Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Lulu! (+ a wee little rant)

Today my gorgeous, loving, smart, precocious, strong-willed, darling daughter turns FOUR. It's kinda crazy. It seems like it wasn't so long ago that she snuggled her tiny little 7lb. body into the crook of my neck and sighed her warm, sweet baby breath into my neck as I bent slightly to brush my lips against her downy newborn head.

And here she is today. How time rushes by! You can see her strong-willed-ness plain as day in this pic: she insists that whatever pants she wears must be rolled up. Jeans to capris, capris to shorts....I shudder to think what she plans to do with shorts... And the socks must be pulled up too. Usually I insist on short socks but today was chilly and it's her birthday so what the heck? She's happy.

She was most excited about taking birthday cupcakes to her daycare for her 4-year-old class. Here's where my rant begins. When I was a kid one of the coolest things about having a birthday was getting to take treats to school. My mom was quite clever so I brought the best treats, and the class always loved me and said I had the "best mom ever". I would nearly bust with pride, and the treats were always fantastic. Running a close second was the cake I would get at home and of course the presents.

So we got a note a couple months back saying no birthday treats at daycare. They instead encouraged us to send gift bags of little toys for the kids (read: small bags of choke-hazards and junk). Ugh. They have since relented and okayed treats IF, and only IF, a comprehensive list of ingredients is attached. Mind you, treats are still discouraged, but if one MUST send them, they will somehow be screened for allergenic and/or offensive ingredients.

I think they did the list thing just because they figured no one would want to take the time to bake AND write a synopsis. They don't know ME. I just rustled myself up some vanilla cupcakes, glopped as much homemade birthday frosting on them as they would hold, sprinkled them with pretty artificially-colored sugar sprinkles, and cut out the ingredients list from the box, taping it on a notecard with a few other ingredients,. Eh -VOILA, Lulu had a whole mess of contraband cupcakes to take to day-care.

All the while JeepMan was telling me I shouldn't do it, that we should just buy some apples or carrot sticks and dip.

Birthday apples? Birthday veggies? This would have been a sure way to get ostracized and possibly beaten up after school when I was growing up.

I think birthdays are for sugar. And calories. And fun. And special treats. If the moms can't hack their kid eating a cupcake, then tell the staff they can't have one. If your kid is allergic to something, I'm sorry, life sucks, and the rest of the kids shouldn't be punished for it.

Miss Teacher's eyebrows damn near made contact with her hairline when I walked in with the cupcake tray. I promptly handed her the ingredient list and told her Lulu wanted to give cupcakes for her birthday and that's what she was going to do. 'Nuff said. They said, "...Okay..." for what else, really, was there to say?

You and I both know all the teachers are in the back room scarfing the leftovers anyhow. And do I care? No way! Birthdays are for cupcakes, with oodles of frosting and sparkly sprinkles. And don't anyone try to tell me otherwise.

***Addendum: Curses! The daycare gestapo got me...sent me home most of the cupcakes I made, minus a few the staff ate and one for each of my kids. Said, "Sorry, but these didn't come out of a certified kitchen so we aren't allowed to serve them." WTF is a "certified kitchen?" 'Cause I'm telling you from first-hand foodservice experience that I have never seen a commercial kitchen that is cleaner than mine at home. Certified what? Roach -free? Pesticide-free? Kosher? Vegan? WHAT??? Oh, well. Maybe next year I'll just have the daycare make Lulu's cupcakes in their own CERTIFIED kitchen. Grrr...****


Monnik said...

yeah, it's pretty much prepackaged junk with no wheat, eggs, tree nuts, etc.

I usually bring cheese squares and raisins for snacks.

Now does that say HAPPY BIRTHDAY or what?!

Happy Birthday, Lulu!!

MrsTSalazar said...

Happy Birthday Lulu!

Sorry about the daycare gestopo! I remember fondly my mother making treats for my birthdays at school.

The world has gone crazy! People dont seem to flinch when their preteens have babies, but you cant bring treats to school for fear of Red Dye #40.


Travis Erwin said...

Feel free to send me a batch of contraband cupckaes from any old damned kitchen you want.

Tiff said...

Next year just stamp "Made in a Certified Kitchen" on the ingredients list.

That really is too bad. I also remember that bringing treats from home was half the fun of the birthday.

Let me guess, JM had to say "I told you so"

jjdebenedictis said...

As someone who is allergic to all kindsa stuff, I'll say that it does suck, but you get used to not having the yummies everyone else is having. A child wouldn't be so calm about it, however. I can understand that angle.

But "certified kitchen"? That's assinine. If they don't want to feed the kids cupcakes, they should say that instead of making up nonsense to justify the fact they got cold feet at the last minute.

Debbielou said...

What is the world coming to ???

When I was a child the best part of baking was to be able to lick out the spoon and bowl afterwards.

The kids in our school are not allowed to do this now in case they contract salmonella from the raw egg ingredient.

Birthday candles will be banned next!

Happy Birthday Lulu ! XXX

krobzoo said...

As I read this, I was going to be so surprised that your school allowed homemade treats. Store-bought, individually packaged, etc - it takes all the fun out of it. I would have asked where the missing cupcakes were if I were you. If the kids can't have them, then the teachers shouldn't

Ello said...

First off - your daughter is too cute for words! I just want to pinch her cheeks!

Second - oh yeah the same thing happened to me except that my teacher after realizing I had baked cupcakes and knowing they were better than the store bought ones went against protocol served them and ate 2 herself. Hurrah. But I was warned I couldn't do it again!

SUV MAMA said...

WTF??? That is all I can say about that.

Except...I agree w/ Ello. Lulu is absolutley darling. Just like her Mommy!

Barbara Martin said...

Yes, certified kitchens are here too. Only it's against family generation stores who make their own cheese. They're being closed down by the government as not being made under the appropriate conditions. There is nothing wrong with the cheese and has been since before the turn of the last century. So, you're not alone.

Maybe they're paranoid into thinking you might have slipped something nasty into the batch. The world is becoming turned upside down these days in all kinds of things.

I agree with Debbielou: licking out the bowl and the spoon was the best thing after cake or icing making.