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Did the pilgrims eat peanuts and how long can I stall on finding out?

Submitted by on Monday, 17 November 2008 4 Comments

I’m still a relative novice at this kindergarten game, but thanks to Big Guy’s July start, I’ve been doing it long enough now to know Monday is the Day The Backpack Brings Bad News.

Two weeks ago, there were three Scholastic book order forms. I gave Big Guy a $10 budget and he proceeded to keep changing his mind right up until bedtime Thursday. Fewer choices next time, please.

Last week, there was a notice that Friday was Native American Day and parents were invited. Problem: I had a hair appointment I couldn’t cancel. Not, at least, without changing my email address from “deb the red” to “deb the shaggy brunette with way too much gray.”

“C’s mom is staying,” Big Guy sulked that morning. Sorry, son. Beauty calls.

Today, it was a seemingly simple question: “Are you ready for more kinder-fun? We’re having a Thanksgiving feast Wednesday, Nov. 26.” A feast just like the Native Americans and Pilgrims enjoyed.

Unacceptable. I need at least a two months’ notice to get in proper put-it-off mode. Saturday’s soccer party was perfect. I knew about it in September, which let me work myself into a procrastination lather as I finished the cake 90 minutes before we had to leave for the game.

Back in the preschool days, I had delaying the game down to a science. I knew the Thanksgiving feast would be the Friday before Thanksgiving, give or take a week. I knew it would mean a ton of cooking because I always opted to sign up to take extra dishes I know Big Guy could eat rather than segregate him with his lonely little food-allergic plate.

Yes, I knew all that for three straight years. And every one of them would see me taking the day off work and confining myself in the kitchen in a frantic sprint to pull it all off. I think I went to two of the three feasts with flour in my hair. Or maybe it was just the gray from an overdue hair appointment.

The pressure’s on this time. I have only a week and a half. How can I screw this up?

Let’s see, the note says the teacher will let us know what we need to bring.

Oh! I could wait until the last minute and ask her if this is a “Ritz and cheese” feast or something more elaborate that will require me to provide Big Guy allergy workarounds for everything from soup to nuts. Strike that: He rarely agrees to eat soup, and he’d likely be allergic to the nuts.

Once I find out what’s required, I can come home and make my anal little lists — one for shopping, one a work schedule. Then I can disregard them until Tuesday afternoon. That ought to amp up the excitement.

I can make for dead certain that there’s no one else on Earth to mind the guys that day, so they’ll be under foot and we’ll all irritate the life out of each other as I scramble to get it done.

And I can arrive at Big Guy’s school bleary-eyed and draggy-tailed while all the other parents smile their way through Wednesday morning. For good measure, I’ll forget my camera, so I can make an emergency run to retrieve it.

Bonus points here for freaking out Big Guy. He’ll know for sure when he sees me jet that C’s mommy loves her son more, because for the second time in a row she’s stuck around while I’ve bailed.

It’ll be great. “And what are you thankful for, Big Guy?”

“I’m thankful my schmuck of a mom actually bothered to stick around,” he’ll glare.

Looks like this could work after all. There’s still time to procrastinate — I’ll just have to do it a bit faster.

I believe I could handle even less notice next time. I’ll make up for it by not baking Santa’s cookies in time and then convincing the guys at 5 p.m. Christmas Eve that Claus would really rather have mini-cupcakes. Not that that’s actually happened or anything.

Copyright Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Stacey Kannenberg said:

    Our school had a 50 Days Party at the 50th Day of school. They gave a weeks notice, of course, after Halloween. I found out on a Monday and I was leaving for a conference Wed-Friday and the Happy Days Party was on Friday. I was able to overnight poodle skirts and sweaters from bestdressedkids.com! Thankfully, they came before I left so we were able to get the outfit together by Tuesday so I could see how cute they were going to look. Note to school, advanced notice please and let us take advantage of Halloween discounts next time! Gee Whiz!

  • emily said:

    I’ve never liked the in-school Thanksgiving idea, even when I was a teacher. Most people observe Thanksgiving, so we’re already cooking one big dinner; why pile on a second one? And now that many schools are doing “minimum days” for the week or two before T’giving, which complicates child care and transportation, it seems especially thoughtless to toss yet another responsibility onto busy parents. Not to mention the fact that in a world where so many people go hungry, having two feasts in seven days is rather heartless. Humbug.

  • Debra said:

    Oooh, Stacey, I think it’s even worse when it’s so last minute that you have no choice other than to throw money at it. Late-in-the-game poodle skirt — OUCH! Overnight shipping — double whammy! Missing out on discounts — hat trick!

    In my case, I’ve procrastinated myself into the corner before to the point where I’ve had to throw money at it. But at least give me the option of being able to get it done in time in the rare event that I actually manage to do so. :)

    And around here right now, there’s no money for many parents to throw. Two more of Big Guy’s classmates moved over the weekend. “We’re going to live in an apartment!” one told me Friday. “We’re going to move Saturday, and we get to watch movies that night.”

    I’ve seen this drill before this fall. The “for sale by bank” sign will go up on their former home any day now.

  • Debra said:

    Good point about hunger, Emily. Or, to use that gross new term, “food insecurity.” My social awareness radar must be on the blink lately — I hadn’t even thought of that. I think I’ll suggest a food drive next year, because this feast is getting more complicated by the minute.

    I must have had my “we need to talk about this” look on this morning when I saw Big Guy’s teacher, because the first words out of her mouth were “I know. We’re getting together the food list and we’ll let you figure out what you need to do first.”

    The additional problem I’m going to run into is a collision between my avoidance of manufactured food (partly out of paranoia, partly out of food-allergy-induced necessity) and the school district’s policy prohibiting anything BUT.

    This is going to wind up being the mother of all workarounds! Food drive’s sounding better all the time.

    Oh, and next Wednesday is Big Guy’s “track off” day. I’m sure that’s another reason they scheduled the feast for then, even though kindergarteners aren’t quite acclimated yet to the last-day-of-school spas.