Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School Navy Blues

Just when I think I have my kids figured out, they throw me for a loop. Aaargh. School starts tomorrow. I was a little behind on the bedtime routine, but I was still hoping to get them to bed a decent hour after an unstructured summer of sloth.

In order to put off brushing her teeth, Molly decided to check out her school uniform options. What did she find? A stack of 9 identical jumpers and 7 neatly folded polo shirts. She has had frequent clothing challenges, but I thought our problem centered mainly on socks. Many a tearful morning has stemmed from her having a lump in her sock, an imaginary seam, or having one that just “doesn’t feel right!” Invariably, both kids are marked tardy because of Molly’s sock woes, and I am a screaming shrew.

Unfortunately last year's knee socks of choice have been discontinued, so I bought 12 pairs of seamless socks this summer and have been talking them up ever since with the fervor of an infomercial salesperson.

The polo and jumper thing has been our one certainty. Other girls opt to wear khaki or navy shorts or long pants on occasion, but not Molly. In her 360 day elementary school career, she has worn a jumper and a polo each day. The one exception was a trip to the pumpkin patch when she unhappily donned her tried and true “capri pants”—size 4 gauchos she has had since preschool. One summer she even insisted on wearing her jumper and polo to camp for a week because she loved them so much.

Sooooo, I've accumulated enough hand me down jumpers that I never have to launder them during the week. I've been well-stocked and feeling great.

So tonight, at 9 pm the night before school starts, she decides to wear pants. Why? Because that’s “what 2nd graders do.” She found a pair of navy blue floods (never worn) that I had purchased for her before kindergarten. She pulled them on and started cavorting on the bed in front of the mirror. Navy polo, navy pants, she looked like the Maytag repairman and was well pleased.

When I told her the rules said she needed to tuck in her shirt and wear a belt, she was not happy. When I told her she didn’t own a navy, brown or black belt per the dress code, she was in despair.

When I finally talked her down and got her into bed, her prayer went like this: “Please God let all the 2nd grade girls wear stupid jumpers tomorrow.”

Now I blog and I wait. If you are a praying person and if you read this in the early a.m. on Wednesday, please pray for Molly and for me. In fact, any time this week would be appreciated. And throw in some sock prayers for good measure.


Shana said...

I am praying the lump-free sock prayer for you. I cannot tell you how many tardy slips we have gotten over sock lumps. We had a sock issue tonight on the way to soccer practice. What is up with these girls and their socks?

My daughter wears uniforms to school as well. She wears a plaid skort or skirt and white polo every day. She is in 4th grade and has worn a plaid and a polo every day since kindergarten. One day last year she decided to wear navy pants to school for the first time ever. By the time we got to school, she had changed her mind. I had to go to work and left her crying in the nurse's office.

She stayed there until some other "nice mom" went home, got her a plaid skort of her daughter's and brought it for her to change into. My child refused to go to class in the navy pants. I've since removed the option from the morning routine. It's plaid or nothing, baby.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Wow! Were these girls separated at birth? BTW, she did great this morning and I am so grateful!

Gretchen said...

OMG so hilarious. I can TOTALLY relate. As a person who (wisely) picks her battles, I usually let the kids choose their own clothes. Choices are limited because of uniforms (4 polo colors, 2 pants colors, girls can also have jumpers or skirts) and WITHOUT FAIL they want to wear navy/navy. WTH? And, invariably, some crazy sock/shoe combo like red socks and white mary janes. Or light blue socks and brown hiking boots. I'm finally to the point where I just say, "WHATEVER. as long as you're in uniform, look as goofy as you like."

And my son is funny too. He keeps me busy. Sock with a hole? Doomed to the trash. Shirt without a button (not that he buttons the top button anyway)? Can't wear it till it's fixed. Fraying hem? Here, mom, let me unravel it a little more for ya....

You so have to update us to find out how many 2nd graders wore stupid jumpers.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I remember my uniform days well... And I was like Molly - I actually wore my jumper a few times in the summer without anything underneath. Like some bizarre sundress.

I know it must be hard to be the mother in this situation. I apologize for both of us.