End of Year…End of Days.

For today’s fun…

Let’s talk about parties. And awards programs. And music concerts. And field day. And all the other just before summer, last month of school, really totally necessary celebratory crap that us parents have to squeeze in during the four weeks prior to our children being set free.

Because, you know, ta6cf5582f82380d1bdf0bb13f1489650he end of the year isn’t enough of a crunch already with the teachers trying to cram in six chapters of social studies, plus projects and tests and exams and homework and well, stuff.

At our school, when we get into that last month, I pretty much know it is time to clear my calendar and face the horrible, hard truth that whatever kid-free time I have left is no longer mine to call my my own. Because every single school/activity/group will have things. Things that require my time, my energy, my willingness to spend money, and above all, my presence, because apparently if you miss even the slightest, smallest event…your children will grow up to be social deviants, forever scarred by your absence during class party #438 and other parents will notice and point out that, hey, we didn’t see you at the thing…

Yes. That happened. Not the social deviant part. Yet. But there was some noticing and pointing out.

End of Year…End of Days.

I suck at being End of Days Mom. Really, I do. I’m bad enough during the regular school year with my very moderate participation, but once the weather warms up…online sign-ups send me into a deep state of avoidance and procrastination. Reminder notes from school multiply on the counter. Field trip chaperoning, teacher appreciation contributing, party helping, concert clapping…I’ll do it all…eventually. But I won’t like any of it.

Also, I fucking hate field day.

11426192_10205612706670409_82641071910971261_nReally. I strongly dislike it. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to offend anyone, because the humans who plan our field day should be sainted with whatever sainthood comes from organizing hundreds of kids and color coordinated parent volunteers and activities into a joyous afternoon awesomeness. I mean this sincerely. Our field day rocks, and I’m lucky to have my kids at such a great school with such dedicated parents.

But I still hate it. Mostly because I don’t understand why everything we do for our kids has to be such a big, giant blowout of perfectly planned fun. Remember when the gym teacher was in charge of field day? And it was an actual field day…with relay races and kickball and the mile run and if you were lucky you got one of those red Popsicles at the end? It was probably hot and everyone was thirsty and sometimes it was great and sometimes it sucked? Field day isn’t like that anymore.  We still have kickball. The kids just play in between visiting the bounce houses and the ice cream truck and the water station and the other things that are not sporting events.

When did everything have to become a party? More important, why does everything have to have a party? Does the end of every single thing our children have ever done have to end in a party? And not just a “we’ll eat cupcakes and do a craft party,” but a party party. Like with themes. And color coordinated plates. (I am not kidding. I once offended a class party mom by not bringing matching tablecloths to the Christmas shindig.) It is crazy. My daughter’s kindergarten year, the End of Days party was a picnic. For the End of Days class gift, the teacher requestedimage1 buckets. Then she requested a list of tiny toy trinkets to fill the buckets with. Chalk. Bubbles. Bouncy balls. Squirt guns. And more! Every kid went home with a keepsake bucket of toys from the parents…er…teacher.

We won’t even discuss the year I made 65 water balloons…

Did my kids have fun with all of this? Absolutely. I’m sure they had a great time and will remember all of it. Especially that time the tablecloths didn’t match.

My youngest kid’s teacher had a really novel idea of how to celebrate the End of Days this year. The kids are going to take their lunches outside. And eat on the grass. And then they are going to play. On the playground. 

No parent volunteers. No tropical luau plates. No horrible crafting website individual fruit sculptures. Her only request was that if someone had time (if someone had time!) they bring in some cut up watermelon for a treat.

Pure fucking genius. Because really, what could be better than extra time in the fresh air, playing with your friends, on a playground, on the last full day of school?

End of Days. Complete with parties, and more parties, and whatever random celebrations for whatever sport/group/activity your child belongs to within or outside of school. Plus awards programs. And spring music programs. And open houses and ice cream socials and Grandparents/Special Person day and and that one last fundraiser. And fucking field day. And any other festive occasion that can be crammed into the space of a few short weeks, because hey, we couldn’t do any of this during the other eight months of school.

I suck at being End of Days Mom. Because all of this…it is just too much. I want my kid to remember all these special childhood events. But she probably won’t. Because the 2nd grade concert will probably take place on the same day as a field trip the night before a class party and a school assembly and all those memories will get blurred into a fuzzy blob of too many things. With ice cream, of course.

Also, I’m tired. Even if this year I don’t have to fill up 65 water balloons. But I’m pretty sure there are a couple of sign-ups I missed. And there’s still field day. Fucking field day.

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The Elf on the Shelf is a douche bag…

For today’s fun, let’s talk about the Elf on the Shelf.

I hate the Elf on the Shelf. There. I said it. I hate the weird little felt doll with the knowing smile and the creepy eyes. Yes…creepy eyes. Just perfect for watching you…for Santa. Or so they say. That elf is a voyeur. Or the holiday version of Chuckie. I haven’t decided yet.

We were never going to get one. EVER. Because I’m really just not good at following through on the activities of make believe creatures. The evidence of failure speaks for itself:

There was the year I hosted Dysfunctional Family Christmas Eve, and after a full evening of crazy relatives driving me crazier and a couple of shots of tequila, I forgot to eat Santa’s cookies. I told the kids he must not like the store bought kind. Which was foolish, because now I have to bake.

And then there’s the damn Tooth Fairy. My poor children believe that sometimes so many children lose teeth she just can’t make it to your house right away, and sometimes it may take a night (or several) for her to get to you. The reality is that Mom fell asleep watching late night talk shows while folding laundry, packing lunches and signing permission slips simultaneously. And Daddy didn’t have anything smaller than a $20. 

While the tooth fairy has written several apologetic letters in my handwriting, she, unfortunately, has never left fairy dust glitter, wing prints, or a miniature fairy house.

While the tooth fairy has written several apologetic letters in my handwriting, she, unfortunately, has never left fairy dust glitter, wing prints, or a miniature fairy house.

And don’t even get me started on the leprechaun. Who the hell started that? Isn’t that a drinking holiday? Why the hell do I have to make footprints and leave chocolate gold coins? 

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Because I want to clean up green paint after feeding my kids chocolate…

So our house was not going to have some ridiculous doll giving me more to do on what was already a way too busy time of year. Until my children discovered its existence. And some well meaning but stupid teacher read the overpriced book to them at story time. And all the friends started talking about their elves named Cookie or Cutie or Honey or Pie. And then they started talking about all the adorable and humorous things that Cookie and Cutie and Honey and Pie would do. And then my kids realized they DID. NOT. HAVE. AN. ELF. There was hyperventilating. With tears.

So my husband and I went to Barnes and Noble, where I vehemently protested the Elf. And he caved.

This is our Elf on the Shelf. He was $39.99 and came with a book way too long to read at bedtime.

The Elf on the Shelf is a douchebag, and so are the people that market him.

The children named him Crumbs.

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This picture was taken on December 5. Clearly we are not responsible Christmas Elf hosts…

I wanted to call him Dog Treat.

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Our Elf on the Shelf does not do things like this:
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Instead, he is more likely to do things like this:

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And then there was the time he spent four days doing this:

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My youngest child was very excited to tell her friends that Crumbs was in the candy jar for “a lot of days.” I’m screwed when they realize the little db is supposed to move EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And then there was this unfortunate incident:

Elf Porn is what happens when you wake up at 4:12 am because you forgot to move the little db.

Elf Porn is what happens when you wake up at 4:12 am because you forgot to move the little db.

Recently, I have been contemplating having Crumbs do this. Maybe my husband will think I’m nuts and take over…

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I truly have not ruled out this one:

This is my favorite. BEST ELF ON THE SHELF IDEA EVER!

This is my favorite. BEST ELF ON THE SHELF IDEA EVER!

Apparently the Elf now has an optional birthday outfit you can purchase. Probably for $39.99. You can also purchase “elf couture” in the form of tacky Christmas sweaters and scarves for way too much money.

Crumbs does not have “elf couture,” nor does he have a birthday outfit. Because he likes Barbie dresses. Of which we have many…that do not cost $39.99.

I would like to thank the Elf on the Shelf’s marketing team. Because coming up with creative and whimsical ideas of where to put him for one month out of the year wasn’t enough. It is only a matter of time before he takes over Halloween. And Easter. And Columbus Day.

Personally, I’m looking forward to Labor Day Elf on the Shelf, as well as Summer Solstice Elf on the Shelf.

See what I mean? The Elf on the Shelf is a douchebag.

You know I’m right.