I love school. If I could have infinite time, money and resources I would probably go back to school and get several degrees just because I like learning new things. Also, I adore school supplies. My daughter started kindergarten this year, and she’s really enjoying it. She’s learning a great deal, and I’m very grateful to the teachers at her school.
It should also be noted that now that she’s in school, her teachers know everything, and I now know nothing. Ok, fine. In my daughter’s eyes I’m an idiot because I’m not a teacher. I’m OK with that. At least she respects her teachers, and I can tell from the stories she tells me when she comes home that she’s gaining a lot of knowledge. Great! I’m very happy about that.
Guess what I’m not so happy about? When I have to do work for school. I’m not talking about helping her with her homework. I do that even though it’s extraordinarily frustrating to have a five year old tell you you’re wrong when you know you’re right, and you’re telling her that her “A” is written incorrectly but she doesn’t believe you because she “knows everything.”
I’m not even talking about requests for items like Kleenex, baby wipes or prizes because they need them for their fall festival raffle basket. I’m all good with those things. I want to support my daughter and her school and her teachers.
I’m talking about these dress-up days that seem to have taken over the last couple of weeks. My daughter was rewarded for being an accelerated reader. (Wonderful!) In the note explaining her achievement it said her reward was getting to dress up in western wear for a day. FYI, we don’t own any western wear in our entire house. I do not have a hat, belt or boots that look remotely western. There is no fringe in my closet. No leather, suede or anything else that a cowgirl might wear. I may be stereotyping but that’s all I have to go on, given that I’m not a cowgirl and have never in my life dressed as one. It’s not even something my daughter has just for dress up.
I got frantic because of course, my daughter was all excited about it and I’m not the type of mom who just goes out and buys stuff to accommodate something like this. However, I happened to let my boss know of my precarious situation, and she saved the day with a western hat and belt. Hoorah! Everything was fine! Thank you, Leah Poole!
THE VERY NEXT WEEK. We were alerted to the fact that there would be different dress up days for each day of the week to celebrate Red Ribbon Week. One day of this week was camouflage day. Once again, an article of clothing I do not own, nor does my daughter. She just had to wear her regular uniform that day. When I dropped her off at school, all the teachers were dressed in their very best camouflage. I told her that we didn’t participate that day but she could “wear her shirt backwards” as instructed for the next day. She asked why because that’s ALL she does, and I had to tell her that we don’t have any camouflage clothing. She said I was supposed to buy her something.
For frame of reference, she’s also told me that she will buy us a new house so that she can have a room as big as Mommy and Daddy’s. So, yeah. I’m really looking forward to her teenage years. There’s two other days to get through for this week and one involves wearing a team jersey. Um, we don’t own one of those either. I think I’m going to make a shirt for her that says, “This is my whatever you want it to be costume” and call it a day.
I know these dress up days are fun for the kids, and I don’t want to deny them fun while they’re at school. But can we take a second and realize that some of this stuff might stress some parents out? I can’t be the only parent without a cowgirl costume, camouflage or team jersey apparel in my closet. I might have to form a support group or clothing swap meet of some sort. I’m quite certain an idea like this could catapult me into fame and fortune. If anyone has ideas that can help, please let me know because I’ll totally be on your team. Just don’t ask me to wear a costume showing my team spirit.
-Amanda Scott, CVB Program Manager