Cakewalks, Sugar Fetishists, and Me

I’ve never been to or seen an actual cakewalk, but apparently there is an event called the cakewalk at Ax’s school Fall Festival and it is a big deal. Something happens, and then all the kids get to take home one, two, or even three cakes afterwards. Everyone in the school is involved in bringing cakes for the event, so there’s a big build-up of excitement and overall cake lust. I am not sure what any of that has to do with Fall, but it’s the school tradition.

Our family really tries to limit the amount of processed sugar we eat. It’s not easy because sugary treats are everywhere and I don’t want to make Ax a sugar-deprived sugar-seeker, or that weird kid who’s not allowed treats. That said, he really does get pretty hyped up in a not good way after eating too much sugar, and then he crashes and gets really moody.

So part of me feels like it’s not really being “nice” to let him eat stuff that makes him feel crappy and is unhealthy. Nicer is to limit that stuff. And I know I’m not alone in wishing that school events had less sugar fetishizing.

At the meeting to discuss Fall Festival I asked whether perhaps instead of a cakewalk it could be a Treat Walk, to more explicitly encourage parents to provide fruit- or nut-based or other creative treats rather than just cake. The FF committee gave that one a big NO.

It seems that some people do bring paleo options or gluten-free options or artificial dye-free options and those have been some of the more popular cakes. “Well,” I persisted, “what if we made it explicit that creative and healthy cake alternatives were encouraged?” NO.

Apparently when this issue had been visited in the past certain parents were outraged at the suggestion that their traditional sugary white flour cakes were not necessarily the cakes of choice for all. That welcoming other types of treats was an obvious dis on their cakes and they would not stand for it.

I am not sure how this year’s Fall Festival will go down. I’m a new mom and these moms (yes, they’re all moms) have been organizing this thing for years. They have dealt with the armchair Fall Festival-ing of other parents while they do the actual work of making what promises to be a wonderful day happen.

I will try to keep my son away from the copious poisons abounding during the event. I will bring a carved watermelon and perhaps a fruit parfait for the cakewalk. I will do me and let everyone else do themselves. I am not in charge. Not this year, anyway.