Friday, November 16, 2007

Multi-tasking Monkeys

Another mom recently wrote of her difficulty in keeping up with her child's school PTA soliciting and fundraising activities. I sympathize. I can't keep up with my kid's regular school calendar of events. Every time I turn around, he's scheduled to do something that day that involves a craft, my presence, a food item, a clothing item, a book, a volunteer, etc. No biggie, right? Except that I'm usually the one buying the snacks, baking the treats, packing the backpack, finding parking, digging through his wardrobe for something suitable, or improvising as needed. Because the school tends to send out a dozen emails a week including reminders, I am theoretically on notice as to what's expected. That doesn't make my to do list any simpler.

This week, for example -

When I dropped him off to school on Monday morning, after a week's absence, I learned that it was parent/craft day. Again. Hmm..didn't we just do a parent craft day involving rocks and paint? And did I know about this? Of course, I should have known about it. I got an's just that we had two sick kids at home last week, and things were a little crazy. But one look at the full sign up sheet on the wall that morning, and I knew where I would be at 11:00 that morning. I guess the chocolate covered cherries, soap operas, and spot on the couch would have to wait for another day.

We made turkeys for Thanksgiving.

With feathers. Lovely, twirly orange feathers suitable for throwing or sticking up one's nose. How do I know this? Hmm..

Miss Mina came along for the ride as child care had not been arranged. No problem. the more the merrier. She swiped some supplies and did a craft too. She was also very obliging and sat still for a whole five minutes with a Milano cookie. Just the amount of time I/we needed to glue the feathers on the pot and call it a day.

The next day was "Pajama Day!" at school. This day was in celebration of Maurice Sendak's childhood classic - Where the Wild Things Are. To fully appreciate the book, all the children were instructed to arrive in school dressed in their favorite pajamas.

What do you mean you didn't do stuff like this when you were in school? Personally, I'm not sure I understand the significance of the pajamas to the story. We have the book. Monkey's read it a dozen or so times. It's not one of his favorites. But it's got great illustrations. From what I remember, a little boy misbehaves, goes without dinner, is sent to bed, and proceeds on a magical voyage across the seas to a land inhabited with fantastic wild creatures who pronounce him king.

Where do the pajamas come into it?

Whatever. I did appreciate this activity for one simple reason. I dressed him the night before in suitable pajamas, he kept them on upon awakening, wore them to school that morning, kept them on when he got home and had lunch, slept through nap in them, and only took them off at bath time in the evening. That's the longest he's gone in one outfit.

Miss Mina always accompanies us at dropoff in the morning. On this day, I had to stick around longer than usual. A change in medication times meant I needed to give Jordan his meds at school that morning. Again, no biggie. Just a minor adjustment in the day. Miss Mina made herself at home under the watchful eye of two "big kids." I think she loves going to the school in the morning.

It sure beats what I have planned for her at home.

Restocking the pantry shelves, organizing, cleaning...etc.

What do we have to look forward to in the upcoming weeks? Are you ready? We have "Mickey Mouse day" on Monday...which involves dressing the child in something Disney related. In addition to Mickey attire, he is expected to bring along a favorite Disney book or toy for show and tell. Am I the only parent in America who's child does not own a Disney themed toy or book? I must be. We have hundreds of books and toys..but nothing Disney. I dunno...what can I say? I'm not big on the character things. I can barely tolerate the Dora and Elmo carp, and was secretly cheering when so much of it was recalled, because then I had a legitimate excuse to throw it out.

Anyway, I'll throw something together.

Next, we have the big Thanksgiving party. Sign up sheet's on the wall. We have parent teacher conferences...ok, legitimate. No complaining there. After that we have back to back Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrations. I noticed on my calendar that Eid falls in December this year as well, so I am waiting for the school to amend their calendar to include some activity acknowledging this too. Why the hell not. It's not like he's doing math or science in school.

It's all one big party, and I'm just the wardrobe technician, caterer, set designer, and administrative assistant. All these carefully thought out activities and parties might not get him into Harvard, but at least we'll have plenty of great pictures to mull over.
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