There are two weeks of every year that I DESPISE: Homecoming week and Vacation Bible School.
Now, before you get your knickers in a wad, let me be clear that I realize that a lot of people do a lot of work to make these two weeks wonderful and fabulous for many children. I am grateful for their efforts. I am thankful for the fun my kid has because of them. I am forever in debt to those who give of their time and resources for the benefit of others. But I still hate these weeks. Because they wear.me.out.
For instance, this week is Homecoming week at my son’s school. He’s in Kindergarten. He doesn’t even know what Homecoming is. You know what he does know? The dress code. Yes folks, every day this week, my kid has to dress in some particular way.
- Monday: 100 years old (it happens to coincide with the 100th day of school)
- Tuesday: Superhero Day
- Wednesday: Jersey Day
- Thursday: Spirit Day (anything with his school logo on it)
- Friday: Pajama Day
Know how I know these days? Well, of course there were notes and emails. But I don’t usually read those. That’s cheating. I know because they are recited to me every.single.afternoon. by a ridiculously excited 6 year old. Then we discuss what he is going to wear the next day to the point that I want to send him to school in underpants and a potato sack just to prove a point. Can he wear a mask on Superhero Day? Is the mask out of dress code? Does the dress code count on Homecoming week? If he puts the mask in his bag after he shows his teacher, is that ok? Will he remember to bring the mask home? If he loses the mask at school, does he understand that we’re not getting another one? And then five minutes before we’re walking out the door, could he be a different Superhero? That was just Tuesday. There are still four other days.
One Hundred Days of school has its’ own ring in Dante’s Inferno. First, you have to make a craft. Now in theory, your kid is making this craft. I’m told some of the kids actually do. Those are not children who live in my house. They gave us a poster board and told us to attach 100 “somethings” to it. First off, selecting the 100 things turned into a torturous process. He said he wanted army men. He’s got what I presume to be thousands of little plastic green army men. Awesome. Then Charlie, very wisely pointed out that it’s possible there could be a problem with the army men because of the whole guns at school issue. Good point. Text messages with the teacher were exchanged. All clear. Then the kid FREAKED OUT because we’re gluing his army men together and he couldn’t play with them. So, new plan.
We went through several options of things we have at the house that are light enough to attach to poster board. We landed on buttons. This was a tenuously negotiated settlement and everyone was reasonably happy with it. By this point, I was just done with the whole situation. The boy counted the 100 buttons, and I hot glued them on the poster because the only thing that kid is going to learn from the assembly is that 6 years old is too young to use a hot glue gun.
I’m told by other very well-intentioned mothers that I should have done something different and let him do the project completely on his own and chosen a different construction method so that he could feel proud of his accomplishment. They are probably right. They probably also made their own organic baby food. That didn’t happen here either.
On the 100th day of school, all the kids dress like they are 100 years old. My kid said he wanted to dress like his Pop, my dad. He said he figured Pop was about 100 years old. I thought is was simply the most hilarious costume I’ve ever put on him. My father has yet to respond to photos I sent telling him of his advanced years. I doubt he finds the whole things as funny as me.
The only week of the year that comes close to making me this crazy is Vacation Bible School. It’s the same thing. Monday, wear a blue shirt and bring a canned food for the food bank. Tuesday, wear an orange shirt and bring a nickel for the mission fund. And on and on… And woe be unto you if mix up the days. Don’t even think of showing up with dog treats for the Humane Society in a red shirt on nickel day! Just hide your head in shame if you do something that unfortunate. It’s obvious that you neither love Jesus or your child.
Look people, here’s what: I have a boy. I have to put up with weird smells, arm pit fart noises, endless talk of the Avengers and Ninjago and many other really absurd quirks I knew nothing about. But I also get certain benefits. One of them is clothes are easy. As long as it doesn’t itch him and isn’t pink, he wears it. In the winter he wears jeans or khakis with a shirt. In the summer, he wears shorts with a shirt. I throw something out on the chair in the morning, and he gets dressed after breakfast.
It’s simple. Until someone with their theme weeks and fun times shows up and ruins.it. You people are killing me. I love you. But you’re killing.me. Thank God, I just have to survive until Monday. Then everything will be as it should be again. Until then, I have to go figure out if the Angry Birds pajamas are clean or the world could end. Seriously, you don’t even know how awful it could be. Just ask my kid.