Sam asked me if she could participate in their Ballet School’s annual recital. At first I didn’t think much of it since our previous ballet recital experience was fairly low-key. We spent all of $27 (~ P1,100) for tickets, flowers, and the monkey ears that she used as a costume. It was done in a small theater. Sam’s part was over in five minutes.
Here apparently, ballet recitals are one huge production. I didn’t know this when I agreed to let her participate. There’s a mandatory workshop conducted twice weekly, a cost to participate in the actual production, AND a cost to the customized costume. There’s also a cost to additional tickets for proud members of the family who’d like to watch (it’s going to be done in one of the Metro’s most known performing arts theaters). We haven’t paid for everything yet but as things stand, we’re running at $400. You can imagine my husband and I fell off our chairs. But since Sam enjoys ballet and she asked multiple times to participate in it, we complied. It awakened the Tiger Mother in me and I stress about Sam’s punctuality for the workshops. I make sure we work around it such that she doesn’t miss a class.
That’s what I had in mind the other day, when a potential scheduling conflict came about. The #SoMoms were invited to an exclusive Create-a-Cupcake Mom & Me evet with Sonja Ocampo (the owner of Cupcakes by Sonja), at their new branch in Glorietta 2. My plan of action was to drop in with Sam, make a few cupcakes and then speed off to her practice which wasn’t too far away. Sam was in full agreement with this plan — she loves her ballet anyway. Fellow SoMoms knew that we were planning to dash off and some were even asking me to re-consider letting her skip ballet just this once. I was tentative in my replies (precisely because it’s costing us so much!).
As much as Sam loves her ballet though, she loves these kinds of activities too; and I truly didn’t expect her enjoyment level to go through the roof. As soon as we got there, she was a ball of energy, excited to participate. She got her souvenir photo taken, donned her apron and chef hat and explored the raw materials over and over. She even approached Sonja and asked if we could start already because she, “really really wanted to make cupcakes now.” I’m so glad Sonja is a friend from way back, and that she found my daughter’s very forward request cute and charming!
Sam was over the moon when we got into the groove of making a cupcake with colored frosting. She was paralyzed with choices and I had to help her decide. We finished it so fast and I thought that was the end of the activity so I got her ready to go. To Sam’s credit, she complied and reached up to untie her apron. Then Sonja announced that we were going to do several more activities. Immediately Sam froze in the middle of her actions. She let out an excited gasp and then sat back in her chair in giddy anticipation. When Sonja asked if they (the kids) wanted more, Sam clapped her hands and happily shouted “YES!”
At that point I had to make her realize that if we stayed, she’d miss ballet today. Was that going to be okay? Without hesitation she said, “yes mom, YES! Let’s STAY! I want to make more cupcakes!” She was bouncing up and down in her chair too (to think she only had several licks of icing at that point).
The decision had been made and we stayed. Out came some cookies and Sam decorated two. Then Sonja taught us how to make a “beach” cupcake, a cupcake with a fishbowl as a topper (where you use “sugar glue” to stick on the fondant parts), and finally a sunflower cupcake with a ladybug topper and an Oreo at its center. “FIVE activities mom! There are FIVE! Woooww!” She gushed. Sam was in total cupcake heaven. She did a lot of the work by herself, choosing which colors and elements would go where, and maneuvering the piping bags, so the output was proudly hers.
Sam cheered when Sonja said we could take home all the cupcakes we made, and choose three more cupcakes from the display. Sam picked a strawberry cupcake for Jamie, a chocolate one for her Dad (which she said they’d “share”), and Sonja’s famous red velvet cupcake. Sam was quite ecstatic that she told Sonja, “I’m having so much fun I want to come back and do this again!”
I’m glad Sam was happy to have skipped ballet today. Quite honestly, I was glad we stayed and skipped ballet today too. I love seeing Sam this happy. I love how it spills over to after the event and her stories make even Jamie excited and happy. I love it when the fun is just continuously oozing out of her.
If I’m to re-evaluate why going to ballet should have been so important, it was because Sam didn’t want to miss out on a good time there. But she was having the time of her life already at the event, ballet would have become a chore if I’d pulled her out in the middle. And really, I didn’t have the willpower; I had a blast making those cupcakes too! Sonja’s cupcakes have been a favorite treat of ours since she’d opened her first branch seven years ago. Her cupcakes are FAN-tastic. I’m so happy for her that she’s finally decided to expand. Spread the sweetness indeed!
The Moral of the Story: To tame the tiger mom in you (or me), have a Cupcake (by Sonja).
Congratulations to the team behind Cupcakes by Sonja, and thank you for inviting us over!
Shoot the Cupcakes by Sonja store at Glorietta 2 from now until May 1. Share the photos and tag @cupcakesbysonja in every post. Five winners get a special gift! For more details, visit their Cupcakes By Sonja Official Facebook Page. #SpreadTheSweetness!