I’m envious of a lot of you today. I know why the internet was silent this morning, why my Storm wasn’t binging at outrageously early hour (since AZ is still on Western time), why so many haven’t been by. Today the schools are celebrating Halloween, and you all spent the morning running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Tornado E’s school has a no Halloween costume policy, which I should have asked about when I was looking for a school.
I love Halloween. But I wonder if my mom began to hate it. The day the school celebrated Halloween (usually on Halloween if it wasn’t on some glorious weekend) was the day we ran close to being late. My mom hates being late or even on time; she likes to be early. We were always early to school. But Halloween morning found our house in seven kinds of chaos. Mom! Where’s my hat?! Mom! I need your help with my make-up! Mom! I need you to do my hair! Mom! Where’s my bow? Mom! I can’t go without my dress and hair sprayed with glitter! Mom! Where are my shoes?! After a few years of chaos, my mom set down the law that if you wanted to dress up, you had to be up a half an hour earlier. It didn’t help matters at all. Since my mom was a super stay-at-home mom, I assume this scene is somewhat playing at your houses this morning.
But alas we didn’t have such moments. Tornado E didn’t get to torture me by changing his mind. I didn’t get to forbid him bring any weapon props. We didn’t scramble to get treats ready for a class Halloween party. I didn’t get to yell at Tornado S for sneaking the treats. (Oh, wait I did because the little stinker was eating the Rice Krispie Treat ghosts before I iced them.) I feel rather depressed by this. Not that I blame the school . . . much.
Several years ago, before the boys, I was a teacher assistant at a private school. The moms were ultra-competitive. The first birthday rolled around, and the child brought delicious cupcakes. The next birthday hit, and the cupcakes had sprinkles. The next birthday came, and the cupcakes had candy. The next birthday, it was cupcakes with rings on top. The next birthday, toys on top of the cupcakes. At the end of the year, a mom brought pizza, cake, and ice cream for the class. A little ridiculous, even if I got to snag a piece of pizza. The parties were worse as each mom brought something to outdo the other. Instead of regular cookies and punch, it was gourmet cookies, sparkling punch, toys, full sized candy bars, and so on.
At the time I was pulling a second job with the Girl Scouts trying to start new troops in schools around OC. We were at a school for three months, and at the end of the session, we would throw a party and induct each girl into the Girl Scouts. We had a handle on the parties because we were working in middle class and lower neighborhoods, knowing moms worked or there wasn’t much money in the families. We asked the girls to volunteer to bring chips/pretzels, punch/soda, and cookies/cupcakes. If it was a huge session, we would add candy and break up the subcategories. We insisted on economy bags of chips and liters of drink. The girls were told to tell their parents that day and not the night before the party.
Even with us monitoring the discussion, it was funny to have girls volunteer to bring cakes, pies, and even try to bring more than one thing. We would gently persuade the girls to go along with our plans, trying to convince them that they didn’t sell Fire Cheetohs in big enough bags. Of course, some crazy mother sent her daughter with a huge pack of Pixy Stix which we confiscated before the girls opened it. Though I was evil enough, to send all the girls home with some and twice as many to the girl who brought it.
So if the school is trying to keep things low-key, I get it. If they’re trying to protect the kids with food allergies, I’m on their side. We wouldn’t want to a parent to mistakenly give a kid something he or she couldn’t eat. But really, I wish we could throw a class party. Or at least see the creative choices of the class.