As many of you parents probably experienced this week, it was the 100th day of school. Thus, another year of “forcing” my kids to dress up. Seems like a fun idea. Last year the boys were totally into it, staying in costume all day and fully taking on all that came with the 100th day. This year…different story…well, especially because I thought the dress-up component was only for J even though B kept telling me I was wrong. “Nah, B. Only J’s school is doing it. You’re not dressing up.” Then like any good mom I sent a text to some 1st grade moms an hour before bedtime Sunday night, and I get a picture back of the flyer I clearly missed saying yup, 1st graders dressing up too.
Me: “B, you were right. You are dressing up too.”
B: “It’s OPTIONAL Mommy! Ms. B said so!”
And so it begins.
Me: “B, come on you’re doing it. It’s fun. You will be the only one without a costume. Everyone’s doing it.”
B: “I just really don’t want to.”
Me: “Michael, can you grab another work shirt and tie for B? He needs to dress up too. B, you will look just like daddy.”
B: Frown. Life is over. Agony. Disgust.
I’m laying out Daddy shirts and ties on each backpack so we don’t forget our morning costume. Meanwhile, I start looking for additional props to round out the 100 year old men they must become. I start with glasses. I dig through my top dresser drawer. You really just never know what you are going to find in there. Lip glosses from 2001 aren’t helpful right now. Hair ties, no. Jewelry boxes I never threw out. Nail file? I’ve been looking for that! Oh wait! Mom of the year! The glasses we used last year for the 100th day costume! Yes!!! I punched out the lenses of a once designer pair of frames. Indeed 100 days smarter thank you very much.
“Guys! Check it out! I found the glasses we used last year! So great, right? Who wants to wear these?”
B: “I just really don’t want to wear glasses.”
Michael: “B, it’s really important that you participate in this. It’s really important. You have to do it. I’m going to be really upset if you don’t do it.” Ok, seems like Daddy is taking this pretty seriously?
J: Doesn’t look up from the iPad. No response. Comatose.
Me: “J! Why are you even on the iPad?!? Who said you could be on that thing? Shut it off!”
J: Bursting into tears, “I didn’t even get to finish it. B had a turn and I didn’t. Great, now you are going to make my guy get dead. Great.”
I place the perfect, found glasses on top of B’s costume for tomorrow. This will work great. Now onto J glasses. I pull out the glasses from the doctor kit from last year. Perfect. He looked so cute in them last year. He will love them.
Me: “J, you want to wear these doctor glasses?”
J: “I don’t want to wear glasses.”
I’m having so much fun with this already. Yay everyone! Let’s all dance around and dress up and thank Mommy for putting together last minute costumes so you actually participate fully in a school activity and have fun. Yay yay yay! I can’t wait for your thank you notes after you realize it feels good to have a costume on and participate when all my friends did the same. Thank you glorious mommy. We are always prepared because of you.
I proceed with a back-up pair of glasses, anticipating that J will see that B gets to wear a pair of grown up glasses and he won’t want the baby ones he wore last year so I need to find an equivalent. Meanwhile, I’m completely ignoring both boys’ complete apathy for this FUN school activity. M and I start searching for another old pair of glasses to pop out the lenses again. Turns out M has about 47 old pairs of sunglasses, only one of which is missing a nose pad (why?!?! do we still have them then? Top dresser drawer of course). He’s willing to sacrifice the wire-framed, nosepad-less pair for his 4 year old.
I start trying to pop out the lenses. “Ahhhhh!” I can’t get this thing out. I’m sticking my nail in the frame, slamming it on the kitchen counter, practically taking my knee to the lense to pop it out, and I snap my finger in the hinge. “@#*(@)#@!” It pops out. “Yes! Got it!” M sees my insane struggle and tries to punch out the second one. He has the same struggle. Cursing and then finally jams it out. Perfect!
Me: “J! Check it out! Daddy is letting you wear his special-est pair of real Daddy glasses tomorrow! So cool right?”
B: “Why did you say a word that’s not a real word?”
Me: Cursing silently in my head to the child I love.
J: “I don’t want to wear glasses.”
100th day morning.
B doesn’t want to wear his costume but knows Daddy will be annoyed if he doesn’t so he reluctantly agrees, but we compromise on no glasses. J agrees to wear Daddy’s shirt which reaches to his ankles but won’t sit still for more than 4 seconds for Michael to get the tie on looking like a real tie knot. “It’s too tight! I don’t like itttttt!” J squirming airplane style off Michael’s lap. Michael attempts the suspenders. (We have kid suspenders? When did they show up in J’s drawer? Swear I never saw them before today.) Try them. No go. Too bad he’s not 2 when they would’ve fit him and I didn’t know we had them. J wears the busted glasses. Looks 100 years old if you ask me.
B tells me on the way to school that no older kids are doing it. We spot child after after older child with white powder in their hair all done up as 100 year olds. I can see B soften to the idea. I send him into school with the tails of Michael’s shirt dragging below his jacket.
J, I figure at this point, is pretty much a slam dunk. Once Daddy’s shirt and tie and glasses went on I heard no complaints. J is usually game for dress up. Well superheros and ninja turtles but still. We march into school as J’s shirt hits his sneakers. Interesting I’m seeing almost no children dressed as 100. No white powdery hair. We walk into his classroom. Teacher doesn’t look 100. No one looks 100. We have a bunch of 4 year olds here with maybe a couple 100 year old-4 year olds here and there. J immediately hides behind me and glasses are already off. He won’t come out from behind my back. Won’t take jacket off.
Me: I say to any kid or teacher passing by, “Doesn’t J look 100 years old? Don’t you love his glasses?” I’m getting nuthin’.
J starts peeling the tie off and then the shirt. OMG. Seriously? It’s all coming off. Next I find myself stuffing Michael’s glasses, shirt and tie in his cubby 5 minutes after we arrived. And that’s the end of J’s 100th day grand entrance.
I pick B up at the end of the day and am shocked to see him still in Daddy’s shirt.
Me: “Wow, B! You still have the shirt on? Good for you bud. Was it fun? Was everyone dressed up?”
B: “Only 2 other kids dressed up. Tell Daddy I only took the tie off because I was hot at recess.”
Ok, I guess everyone played the “optional” card. I guess those parents were 100 days smarter than me. At least I have more than 100 days until the next first 100 days. Back in the top dresser drawer go the busted nosepad-less wire frames and my old frames. I know.