It's Just a Cupcake: Only Store-Bought Treats in Schools?

Here are my daughter Marti Pearl's cupcakes. Twenty-four strawberry-on-strawberry with rainbow sprinkles, a job my very precious nearly-three-year-old took quite seriously, sprinkling three or four at a time, which left her adorable little hands color-speckled and sticky. She loves to bake, so much so that she asks to make cookies or cupcakes every. single. night. And she's great at it! For a child her age, she has an amazing understanding of what it takes to make the food we eat, and I'm so proud of that.


This morning we marched in proudly carrying the cupcakes, and all she could say over and over again was "I made cupcakes!" When her teachers saw us, they immediately frowned. No homemade cupcakes allowed, only store bought.


I mean, I get it... I really do, no one wants to get sued. There are bad people in this world that do terrible things; we're all hyper-sensitive and no one wants to do the wrong thing here ... but its a goddamned cupcake.

What happened to the days of bake sales and potlucks? It's not like they were that long ago. I remember the days before Pepsi-sponsored elementary schools when bake sales were how we made money. My mom and I would make my grandfather's "hurry up" peanut butter cake, then sit out in lawn chairs overlooking tables and tables of delicious treats. This is one of those "pinnacle of childhood" kind of moments: the first moment I lusted. And don't you dare knock it, lust has gotten me far in life.

I'm Methodist -- I've got potluck casserole in my veins. My grandfather always has the same response when I ask him "Grandaddy, what's so different about Methodists and Baptists?" "Methodists have better potlucks".

Do we still potluck like we used to? Are we all really that worried about how clean our friends' & neighbors' kitchens are? Worried that someone would rat poison the broccoli cheese casserole? Have we just gone that nuts?

I, for one, am not impressed. And I have a feeling that when 2:30 rolls around and my daughter sees those damn chocolate frosted cupcakes I hurriedly dropped $30 on at the bakery this morning, she's going to be very disappointed. Are we so worried about liability that we've stopped appreciating the little things that made us who we were? What does that mean for our children? What about the kids who have never had the pleasure of eating a homemade cupcake? What about the parents who don't have the cash to spend on birthday treats for a school that demands uniformity?

Why can't we all just eat some fucking cupcakes and be happy?

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