There are so many customs and practices you don’t realize exist until you have kids. I had no idea cloth diapers had evolved from those clothespinned rags my parents used to put me in, for instance. Or that daycares cost more than rent. I also had NEVER EVER heard of the ubiquitous daycare ritual “Doughnuts with Dad” or its alliteratively female counterpart “Muffins with Mom.”
This happened at Nico’s first daycare last year, but she was so young we paid little attention. This year, however, she’s old enough to notice that the hallway outside the toddler classroom in her new daycare is suddenly filled with a bunch of grinning suit-and-tied men sharing chocolate covereds with their toddlers one morning and then a bunch of women swigging orange juice and splitting mini blueberry muffins with their kids the next day.
So the question becomes: to doughnut or to muffin? Obviously if we are going to be literal about this, Marta and I should both go to Muffins with Mom, because we are both of the motherly persuasion (though Nico calls Marta Mamá and me Mom).
But I also just FEEL that these doughnutted and muffined days are really more about getting both parents involved, if there are two parents, or getting one parent involved doubly if there is only one parent, or, really, just getting parents to spend time with their kids alongside other parents and their kids. In other words, it seems to me that gender is irrelevant to the inherent goal of this alliterative practice.
But then it’s hard not to notice that no one else thinks the way I do. On Doughnuts with Dads day there are only men eating sweets and on Muffins with Mom day the hallways look like an Alpha Phi reunion. So to eat a doughnut does indeed feel like something of a political act.
This is frustrating. But even more frustrating is that I don’t even like sweets. And I don’t really want Nico eating lots of sweets when she’s not yet developed a taste for them. Which is why I’ve decided there really should be a new day, or perhaps five new days in which parental types and food items come together to celebrate family. Quiche with Queer Parent day is one I would definitely attend. For all those single parents, perhaps a Scones with Single Mom/Dad. And then there could always be Gobstoppers with Grandparents. Or, really, if we’re going to simplify and de-gender this whole thing, what about Pizza with Parent(s). Cause who doesn’t like pizza?
This year, in the end, we both wound up going to Muffins with Mom, not because we lack political daycare gumption, but because neither of us had been paying attention to the emails alerting us to these upcoming events, and we just happened to have more time today, Muffins with Mom day, than yesterday, Doughnuts with Dad day. Though if I could do it all over again, I’d definitely go to Dad’s day for one simple fact: they had REAL doughnuts from an actual doughnut shop, which is a draw even for a woman who doesn’t like sweets. We mom’s, on the other hand, were saddled with those nasty grocery store muffins that shine an unhealthy pink or lavender and probably could survive another hundred years without rotting.
All of which is to say that baked goods are clearly sexist. And now I’m kind of hungry for pizza.