I am quite certain that on several occasions I have already said words similar to what I am going to write, but here I go again.
Most of us have too much stuff/junk. Kids especially. Do you remember when Valentine's Day at school meant filling out a box of cards for your classmates and getting cards in return? Now, parents feel obligated to send in candy with those cards. And a simple lollipop or bite-size candy bar is no longer enough; now most parents send in treat bags that consist of several pieces of candy, perhaps one of those annoying foil-wrapped pencils that are nearly impossible to sharpen, tiny erasers that are too small to be useful, and some stickers or fake tattoos. Halloween works much the same way. And some parents even send in small gifts for the class for the Christmas party. Don't even get me started on birthday parties, which now involve take-homes for each party guest as well.
You might be wondering why I am bringing this up now. I will tell you, but only if one of you can promise to talk me down from the ledge/soap box. One of the moms at school thought we should have a "fun" day for the kids two weeks before they make their first communion (a big deal in a Catholic's life; however, most seven- and eight-year olds have little understanding what it is all about). Personally, I don't think the kids need this pizza-and-craft party; they have several parties throughout the year, and they are having a day-long event the day before their first communion anyway (which will mostly be "work" but no doubt some religious crafts and fun foods will be on the docket). However, as a homeroom assistant, not one to rock the boat (and just someone who realizes she might be a little too uptight!), I agreed to help. Now I find out we are not allowed to give the kids pizza that day because it is holy week. No idea why you cannot have pizza during holy week (it is not taking place on Good Friday, when Catholics of a certain age should abstain from meat and fast), but if that is what the principal says...
So the new plan was to go forward with a pizza-less fun day that still includes a craft and some treat bags (yeehaw, more worthless junk the kids don't need!) and then have a small pizza celebration the week after communion. I, being all about my kid getting as much education for my money as possible, emailed the homeroom mother and recommended we move the fun day to the pizza day (that is, combine the two), suggesting it might be harder to get parents involved with two days. I wanted to suggest we just skip the pizza event altogether, but I know another mom volunteered to make the pizzas, so I let that one go. Fortunately, I just got an email back informing me that we are probably going to forgo the pizza day. Victory!
However, the issue that bugs me as much, but for a different reason, is the treat bag. The homeroom mother asked for willing parents to buy small treats/trinkets for the kids, but since I am so against the idea, I cannot be one of those parents. Believe it or not, it is not (really) about the money; I am certain I can pick something up for everyone for under $5. It is just that the kids don't need more junk! And I don't even know what the craft is going to be. Already someone volunteered to buy pencils, no doubt those frustrating foil-wrapped ones, and I just can't help but think it will go in the garbage (I am sorry, but we have too many already!). Another parents is picking up some silly bands, so I guess Jordan can add those to her collection, which is pretty much gathering dust since they are not allowed to wear them at school. No doubt teeth-rotting candy will be included in those bags as well. I have to wonder how many kids make use of these things and how much of it goes in a landfill. Can't the money be better spent (or not spent at all)?
Am I the no-fun mom? Is it perfectly fine for the kids to have a couple of fun hours over a couple of days and come home with some stuff? Or can you agree with or understand anything I am saying? Let me have it. I can take it!