “seasonal appropriateness” of the candy corn?!  The adorable little pretzel legs?  These were too much for me.  Clearly, I’d been one-upped.  My cut-up apple contribution? Ptooey!  Not nearly as interesting as those turkeys!

As I headed out of the parking lot, I saw her.  J’s mom.  She was walking with her other adorable child to their car.  She waved and smiled.  I rolled the window down and told her how awesome her turkey pops were.  “Oh, they weren’t that great.  That was my first try!” she replied with a smile.  Just stab me now, people. Her first try?!

At that moment, I became determined to show up on Friday with the most awesome treat ever.  Now, mind you, it’s Thursday and I’m no baker…  I headed to Whole Foods,  where they have glamourous cases of delights.  I was certain I would find the perfect “something” to trump those pops.

Sure enough, I found the perfect dessert at Whole Foods.  Something similar to this:

I needed 36 of these.  They were $4.50 each.  Similar items were a little cheaper – 2 for $5…  So, dejectedly, I said goodbye to Whole Foods and headed off to my old friend, WalMart.  Oh, WalMart, you never let me down!

After a little discussion between me and the WalMart baker, they whipped up these for me:

and, lest you think the turkeys got away – also – these:

Oh yeah…

So, done! I was patting myself on the back, picked up Toots from school and found out this happened:

Yeah, I have no idea who that chick is in the background, but are you kidding me?!

The pops made the school’s Facebook page!   Could I feel any more Asian shame?!  Why, thanks for asking because Toots brought this home with him:

Do you see my hand gripping Toots’ hand? Because I confiscated the item almost immediately…

Examining it further, me and my cohorts (who shall remain nameless- sort of) noted that the turkeys all had four pretzel legs – ahem-…

Now, I’m not one to criticize…  Usually.  And someone had to eat the thing – to give a fair review -otherwise it would go to waste, right?  So, we – you know- prepared it for consumption…

Just a little food coloring drama… for effect, you know

We I did want to test the “taste” quality of the turkey pop against the cupcake.  So, I found me an “unbiased” guinea pig.  Jessica agreed to taste test them.

 The verdict?

They were a little dry.  But, of course, she didn’t just trash it after one bite. She ate the whole thing!  Traitor!  Just kidding, sort of…

At the Thanksgiving “feast”, Tootles took the appropriate cupcake, with a little prompting from his mama…

All the other kids picked the WalMart  “my” cupcakes too!  Of course, the little details that I should add are that “J”, who took my  cupcake, walked right to the garbage can next to me, at one point, having taken one bite and threw it in the trash, saying, “Yuck!”  The loyalty!

Oh Please!

And Toots?  He put four slices of cut apples (yes- I brought those too) on his plate and one of mommy’s cupcakes.  What did he eat?

Yes.  My kid ate the apples.  Sigh.  Did he eat the cupcake too?


On the other hand?  He didn’t eat the turkey pop, either.  Moral of the story?  Don’t bite off more turkey than you can chew?


About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
This entry was posted in Autism, Food, Parenting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Of Turkeys and Tiger Moms.

  1. Ahhh…. that soccer-mom envy will get you every time! You had me cracking up, Karen. You ARE human!!!

    So, seriously though… here’s the thing. Everyone is good at something. Some of us make dollies and cake pops and others of us make the big bucks to buy the dollies and cake pops. There can’t be one without the other — am I right? Although, I’ve gotta say, after spending my weekend as the one who makes the dollies and cake pops… I think I’d rather buy them. My back is STILL SORE from making those dang cookies! 😉

    • P.S. Our Thanksgiving feast is tomorrow… I volunteered to bring — wait for it — store-bought cider.

    • solodialogue says:

      I was laughing- even when it was happening! And yet, I couldn’t help myself… Trust me, J’s mom could buy those pops easily – she’s combined both having the income to buy the pops and she has the talent to make them. There’s a new spelling word for Toots – e-n-v-y (oh dear!) I guess I won’t teach him that one! He’s already seen enough… :O

      As for those cookies?! My hand would be sore from using those tiny mini-cutters to make those delish cookies! You win mama-of-the-year for special baking- that’s for sure!!

  2. I felt that way after Ace’s kindergarten thanksgiving project. Some of the things the kids (which was obviously the parents) did was amazing and way more creative than I could ever do. This year in 1st grade, they had another project and I admit I felt good that 9 kids hadn’t even bothered to bring one in at all. Ours may not have been the best one, but at least we did it. P.S. My kid would have played with the turkeys but eaten the apples.

    • solodialogue says:

      Oh Deenie! I didn’t even think about the projects the kids do! That will just about do me in, I’m pretty sure! 😉
      Good to know that Ace (?) or Jay(?) would’ve eaten the apples too! And playing with the turkey is kinda what I did (hee-hee)!

  3. Lisa says:

    This had me smiling the whole way. I can be a Tiger-esque mom. That A-type personality who loves competition and winning! 😉

    At our school we are not allowed to hand-make anything. Everything has to be store-bought AND peanut/tree nut-free. So, parents try to out-do each other in other ways…like commissioning bakeries to create such awesomeness as those turkeys….or sending in bags full of trinkets. It’s insanity, I tell ya!!

    P.S. Tate would have totally eaten your cupcakes. Well, at least the frosting. That’s his favorite treat in the whole world. Jake? He would have devoured the apple slices. The turkeys would have been neglected by both…or well, maybe used as a stimming device. 😉

  4. Flannery says:

    Ok, I would have totally been annoyed by the other mom with her fancy turkey pops! Friend or not, I would have had to make a monumental effort to match or EXCEED the quality of her treats. Well played, friend, well played.

  5. Thank you for a good laugh. The food coloring just took me to the edge. I love your ingenuity at Wal-bakery. Genius! 🙂

    I know the feeling. J had a Thanksgiving feast at his K class. There was an actual sign up list with categories. Me – celery and tomatoes in a plastic tub (healthy, less clean up, reusable, all good reasons I thought the evening before). Mom next to me – fruit skewers made from grapes and cubed cheese, strategically stabbed into a “turkey” cantaloupe to resemble turkey feathers. “Oh, it was so easy. Only took 20 minutes”. Me – polite smile and turn away.

  6. Meg says:

    This is sooo friggin’ funny! And you really got into the competition. . . and little j’s response. Thanks for giving me the funniest read of the day. Bwhaaaaa hahahahaha. I’m going for the apples. Ha

  7. Denise says:

    This is so funny! I love your honesty! You know, it’s never to soon to start thinking about Toot’s Christmas School party! Hehe!!!! Pinterest to the rescue!

  8. I chuckled out loud. You cracked me up. I shared on Facebook. They might out do you with their four-legged turkeys….but you rock at writing and bringing us truth and joy! hugssssssss

  9. Mary says:

    Our school has some kids with peanut allergies so we aren’t allowed to make anything to send in either. I am so glad. And as our household has failed miserably at the gluten-free thing this month, I would have been glad to see the apples.

    Freckles had a birthday this week and wanted to take cupcakes. So we considered going to Whole Foods and buying the expensive gluten-free cupcakes. But then I realized that the kids in her class would not be used to the taste/texture of gluten-free foods and would probably throw them in the trash. So we got the Lofthouse cookies with the yummy icing and sprinkles and everyone was happy. Seriously, those are the best treat to take because everyone loves them.

    I found a recipe for sugar cookie chex mix. If you want to make something simple that will get eaten, this is it. Sometimes we add gluten-free pretzels because it’s a little sweet.

  10. Lana Rush says:

    I LOVED this post!!! 🙂 So funny and SO true!

    There is so much “mama competition” going on around those elementary schools, I find myself getting suckered right in, too! And at midnight the day before the class party, when I’m still baking cookies and wrestling with cellophane and ribbon while the rest of my family sleeps soundly, I’m cursing inside that I let myself get caught up in the competition.

    But even now, I’m trying to conceive of ways that I can help you get your own Facebook shout-out to show up… ahem… I mean, share in the blessings of volunteering in T’s class….. I’m hopelessly competitive…..

  11. Stephanie says:

    WHY did I just now read this!? this is hilarious! I have the same thing in my son’s class…lol there are some Mom’s that just live and breath that stuff. I made cookies ONCE for their holiday party. Wrote names on each one ( they were big cookies) for each kid in class and made extra ones for the siblings. I made them look like round ornaments. It took me F O R E V E R. But another parent one up-ed me and made snowmen cookies that the teachers just GUSHED over lol I vowed NEVER AGAIN! lol

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