Nope, I’m not. I don’t carry around cool Vera Bradley totes or embroidered Thirty-One diaper bags. Mostly because you can buy that stuff so cheaply at the markets in Thailand, so on principle I refuse to buy it. And also because it’s expensive. I don’t have a set of Uggs, mostly because I think they’re uggg-ly. And also because they’re expensive. I rarely wear jewelry other than rings, and the holes in my ears grew back a long time ago. I don’t usually decorate my classroom for the different holidays and seasons. If I spend money on school, it is for instructional materials or supplies, not decorations.
My kids don’t wear boutique clothing brands or big fancy multi-layered bows that only match one outfit, except maybe on Easter. (Well, I guess Ephraim would look silly in a bow.) They wear clothes from Target, Walmart, JCPenneys, and Kohls. My daughter hates jeans, so she usually wears soft yoga pants or sweatpants. She wears a uniform to school, but they are allowed to wear jeans on Fridays, and she usually doesn’t even do that! She prefers to wear a uniform skirt to itchy jeans. I make her wear a bow on Sundays, but she prefers to wear her hair down and rather messy-looking most of the time. Which is fine with me.
I must admit a lot of the frou-frou stuff looks cute, but I don’t have the time, money, or patience to deal with it. I’m more of the simple type (though my husband might disagree.)
So where am I going with all this? Well, this week Madeleine is celebrating the 100th day of school, and each kid had to make their own project with 100 items. The teacher stressed that the students were to do it with minimal parent help. I asked Mad if she had any ideas, and she said she wanted to make the number 100 out of macaroni noodles. I asked a teacher friend of mine how to dye pasta, and Madeleine and I measured out alcohol, food coloring, and macaroni noodles into big ziplock bags. After letting them dry, Madeleine arranged her noodles in color patterns on a big piece of black foam board. Once she had everything how she wanted it, I hot glued each piece down. I thought it looked pretty good:
However, knowing that my daughter goes to a private school and knowing how competitive some private school parents can be, I was slightly worried that her project would be too simple. However, she picked it and she did most of it, and that was the point of the assignment. The next morning, Madeleine decided she wanted to decorate her poster more by adding glitter-glue 100s around her big 100. Here is her final project:
She was so proud, and so was I. The project was self-directed, helped her practice skills, and well done. Not frou-frou at all. (Okay, so I might not have put so much glitter glue on it, but it’s all good.) And I snuck a peek at the 100 day projects when I picked the kids up today. Most of them were simple and obviously done by a child: 100 gummy bears, 100 goldfish, 100 paperclips, etc. You know I let out a little “Thank goodness” in my mind, right? And then I looked at my daughter’s 100 macaroni noodles and grinned. Atta girl.