, , , , , ,


It was Fashion Disaster day at school. The kids were encouraged to wear mismatched clothes.

This is really hard for my kids because they don’t have many outfits that don’t match. The boys wear jeans and t-shirts or denim shorts and t-shirts. It’s hard to mess up clothes that are specifically designed to go with everything. Gwen’s clothes are more colorful but even then most everything goes together. I have learned that hot pink is a pseudo neutral and goes with many other colors.

I pulled her colorful skirt hoping to find a shirt it clashed with. Even this tri-colored skirt goes with most of her shirts. Even turquoise blue and purple don’t look too bad. Then I saw the Olaf shirt. It was just the wrong shade of pink for that skirt. Perfect! Gwen’s friends already said yesterday they were going to wear two different shoes to school. We took it one step further and gave her two different sock lengths as well. She looks like a fashion disaster. And she could not wait to go to school.

Parker was another story. He hates these crazy dress up days. He’s like me and feels a lot of anxiety as he worries if he got the day wrong or if he was the only one to participate. It took a lot of persuasion to get Parker to put on the black socks. We told him if he didn’t put on the socks he would look too close to normal and people would think he just has bad fashion sense. They wouldn’t necessarily get that he meant to look bad. The black socks completed the old man tourist look. Too bad he can’t wear sandals to school!

The funny thing about Parker’s clothes is that there is not a single outfit that doesn’t match. He had to borrow Gavin’s button up shirt to pair inappropriately with basketball shorts. I don’t think about it too much but I guess I have a tendency to only buy clothes for my kids that go together. It solves the problem of wanting to make a button that says “My kid dressed himself today!”

Parker was very worried about his outfit this morning and swore he would keep his sweatshirt on all day if he was the only one in stupid clothes. I guess most kids simply wore their shirts backwards. A few wore mismatched shoes. We reached the low to mid 80’s for a high today so it was a good thing Parker wasn’t the only one dressed in bad clothes. He did say he tried to wear his sweatshirt backwards but it was uncomfortable and the hood kept getting in his face. I’m sure once he gave up on that idea it was finally warm enough to take it off for the day.

When I picked up the kids from school, Gwen waved a book in my face as she climbed in the van. Her friend promised to buy her a book at the Book Fair and apparently made good on her promise. This disturbs me. Gwen’s friends keep buying her gifts randomly throughout the school year. Why? She had received enough things before Christmas that I decided to have her give Christmas gifts. Not a single friend reciprocated the gesture. Huh.

That’s the thing. These gifts are not attached to anything like a holiday or birthday. Her friends just buy her stuff. It’s weird. I was a little girl once and I don’t remember this gift dilemma. Is Gwen the Queen Bee? More alarming, is she like Penny on the Big Bang Theory – she’s so cute she doesn’t need money because people just buy her stuff? That freaks me out more than anything. It’s one thing for Gwen’s little girlfriends to buy her stuff. But what happens when she gets older and boys start buying her stuff? This is not the independent woman I am raising her to be!

I don’t even know how to explain in words how disturbing this is to me. It just is strange that all she has to do is bat her eyelashes and say her mom won’t let her buy anything from the Book Fair and she gets a new book. What is my obligation now? I told the kids they could buy a book if that’s really how they wanted to spend their vacation money. Parker quickly picked up on my reverse psychology. He is saving his money for our upcoming trip to Legoland and Disneyland. Gwen hesitated. And I guess whined enough to a friend about it that she got a book.

So is Gwen socially required to spend her hard earned vacation money on gifts for her friends? Seriously, what is my obligation? I hate this! This is my A number one reason why I hate holidays. I hate the obligatory gifts. If I see something I know someone might like then I will get it for them for the next holiday. I don’t like feeling pressured to buy something for the sake of social convention. If I don’t feel inspired to buy a gift I want the freedom to NOT BUY A GIFT! I feel like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. Gifts bring too much pressure. Feeling indebted, wondering if my gift matches the effort and money that was put into what I received, it’s all too much! I hate gifts.

At least the boys weren’t jealous of Gwen’s good fortune today. They both had their own wonderful days. Gavin’s English/History teacher had some behavior plan for her students and Gavin earned lunch with her today. She went to In & Out and brought it back to school for the kids who were dining with her today. Gavin walked in the door this afternoon and said he didn’t eat the fries so he was going to have a snack. That’s when I learned that he wasn’t the only kid who ate with the teacher today. I’m glad because that could have been awkward. Gavin hates fries. He said the fries were mostly on another desk. All the kids helped themselves and Gavin just didn’t reach over. No one even noticed.

Parker climbed into the van this afternoon with a teddy bear in his arms. Apparently he won it at the Flag Salute. The circumstances are too much. He won it from a Box Tops drawing. I never give Parker Box Tops anymore because he can never remember to turn them in. The one time he did this school year he won the drawing and scored a cute teddy bear! Unbelievable.

So far it’s been a great start to the weekend. If only I could be as lucky as my kids.