The highlight of my week last week was making a T-shirt for my kid to commemorate the 100th day of school.
There. I said it. And you know what? I’m not sorry about it.
I’m not even going to talk about the homework. (Yes, really. My two 5-year-olds have homework.) And when I say my 5-year-olds have homework, I really mean that I have homework. But we’re not talking about that. I digress.
When I’m not worrying about kindergarten homework and basic stuff like planning meals, doing laundry and generally being the mediocre mama that I am, my life has been taken over by The Folder.
Sometimes I ignore The Folder out of sheer defiance, but consistent ignoring of The Folder just makes it grow bigger — kind of like Gremlins if you feed them after midnight. If you’re the parent of an elementary school-age child, you know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention The Folder, and you probably understand exactly why I’m treating that bad boy like a proper noun.
The Folder contains mountains of paperwork. Besides the homework and the requisite kids' art projects, there’s fundraising, school newsletters, class newsletters. And news and instructions about The Extras.
Purple shirt day.
Blue shirt day.
I confess to most mornings being “OMG can we please just wear-a-shirt-without-you-arguing-about-it day” at our house. These “fun days” are super cumbersome to keep track of.
Crazy socks day.
Dress as your favorite character in a book day.
And what does "crazy socks" even mean? Do mismatched, inside-out socks count, or do I actually have to buy crazy flipping socks? These are things I think about when I’m trying to fall asleep at night.
I’ll tell you a secret: Just dressing my kids in attire that won’t get me reported to CPS is sometimes exhausting.
And on top of all this insanity we have the 100 days of school hoo-ha.
When the “read 100 books in 100 days” checklist appeared in The Folder, I thought it was a reading milestone. Challenge accepted. We like reading.
We read our books, logged them in and gave each other high fives.
I should have known it wouldn’t be that simple.
The "100 days" notices started appearing in The Folder. As in, send your child to school with 100 blah-blah-blah.
One hundred pretzel Goldfish — yes, the note in The Folder specified "pretzel-flavored," so that Costco-size box of cheddar fishies living in my pantry was a no-go. One hundred Teddy Grahams. I began to feel like I needed 100 martinis.
“Send your kid to school dressed like a like a 100-year-old.”
Uhhh… what? What does a 100-year-old wear? Pants? Comfortable shoes?
“Send your child to school in a T-shirt decorated with 100 somethings for our 100 days of school fashion show.”
Because of my lack of regular attention to The Folder, I didn’t read about the fashion show bs until the day before it was due. We actually got a “fashion show” card for my child to fill in. My 5-year-old child, who can write his name and a few three- and four-letter words (not those kinds of four-letter words). My 5-year-old child who doesn’t particularly care what he wears to school.
If I’d been more on top of The Folder, I would have known about the T-shirt thing several days before it was due. I still would’ve grumbled, but I would have made time to go to the craft store to buy 100 pompoms or 100 googly eyes to make a really fun shirt.
But I wasn’t on top of The Folder. I briefly considered blowing it off altogether. My son hadn’t mentioned any 100 days fashion show. When I questioned him, he seemed to be fairly clueless about anything having to do with 100 days. I thought about just sending him to school in regular clothes. Is the fact that his mom didn’t make him a fancy-schmantzy crafty T-shirt to mark his 100th day of kindergarten going to be something discussed in therapy later on down the line?
In the end, I threw together this shirt because I didn’t want my kid singled out for something that wasn’t his fault. I didn’t want him to feel inferior while standing next to the kid with the Pinterest-loving mom who was on the ball and had time to come up with something creative.
My kid was happy enough with thumbprint bugs. I got my dig in with my slightly passive-aggressive fashion show card.
And that’s why I think kindergarten is some bs.
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