Thursday, May 23, 2013

The ABC's of Elementary School

Just yesterday my daughter entered kindergarten. I blinked a few times and now she's wrapping up sixth grade.

This means next Fall she'll go to a new school, meet new friends, and be in middle school. I keep telling myself this is awesome.

Seven years at one school is a long time. I have nooooooooo idea how it passed by so quickly. Seriously. How did it go by so quickly?

As a mom who has now officially experienced the K - 6th grade years, I've learned a few things. Let's call them the ABC's of elementary school.

A - Always bring tissues with you to the 6th grade graduation. Once upon a time you mocked parents who cried at meaningless events like 6th grade graduation. Now that your precious 6th grader is graduating, your ugly cry will require an obscene amount of tissues. What's wrong with me you?  Know that if your tween even sees a single tear in your eye, she'll disown you on the spot.  No questions asked. For this reason, once you can speak without choking out tears say to no one in particular, "Darn allergies!"

B - Be open-minded. Yes, your child is nearly perfect and you are the only person on the planet who is allowed to find fault with your angel. However, it just so happens that the teacher who is helping your precious child will see him in situations you're not privy to like recess, math class, and the lunch line.  It goes to reason that the trained professional may have helpful insights about your child. Sometimes that includes the good, the bad, the ugly.  If our children truly were perfect then we wouldn't need to parent them, right? It's sort of like job security for us parents. Be open-minded to the teachers' observations. They work with these little hellions children every day. They may actually know more about our child than we think.

C - Calm the heckaroo down!  This parenting gig is a marathon event not a sprint. If Susie Q doesn't win student government in 3rd grade, she'll cry, you'll cry, but her life isn't ruined. If Johnny gets a lousy grade in 5th grade science, this doesn't mean he's not college material.  Not every battle is worth fighting. Sometimes it's healthy for children to learn that life isn't fair. Breathing deeply and staying calm in the face of adversity is sometimes the best lesson we can teach our children.

To all the teachers who helped shape my daughter's elementary school years into a positive experience,  THANK YOU.

To those teachers she has yet to encounter,  I hope you're as awesome as the ones she's had so far.  I'll try to remain open-minded and calm, but that's hard work! I'd give myself a C+

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dear Mike Jeffries and Abercrombie and Fitch

Dear Mike Jeffries and your very bad, no good company,


Did you actually say all those things the articles are claiming you said?  You know, all those shocking things about not wanting fat or ugly people to wear Abercrombie and Fitch clothing?
(Click here to see one of many articles about Mike Jeffries' philosophy.)

I imagine you've taken a lot of heat for those comments, but you really got me thinking.  Let me take just a moment to thank you.  That's right, thank you.

Just as I strive to be a good role model for my children while pointing out other good role models for my children, I think it is equally beneficial to show children how NOT to behave.

Thanks to your words and actions I can tell my children:

"Don't be small-minded like Mike Jeffries and his lousy company."

"Some people never mature past high school, and they stay small and petty like Mike Jeffries and his lousy company."

"There's more important things in life than the way you look, and once you truly understand that you'll be smarter than CEO Mike Jeffries and his lousy company."

"Respect people for their insides not the way they look on the outside unlike Mike Jeffries and his lousy company."

"You're beautiful the way you are and anyone who tells you differently is being a douche bag like Mike Jeffries and his lousy company."

"Life is full of opportunities and people who will value hard work. Don't ever think you need to work for someone like Mike Jeffries and his lousy company." (Click here to read one example of why you don't want to work there.)

"There are plenty of people who think like Mike Jeffries and his lousy company.
Don't let them sway your opinion regarding what is fair and right."

"When you need new clothes, I'll gladly take you shopping anywhere other than at Mike Jeffries' lousy company."

So, yes, Mike Jeffries, thank you for being such a narcissistic Loser (yes, that "L" is capital).  I can teach my children lots and lots and lots of lessons just by looking at your hot mess of a corporate culture.


A normal-sized, average-looking mom with money in her pocket and a commitment to never buy from your lousy company again

PS - I googled your name because I was dying to see what you looked like. I figured you must be one handsome looking man.  Bwaaahaaaahaaaahaahaha.  Oh, the irony of your stance on ugly people!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thank You, Teachers!

Dear Teachers,

Happy Teachers’ Appreciation Week!  Boy oh boy, do I appreciate you!!

There are countless reasons for my appreciation, and I couldn’t possibly list them all.  Having said that, here are just a few of the reasons why I appreciate you:

I appreciate the fact that when you see me in the local grocery store buying a case of wine on a Tuesday, you don’t mention it.  You don’t even blink an eye.  

I know my little chatterbox has unloaded volumes of family secrets.  There is nothing that child won’t share.  You’ve no doubt heard about her father’s flatulence and my inability to subtract double digits.  I appreciate you not mentioning this during school conferences.  

I appreciate that, although my son’s shockingly cluttered backpack is a direct reflection on the state of his bedroom and the entire house, you have yet to report our family to the Health Department.

I know I have high energy kids who could benefit from a military-style boarding school.  I appreciate you not yet recommending they be sent away.

You have kept me from a host of crimes and you are blissfully unaware of it.  If it weren’t for you and your fearless teacher friends, people like me would be forced to homeschool.  Can you even imagine me homeschooling?  My children would still be learning to spell their names, and I would be in rehab.

You’re underpaid, underappreciated, and often overworked.

This week and all weeks…I appreciate you!

A well-meaning but nearly incompetent mother