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How sweet the start of school can be

A cake for Harisson for kids' blog. (September

A cake for Harisson for kids' blog. (September 2014) Credit: Newsday / Valerie Kellogg

No matter how ratty the first day of school is, it is guaranteed to have a sweet end at our house.

And it did this week when my 10-year-old received a slice of cake after dinner to celebrate sixth-grader-dom. The vanilla cake with white icing, bought in a hurry at the supermarket and stashed in the fridge before I had to rush to work, said in blue: “Congrats, Harrison.”

It’s been a tradition at our house since the boy started kindergarten, and I thank Mom Wisdom for that. I adapted the idea from a dear friend who has three children and her own version of easing her kids back into the often dreaded back-to-school routine.

“We have a little ice cream cake right after school and sing, 'Happy first day to you' to the tune of 'Happy Birthday,' she says. “Sitting around the table over a shared treat is the best way to get their first impressions while still fresh in their minds.”

In fact many of my friends who are mothers turn to food, for better or worse, to put their kids at ease. One used to take her children out to eat as soon as they got home. Another makes their favorite dinner and dessert — using the good china, too. Afterschool home-baked cookies are a go-to treat for others.

And how do you like this idea from another friend?

“I left Nate a hidden donut for him to find when he gets home. Hee hee.”

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