I Don’t Mean To Be All Judgy On This Chick, But REALLY…

I Don't Mean to be all Judgy on this Chick -- But REALLY! #funny #moms #class #kids #students #school

So then…the kindergarteners sing the last note of “You Are My Sunshine” and the classroom erupts with applause from the parents sitting on little chairs in the back.

The teacher announces, “OK, parents, that concludes our parents’ program. It’s noon, so you can just take your kids home with you now – or let them stay at school until 3:00.”

Who SAYS that? Right in front of the kids?

That’s like telling a 5 year old, “Here’s a BRAND NEW PUPPY JUST FOR YOU! – unless your Mom says no.”

So now kids are tumbling over to their parents asking to go home now – and many of the Moms are wearing that conflicted expression of “Ahh! I had hoped to have another 3 hours of peace and quiet – but I’ll be the worst mom ever if I don’t take my kid home now.”

The air is thick with guilt.

Some of the kids are clueless, though, like my daughter, who’s happily pressing Valentine’s candies into her cupcake with her friends. She knows I need to return to the office and she loves her school pals, so I’m good to go.

Meanwhile, I overhear this exchange:

Mom 1: Are you taking your son home now or having him stay ‘til 3?

Mom 2, blowing nose: I don’t know…I’m sick today, so I was thinking of having him stay.

Mom 1: Oh – well, if you don’t feel well, why don’t you take my son home with you too – and he can keep your son company while you rest!

Mom 2: *?*

Who says THAT?

Seriously! Not “since you’re sick, why don’t I take YOUR son home with ME so you can rest” — she actually suggested the sick mom take another kid home with HER!

Just what a sick mom needs – TWO 5-year-olds running around her house creating havoc!

Not to mention, why would you want to send your kid to someone’s house when they’re sick? (We generally try to avoid close contact with sniffling, slobbering, sneezing people so we don’t get sick too.)

I try hard not to be judgy of Mom 1, but I am literally thunderstruck by her audacity.

And she’s not backing down. She’s telling Mom 2 that the kids will have so much fun together at Mom 2’s house! She’s really selling it! Very enthusiastic! Mom 2 wavers, looking uncomfortable.

As mentioned, I have to get back to the office, so I can’t even offer to take Mom 2’s kid off her hands for a playdate – and I don’t know either of the Moms well enough to interject with an alternate plan (or a swift kick to the rear).

So instead I flash a look at Mom 2 that says, “Ermagerd, she is cray-cray if she thinks yer gonna take her kid home too – you stay strong, gurl, don’t let this chick railroad you into a forced playdate!”

Just then, Chloe zips over to show me her candy-cupcake creation, so I don’t know how the situation resolves between Mom 1 and Mom 2, but I hope that mama stayed strong!

Have you ever?

— Darcy Perdu

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(Honestly, I was stunned by this woman. How about you — any similar situations where you just thought, “I can’t believe they just said that!” Any funny stories about Moms, playdates, school parties, or teachers who sell you out in front of your kids? Do tell!)

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I’m delighted to welcome Birth With Balance as a sponsor of So Then Stories! The lovely Chelsea Ann Wiley has created a warm, wonderful website chock full of amazing birth stories from women all over the world. These true accounts of birthin’ babies include stories that are hilarious, suspenseful, touching, heartbreaking, and joyous. As a labor and delivery nurse, Chelsea noticed that many women entered the maternity ward not knowing what to really expect — or clinging to a birth plan that unfolds a bit…differently than planned. Chelsea created the Birth with Balance website so that “through storytelling, active discussions, and supportive listening, we create a collaborative opportunity to connect women around the world and contribute to positive childbirth experiences.”  Naturally, my favorites are the funny ones like “Ready or Not Here I Come” and “Childbirth Advice.” Click those links, then poke around on Chelsea’s site to find more great stories — then ADD YOUR OWN! Be sure to share the site with others, especially moms-to-be! Thanks, Darcy Perdu

My Daughter’s Playdate is Driving Me BATTY!

So then…they stop squealing and giggling long enough for me to ask, “Would you like to eat at home or go out to lunch?”

Chloe and her first-grade classmate Penny shout “Go out to lunch!”

I rattle off some choices and when I mention an Italian restaurant, Penny exclaims, “I LOVE Italian food! Let’s go there!”

I’m delighted she’s voiced an opinion. She’s a rather quiet girl and this is our first real playdate with her, so I’m pleased she’s excited about this restaurant option.

When we arrive and review the menus, I wonder if she’ll go for the lasagna — or spaghetti and meatballs — or something really adventurous like gnocchi.
Playdate Italian Meals

Penny orders, “Noodles with no sauce and no butter.”
Playdate Plain Pasta(Seriously? We came all this way to an Italian restaurant so you could order plain noodles that I could have made for you at home in 10 minutes for about 10 cents? Um, OK.)

I say this to myself, while outwardly I smile cheerfully.

After lunch, we walk around the fountains and visit the bookstore. Then I offer, “Do you guys want to go to the drugstore for ice cream or Baskin-Robbins?”

Chloe shrugs to indicate either one is fine by her, but Penny says, “Baskin-Robbins! They have 31 flavors!”

Playdate 31 Flavors

Yep, you guessed it. At Baskin-Robbins, Penny chooses Vanilla.
Playdate Vanilla Ice Cream

OK, fine. Perhaps she has a tender palate. She’s only 6. I force myself not to judge her lack of creativity.

So then, we enter Color Me Mine for our afternoon activity of painting ceramics. I tell the girls they can choose anything they want from all the ceramics on the shelves – and not to even look at the pricing. (‘Cause I’m a big spender like that.)

Chloe excitedly checks out the heart-shaped vases, cow-shaped cookie jars, kitten-shaped banks – and finally chooses a tall fairy princess with big beautiful wings that she can paint with millions of different colors.

Playdate Color Me Mine Choices                        Some of the choices at Color Me Mine

Penny chooses a flat square tile.

I am not kidding you.

You know those flat 4” x 4” tiles that are the most blah item you can buy in a ceramics place?

The flat tile that’s about 3 bucks — and everything else is $15 to $30 in the store?

Playdate Color Me Mine Flat Square Tile   Penny’s choice: one flat tile

I say, “Oh really, Penny, don’t worry about the price. You can have anything you want to paint. How about a jewelry case with flowers on it? Or this peace sign that’s also a bank? Or maybe this puppy in a wheelbarrow? Something 3-dimensional you can really get in there and paint it up?”

“Oh, no,” she says. “I just want this square tile.”

I say hopefully, “Well, that’s so small, honey, it won’t take you very long to paint it. Let me buy you a few of those tiles to paint.”

“No, just one, thank you.”

What a polite little bugger she is.

She joins Chloe at the paint station. Chloe squeezes six bold, brazen colors onto her palette – lime green, wild purple, hot pink, electric blue, bright orange, and berry red.

Playdate Color Me Mine Colors

Penny’s hand hovers over the colors. If she picks white to color her flat square already-white tile, I swear I will call her a therapist immediately.

Instead, she chooses a pale blue and squeezes it into each of the six indentations of her palette.

Playdate Color Me Mine Pale Blue

And so while Chloe takes 40 minutes to painstakingly paint each and every crevice of her tall princess fairy, Penny is finished painting her square tile blue in about 60 seconds.

So she spends the rest of the time watching Chloe paint and chatting quietly and amiably.

And I need to be OK with that.

Of course, I want to tell her she lives in the most amazing country in the world – in the most spectacular age of all ages – with the widest variety of choices available at her fingertips – and that she should sample and experiment and try new things and take the plunge and GO WILD!

But then I remind myself that she also lives in the Land of the Free — where she is free to make the choices that feel right to her.

And so even if I am a “spicy shrimp pasta diablo with jamoca almond fudge ice cream type who would paint an awesome ceramic wicked witch with fiery cauldron” – she is a “plain noodles with vanilla ice cream type who would paint a flat square tile.”

And I need to be OK with that.

And who knows? She’s only 6. By the time she grows up, she might be a heavily-tattoo-ed, globe-trotting, raw-octopus-eating, flame-throwing performance artist who creates clothing out of beer bottle caps and shellfish.

And I would definitely be OK with that!

— Darcy Perdu

(Have you encountered such a child on your playdates? Share some funny or interesting playdate experiences in the Comments section! I would love to read them!)

My Daughter's Playdate is Driving Me BATTY P