The other night, I sat with my kindergartner as he did homework. The assignment was a worksheet on differentiating between “left & right” on which he would draw/color on a pair of hands (I’ve included a link to the activity here). I loved the activity and so did he; it kept his attention and allowed some creativity while also providing direction. Everything would have gone off without a hitch. . . until crayons. Seriously, y’all — when did crayons get so extra?! They’re fancier now than I’ll ever be (and have ever been). After five minutes of trying to find a non-pink red and a non-purple blue, I was left feeling miffed and, to some degree, pretty basic. Honest to God, I don’t even have that many colors in my wardrobe. And who the hell is coming up with these color names?? Is this an actual job? Can people apply for this? Because I can pull random words out of my butt to describe color shades, too.
“Uh, yes — I’m here to interview for Obscure Crayon Moniker Giver/Administrative Assistant.” Dumb.
In all seriousness, though — when we were kids (back in the day), color names were pretty straight-forward or at least let you know in which direction the color was headed.
“Strawberry shortcake red? Eh… that’ll be pink-ish.”
“Celestial blue? Kind of purple-ish.”
These days? Our kids are left to use fifty-eleven sheets of scrap paper in order to figure out which red is actually red. Razzmatazz? Flamingo Pink (RED)?? Big Dip’o Ruby?! Look, I can get past the ridiculous names. And I love that there are so many color options available for crafts and general coloring. But why isn’t there a box of crayons strictly for school purposes? I’m talking ordinary, no-nonsense, no mystery basic. freaking. colors. Red. Pink. Purple. Blue. Green. DANDELION. My five year old doesn’t need these millenial-derived, newfangled, pieces of wax mumbo jumbo. He’s still learning that everyday colors are combined to make other great shades — why confuse the situation? Why waste time?
“Just grab the crayon that says ‘red’, Sarah, geez.” Don’t think we didn’t try that. It wasn’t red! It was a dark pink with a red tint. We wound up using . Not even kidding.
And don’t get me started on PlaySkool or CraZArt brands (although, what can you expect from brands who purposely misspell their names). Hot Chili Pepper — red wrapper, dark brown (almost black) wax: colors like mud. Red Clay — orangeish wrapper, red wax: it’s freaking pink. But I digress.
No joke, I’d buy the crap out of a 24-count box of primary/pastel colors even if the name on the box were “Basic Bitch Edition”. I DON’T EVEN CARE. I’m a busy mom of three boys. I don’t have time to play musical chairs, crayon edition. Adding to that — I’m frugal as hell. I’ve been told to “just throw the extra colors away”. How about I throw you away, Susan? Because I paid $1.98 for this box of shenanigans and I intend on my kids eventually using these crayons — even if it means I use $4 worth of paper and ink for coloring sheets.
Do your littles get frustrated when they accidentally mis-color an assignment? I think that’s where most of my “angst” is coming from, personally. Connor is very much a “must be the right color/shape/number/etc” for his homework and gets plumb beside himself when he can’t fix the mistake. Gabe has colored pencils that are erasable and has been letting Con use them for homework time which helps — although the colored pencils aren’t as “deceptive” as the colors. Where are my teachers at? Parents of pre-schoolers/kinders? Obviously, this is not so much a big deal as it is a nuisance, but what are your opinions? Are there boxes of regular shades and I’ve just been missing them? Comment below!