My birthday is in the summer, so I never grew up celebrating it in school with my classmates. I used to be jealous of the kids that got a cupcake in class. As I got older I realized that while they got to wear a birthday crown, they also had to go to school on their birthday. So I got over it. I still got to celebrate my birthday, but it was at home. Carina Hoskisson over on The Huffington Post, however, thinks it’s the end of the world that her children can’t have homemade treats in school on their birthdays. HOW HORRIBLE AND LIFE SCARRING.
My daughter’s fourth birthday was last month, and she was SO EXCITED to celebrate with her preschool class. She especially couldn’t wait to bring in cupcakes and told me every day what kind she wanted me to make. Over the school’s winter break, they changed their policy, and food can no longer be brought in for celebrations, birthdays, or otherwise. This was 100% fine by me — there is actually a child in Annie’s class who has a severe peanut allergy, and I was extremely stressed over the thought of making allergy-safe cupcakes. I never once thought, “Oh, darn, my special snowflake daughter can’t have the cupcakes she was excited about!” Instead I thought, “I bet that’s such a relief to the parents of the child with the peanut allergy.” Why isn’t this everyone’s reaction??
I don’t think celebrating birthdays during school hours is really necessary, but it’s a fun treat for the kids. That being said however, why does celebrating have to involve food? So many children have food allergies and sensitivities, it seems silly to make this such an issue! For my daughter’s birthday last month, I sent in cookie cutters and tiny tubs of Play-doh. Other parents have sent in pencils, bubbles, stickers, etc. Food is not the be-all and end-all of birthdays! ESPECIALLY when you can give your kids whatever you want after school. Good grief.
Ms. Hoskisson, I get that you feel the vision you had of how your kids’ birthdays would be has been “unfairly shattered,” but guess what? TOO BAD. Too bad that the schools are putting the safety of other children ahead of your desire for your kid to eat a cupcake at school. You know who else’s birthday visions have been shattered? The parents of kids with food allergies, and the parents of dead children.
I take particular exception to the headline of the article, “Why Do Your Kid’s Allergies Mean My Kid Can’t Have a Birthday?” Oh. My. God. You know who literally can’t “have a birthday?” Dead kids. Where is your empathy? I hate dropping perspective on people, but I think you need some: My daughter died almost five years ago. She will never celebrate another birthday. I would give anything to be minorly inconvenienced by working around the food rules of her classroom.
This isn’t allergy insanity. It’s life and death! I never want another parent to experience the pain of losing a child. I can’t believe this isn’t everyone’s goal. Your child’s birthday cupcake is not more important than another child’s life. It’s just not.