People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Why I Hate Third Grade

FB

Why I Hate Third Grade

The first day of school is when my OAM (OverAchieving Mommy) gene rears its ugly head. I always demand that the Hubs takes the kids' pictures before school and then we both drive them up to the school and take their picture in front of the building marquee that says FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL and in their classroom at their desk and usually with their teacher. I don't get out an adorable handmade sign saying what grade they're in and what their favorite color and/or ice cream flavor is - I have my limits. I just want a couple of simple pictures to document the day.

I do like my pictures to look nice though, so I always pick out "first day of school outfits" for my kids.

This should be posted on the door of every third grade classroom.

Gomer is a third grader this year and up until now I've been pretty lucky that he's let me pick all of his clothes for him. He's never had a strong opinion on anything fashion wise. Over the years I've always dressed him in cargo shorts and cute boys shirts (I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, but there are some out there) and one year he even let me dress him in clam diggers (the Hubs called them capris - I called them precious).

Adolpha is a first grader and I've battled over clothing choices with her since she was two. She would literally rip clothing off of her body that she did not approve of. Literally. Like the Incredible Hulk. I stopped shopping for her by myself when she was three and I realized that it was easier to have her approve clothes in the store so that I didn't waste my money when she tore them off of her body. I wasn't a total pushover though. I would always give her two choices that I found appropriate and then I'd make her choose. It gave her some power, but still kept me in charge. We still go round and round over high heeled shoes and short shorts. Fucking clothing manufacturers. She's six, not 26. I'm used to a little pushback from Adolpha on the first day. For instance, last year she got it in her head that she wanted to wear a private school uniform. They had them at The Children's Place and she really liked the look of the jumper so that was her first day of school outfit, complete with the matching headband.

This year, the night before school I went into Gomer's closet to pick the clothes for him to wear for his first day of school.

“What are you doing, Mom?” he asked.

“Finding you an outfit for tomorrow,” I replied.

“I don't wear 'outfits', Mom,” he sulked.

“Fine. I'm looking for clothes for tomorrow.”

“Why can't I wear these?” He held up a pair of dirty athletic shorts. This summer Gomer turned into a jock. I'm not sure when it happened. Right around the same time he outgrew all of his cargo shorts and his nice Gymboree shorts. When I took him shopping for new shorts he begged for those swishy athletic shorts. I looked around and noticed that all of the boys were wearing them so I relented.

“Because they're dirty and I want you to look nice for tomorrow.”

“Fine. I'll get a clean pair,” he rummaged in his drawer and pulled out another pair.

“Gomer! Please. Tomorrow is the first day of school. I would like a picture of you and your sister looking nice. I will dress you tomorrow and after that unless it's picture day or something else I call dibs on, you can wear all of your sports stuff. OK?”

“Mommmm,” Gomer said. “But what about Adolpha? She's already picked out her outfit. Did you approve it?”

I turned to Adolpha, “You picked out an outfit?”

“Yup.”

“May I see it please?”

She scampered off and returned a few minutes later in jean shorts, a sparkly blingy tank top, a faux fur vest that fit her when she was a toddler and is now just a weird faux fur bolero thing and sparkly high top sneakers.

“Absolutely not.”

That's when everyone started freaking out on me. OK, it wasn't like I pulled out ah-dor-able matching Gymboree outfits for the two of them to wear like the precious snowflakes that they are. I wasn't asking Gomer to wear a t-shirt with a dinosaur on it! Was it too much to ask that everyone look presentable for one damn picture?!!

I finally compromised with everyone – no one was happy, including myself. I've been told in sales that's considered a win-win because everyone feels a little screwed. Well, it was a win-win then, because I felt hosed!

The next morning everyone let me comb their hair with little or no drama (except Gomer suddenly wanted his "spiky" now and Adolpha refused her standard 'do of braids and instead opted for a "cool" headband) and we headed to the school for pictures.

As we walked up to the front of the building I caught a glimpse of one of Gomer's friends sneaking in a quick kiss with his mom when he thought no one was watching. “Oh! Gomer,” I said.

“Yeah?”

“I just saw Helmut kiss his mother in the parking lot. Do third graders not kiss their moms goodbye in the classroom?”

Gomer thought on that one for a second, “Nope. If you want one, now is the time.”

I pulled him close and kissed him several times and whispered, “But I still get one in the classroom, right?”

“Ugh, no Mom!” Gomer tried to push me away.


In his classroom, I quickly realized that kisses weren't the only thing you didn't get anymore. No one gets a quick picture with the teacher either. That stuff is for second graders. Third graders give you a side hug and shove you out the door. From what I've heard I was even lucky to be allowed in the door.

As I left in a hurry, I leaned down and whispered in Gomer's ear, "Have a great day. I love you, but I hate third grade."


Thank goodness I still have Adolpha. She gave me a smacker right on the lips in front of everyone. She's my favorite … at least until third grade.

Don't miss my NEW BOOK!

Need more laughs in your life? Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

39 comments:

Karisa Tells All said...

Hahaha "If you want one, now is the time." Sassy! Adolpha's outfit sounds like something I would have tried to pull.

AJ Collins said...

:) My "baby girl" is in third grade this year too. The other stuff that starts to change : they become increasingly, painfully aware of their peers' opinions about everything. My daughter is now obsessed about making sure her headbands match her outfits, as well as her shoes. I am ACTUALLY considering buying her some sneakers with turquoise in them because she won't wear her black and hot pink sneakers with any outfit that is shades of blue...

(My son is in 5th... I still say 4th was the worst so far)

Lucky for me my kids seem to think that THEY are choosing their clothes... even when I pick them out for them. Now THAT's a win-win.

Stephanie M said...

SO with you on the athletic shorts. I have a 4th grader who thinks he should live in them and if I ask him to wear something else I get "Does it really matter?!?!? " In fact- I get that response to everything.

LatteLover said...

This. This is awesome. And yes, my son started wearing athletic shorts in third grade. He's now in 5th, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't worn anything else since then. And my girl is starting 1st too, and LOVES to pick out her clothes. Can't wait to see what she comes up with... ;-)

Jersey McDermids said...

Sadly our school only lets Kindergarten parents in the door, and then only on the first day. So no pictures in the classroom. Last year my 2nd grader still gave me a big kiss at the bus stop, but my 3rd grader didn't... so we'll see what happens this year! And my daughter (the now 3rd grader) never lets me brush her hair... unless I force the issue until we're both in tears!

Sara Hester said...

You are all f***ing crazy.

idreamofwhiterooms said...

My son's elem. school didn't even allow parents outside of their cars on the first week of school unless 1. your child was a kindergartener, or 2. you had a court order that your child was in danger of being abducted by a non-custodial parent if they weren't escorted inside. And just last spring they installed a buzzer on the entrance and to be even allowed in the school you had to meet certain guidelines for your reason.

Mexmom said...

My son actually gave me a kiss in the car and once we were at the door of his classroom he just ran to take a seat without even looking back and he is in second grade so now I feel cheated a year before third grade.

Vapid Vixen said...

I loved this. So many chuckles. Especially the weird faux fur bolero thing. I could totally picture it.

Meg said...

Too funny!! I can totally picture your daughter in the feaux fur thing! Thanks for that visual! Mine are 12 and 14 and very soon, I will have to drop them at the corner, so I am not seen by anyone! At their ages, it's not cool to even HAVE parents (especially the female version!!!).

rockermom said...

My little sister started expressing extreme displeasure with our Mom's clothing choices at AGE 4, not grade 4!!! LOL! I distinctly remember her stomping a foot and pointing at some blue jeans with light blue pockets and screaming that NO ONE wore pants like those! LOL! Needless to say, it was pretty much downhill from there with her. I don't know how Mom survived that girl, so it's a blessing Sarah was the last one...of course "I" was a compliant piece of cake. =;oD

rockermom said...

I had two boys and both objected to kisses at the dropoff at grade 1, so we switched to a handshake, which was basically a promissory note for a kiss and hug at home.

KT said...

I think I love you. How did you know the same thing happened at my house last week?! :) My 14 yr old 8th grader doesn't even own a pair of pants. Seriously. He's growing so fast it's not even worth it, and we live where it's warm until November. He and my 5th grade boy...athletic shorts all the way. I just buy them in basic colors and leave it at that. My Kindergartner is my diva. I just have to buy everything to go with everything else and I threaten to cut her hair almost every day for not letting me "do" it. I think she enjoys looking like no one cares about her. Oh - and backpacks. WTH with the backpacks?? My boys want to take flimsy athletic bags with string ties. They've been warned. When those pockets of cloth fall apart maybe the real backpacks they're going to have to buy will be on clearance. Sheesh.

Bethann said...

LMAO. At least you can go into the school.. I can wave to them from the bus stop as they drive off.. LOL. So long kids ! School Starts next week and I have already gotten the girls their "1st day of school outfits" the boy is a work in progress. 4th grade is rough.

rsrusso said...

My oldest is starting in middle school this year and I've already been tipped off by the neighborhood moms that unless I want to socially cripple him, I can't even get a bus stop picture. Sigh. At least we can still walk the third grader to meet the bus.

WittyBubble said...

All the way to 3rd grade? You are a lucky mom. My son started kindergarten this year, and all I get at drop off - even on the first day - is a high five. I think I was at least 10 before I was embarrassed by my parents, but our kids are so advanced in EVERYTHING anymore.

Amy FunnyIsFamily said...

My first grader will let me pick his first day of school outfit, but then it will be athletic shorts for months. Or "shiny shorts" as he calls them.

spymay said...

Ah,I knew there was a reason I liked the school uniforms.Sure,it's a pain to get those white polos stain free all year,but no fights over outfits.

Lynn said...

We entered into first day of school negotiations about a week before school started. This did not, in any way, prevent a major tantrum from my daughter.

"I don't want to wear that (adorable purchased by the Nana who does not act like the Mama) skirrrrrrrrrt! I want to wear the pink leopard print skirt that we don't have a top to match yeeeeeeeeeeet!!!! You are ruining my liiiiiiiiiiiiife!"

The boy children managed to calmly negotiate with me. And this is all 3rd grade so we are already discussing hormonal body changes with the kids. Because we had some attitude this summer. I love school.

April Holman said...

Uniforms are awesome! In fact the only days we have arguments on what to wear are "jean days". And those have been significantly cut back. Yea! I literally open my kids' uniform drawer and say "wear whatever you want". If it is cold, they put on a sweater. I cannot say enough wonderful things about uniforms.

Susan said...

Only 6 more days till I have to take my "No kissing or hugging" 3rd Grader to school! Thank goodness for uniforms so we don't have that fight in the mornings...She did say I can put a bow in her hair and I see that as "WINNING!" the battle!!

Jennifer said...

When my daughter (now 16) was in preschool/kindergarten, she had to wear her hair braided. No choice... it's harder for lice to get into the braids. If I couldn't braid it, she would get a hair cut. Guess what.... she got a hair cut. Got lice in 3rd grade.

Michelle S. said...

funny! My now 8th grade (boy) always was into clothes and would insist on trying them all on at the store. I think he was the only boy in a Children's Place dressing room trying on clothes. He's still difficult. He is a 26 waist and a 30 length in pants and no they don't make that. man child. It gets more complicated. I cringe at some of the girls his age.

Julie Workman said...

LMAO. My oldest is in 3rd this year too. When I took him to Target last week, we discovered he now wears a man-shoe, which meant he needed to try on every frackin pair of man-shoes in the store. Until the clouds parted and angels sang and a ray of light illuminated the cheesiest damn hat I've ever seen. But he loved it. I thought I could get away with not buying it by lowballing the allowable price at $10. Damn thing was 9.99!

All 3 gave me shit yesterday. #2 became a jock over the summer as well. Nothing but "silky" shorts will do now. Thank god the schools don't allow tanks for boys...at least he's decently covered. As long as he wore underwear, but that's a whole 'nother story!

Jessica Watson said...

So this is one more reason I cannot handle my kids getting older. Right now my daughter is your Adolpha, the battle to make her look presentable every day is insane. I could put a paper bag over my boys and they would head out to play. If they grow an opinion on what to wear I'm screwed.

Bcast920 said...

Yeah what's with the 3rd grade switch to jock apparel? I can't get my son to wear anything else, unless I bribe him on picture day. He's now in 5th grade and I haven't been able to kiss him in public for years! I'm lucky if I can get a kiss on the cheek in the privacy of our own home. Luckily I have a 4-year old who still loves me no matter where we are at, but is slowly picking up his big brother's habits. He is just as bad as having a little girl because he has to pick out everything he wears. We have to do this the night before because it takes him so long to pick out an outfit. And boy does he love his accessories. lol

Jen said...

As the Mom of a boy going into the 6th grade...I'll be kind and warn you...it's all down hill from here! Be glad he wore clothes that matched and brushed his hair/teeth! Next comes annoying and sarcastic...and knowing hey got it straight from you...the worst! :) Awesome blog - you captured 3rd grade perfectly!

A. McCorvy said...

Oh, my goodness. We had the short shorts and heels conversation yesterday!! "Oh, you can't wear THOSE shoes if you coe with me to the grocery store. There are words for girls that wear short shorts with heels and you aren't even old enough to hear the words. Put on your tennis shoes." This is the same kid that cried over the arm of her Katniss Eberdeen Barbien getting chewed off by our dog, but her fashion wants are gonna kill me. We start 3rd grade Monday. I dread the teen years.

Adriz82 said...

this was by far the funniest thing I have read this morning. Thank you for sharing. No I know what to prepare myself for. Boo!

Jenny said...

As it has been mentioned above, it gets much worse.

Nikki said...

My 9 yr old is obsessed with those athletic shorts. He told me they were "more comfortable for boys". Dude, wtf? You're 9! The boys don't need any extra room yet!

Brandy E. said...

My 9th grader wears 26x30 pants and they are kind of the unicorn of pant sizes. I found them all Hollister (online only) and ordered all of his school khakis and his jeans in one shot, thankfully they were half price. Done. :)

Missy Robinson said...

Jesus.

Donna Vanderschoot said...

Ladies, give in to the swishy shorts. They'll save you a lot of money in the end. My sixth grader has been addicted to them since third grade and will NOT wear anything else (and I work for Nike, so the employee discount is king and I don't have any ground to stand on). I haven't had to buy a new pair since third grade. My kid is tall and skinny, and if they were a little too long in the third grade, they're still passable in the sixth grade. (But I hate that he insists on wearing these shorts even on the chilliest of winter days--that I totally don't get.)

Andrea Herbert said...

One plus of letting your kid wear silky shorts: he can put them on after his shower at night, sleep in them all night, and then wear them to school the next day. They don't wrinkle. :)

M. Brown said...

We aren't allowed in the classroom unless we have a kindergartner. All the boys wear those shorts even if they don't play sports. I'll be lucky to get a photo tomorrow and it's just 2nd grade.

Confessions of a PTO Mom said...

We aren't even allowed in the school!

Stacey OneFunnyMotha said...

Like the Incredible Hulk - too funny. My daughter was the same damn way w/ the clothes. The last time she looked cute was when she was 3. After that I gave up. I gotta say, though, the faux fur vest was a nice touch.
But I'm stick pondering something. You take THREE photo shoots? Three? I wrote on Scary Mommy about how I forgot to take 1st Day pictures last year. This year I didn't even bother.

chacha said...

Mine started in 1st grade! He's in 2nd grade now, and he refuses to wear denim. So apparently all I need to buy for him this year are track pants (he hates sweats, fwiw) and maybe one pair of khakis. His little brother still lets me pick things out. And no outfit for little brother is complete without a watch or stretchy bracelet. Lord knows where he got that!