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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)

TITLE: Butterfly Cakes and Parenting Skills


“No! And that’s my final word.”

Sarah was irritable. Her twin daughters, Lucy and Annie, had been arguing with her for almost fifteen minutes. They had been invited to a ‘teen theme’ birthday party the following Saturday. Amy was their best friend however, the problem was she was turning eight; the same age as the twins. The girls stomped off to their bedroom just as the telephone rang. Sarah took a deep breath and released it slowly.

“Hello.” Rubbing her forehead she leaned against the wall to ease the weariness that threatened to overtake her.

“Well you sound happy.” It was Connie, Amy’s mother.

“Hello, Connie. I’m sorry, sometimes I find parenting a little stressful.”

“You of all people—Sarah, you’re a great parent. You always seem to have it all under control.”

“Well not today. What can I do for you, Connie?”

“I was just checking if the girls are coming on Saturday.”

“Actually, it was the party we were discussing. I just don’t feel the theme is appropriate for eight-year-olds. Peter and I made the decision a long time ago that they are not to attend a party which goes against our Christian values.” Sarah cringed as she realized what she had said. Connie was a good friend who attended the same church.

Connie sighed on the other end of the phone. “Can I be frank with you, Sarah?”

“Sure, we’re friends.”

“It was Amy’s suggestion. In fact, she demanded it. To be honest, I have been trying to keep the peace around here. We received a letter from her teacher last week concerning Amy’s rebellious behaviour.”

Sarah made herself busy at the stove.

“Yesterday, we went shopping to buy her an outfit for the party. I have never been so embarrassed. Her performance was appalling. She insisted on purchasing the skimpiest pair of shorts I have ever seen and the top barely covered her. There wasn’t enough material to cover her navel.” Connie’s voice reached an intense pitch.

Sarah stirred the contents of the saucepan. “Lord, why is it so hard to do what is right as a parent?”

“Sarah, why does parenting have to be so hard?”

“I don’t think any parent finds it easy, Connie. We aren’t born with the skills either. We all have to learn them.”

Connie continued talking before Sarah could finish. “I was just telling my mother yesterday that I remember some of my own childhood birthday celebrations. We girls used to dress up in our Sunday best and eat those yummy cakes. You know the little ones, Sarah, the ones you make so well. You scoop out the little piece from the top then add just the right size dollop of cream before cutting that extra piece and sitting it just right before sprinkling the icing sugar over the top to give it that perfect sweetness.”

“Butterfly cakes.” Sarah smiled at Connie’s description. “It almost sounds like parenting skills. You need just the right balance to get it right.” She laughed at her own illustration.

“Oh, Sarah, I just had a marvellous idea. Why don’t I call all the parents and tell them I have changed the theme? It will be a good old-fashion party for an eight-year-old girl. They can all dress in their Sunday best and you could make butterfly cakes. I think it’s about time I initiated some parenting skills. The first thing I’ll introduce is Christian values.”

Sarah laughed. “Alright, I’ll talk to Peter tonight. He should be happy with the change and yes, I think it’s a wonderful idea. Bye, Connie.”

“Bye, Sarah.”

Sarah was still smiling after she hung up the phone. She turned to see the twins standing at the door, their arms folded in a defiant manner.

“What’s so wonderful?” Annie asked sourly.

“Well firstly, perhaps you can put your flower-girl dresses you wore to Uncle Ted’s wedding onto the sewing table. Then, we need to start on some parenting skills.”

“What are you talking about?” Lucy was totally confused.

“I am going to bake some butterfly cakes and you two can help. It’s never too early to learn.”

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This article has been read 1085 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Darlene Casino 11/23/06
I enjoyed your submission. It was well written and expressed wise counsel. Good job...
Allison Egley 11/23/06
Oh, this was so cute. A few punctuation errors, but nothing major. The only question that remains is how Amy react to the change?
Catrina Bradley 11/24/06
Excellent job - I really liked how Sarah cringed at what she said to Connie, but it turned out to be just what what she needed to hear to change her mind. The world need more mothers like Sarah!!
Michelle Burkhardt11/24/06
Nice illustration on the difficulties of raising pre-teens. Especially, girls. Nice job.
Donna Powers 11/24/06
A nice story. I'd really like to see those butterfly cakes! I can relate to the difficulties of dealing with rebellious teens. Good job!
fed up11/25/06
Enjoyed the story. It was real. It sounded like any one of use could have been those mom's !
Joanne Sher 11/27/06
You did a wonderful job with the dialogue here - and this was a very engaging story. Nice job!
Ann FitzHenry11/27/06
Hey, I'm hungry. Can I have a butterfly cake, too? :-)

I really liked this story with a lesson. As I read this story I kept thinking, "Just because everyone is doing it; it doesn't make it right." Thanks for the reminder.
william price11/27/06
Yes, I liked Sarah! Another excellent job here. Enjoyed the story, the writing and the message. God bless.
Betty Castleberry11/28/06
Believable dialogue, and well written, too. I've never heard of butterfly cakes, but you have me curious now. This was an enjoyable read.
Laurie Glass 11/28/06
This is well written and speaks a meaningful message. Nice job.
Edy T Johnson 11/28/06
This is well written, good dialog, and a great message. Now, it would be fun to read chapter two to see how the three girls adjust to the turn-around party theme :)
Myrna Noyes11/29/06
Hmmmmmmmm! I've never heard of butterfly cakes either, and I was trying to picture them from your description! Too bad you couldn't have squeezed an actual recipe into the story somehow! :) Anyway, I, too, thought your dialogue sounded very realistic, and I can easily relate to what you wrote, as my daughter is now into her 20's and still rebellious sometimes!
Shanti Singh11/29/06
I really enjoyed this! I can learn a lot from you about the fine art of dialog! Thanks for sharing!
Donna Haug11/29/06
Such a demanding job, being a parent. But being a parent who sticks to her guns, even more so! Great job
Bonnie Derksen11/29/06
Hey Chrissy girl! Thanks for pointing my way here. This was a delight to read. Good job of dialogue and setting. My take home? It is easier to stand against compromise when we unite as parents. The hard part is being courageous and willing to take the risk to express your opinions first. Very creative and well written entry. Thanks, Chrissy.
Suzanne R11/30/06
Beautiful, Chrissy.

We grew up with 'fairy cakes' - exactly the same thing as your 'butterfly cakes' ... mmmmmm. Lovely memories - thanks for evoking them through your writing.
william price11/30/06
Congrats Chrissy! Way to go.
God bless.
Sara Harricharan 11/30/06
Cute comparison with the title and storyline. A interesting read, I was a little curious as to how Connie could an 8-year-old Amy get away with short shorts and a midriff top. The message was clear though and you did a great job. Congrats on your win, and thanks for commenting on "Jacy's Motorcycle Mom"
Wow! I have an eight year old boy and you nailed that defiance bit right on. Your story actually gave me quite a bit of comfort, "Oh good it's not just my kid that pulls that stuff." I loved your story.
Venice Kichura12/02/06
Cograts, Chrissy!
Great job...I especially loved your use of "beats"...In other words how you described what you're characters were doing as they spoke.
Tabiatha Tallent03/29/07
There was a great message sandwiched in this lovely story. Great job.
Julie Arduini03/29/07
Really strong dialogue, great imagery given I want to find myself a butterfly cake, well any kind of cake, and devour right now! A great way to invoke modesty and values to a world in desperate need of that lesson!
Janice Fitzpatrick03/31/07
This is good, speaks volumes in such a short entry.:0) Great work! Love it! Keep it up hon!God bless your day.Janice+-