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When Did Crayons Stop Being Basic?

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.

crayon
courtesy of babyblues.com rick kirkman/jerry scott

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.  RazzmatazzFlamingo 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?

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“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.

courtesy: scarymommy.com

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!

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Running + Screaming

Hey, y’all. Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. The days are long, but the years weeks are short, ya know? The boys started back to school in mid-August and we’ve been busy acclimating to the newness of kindergarten and fourth grade. Connor has situated nicely to kindergarten and, to be honest, I was totally surprised. Pre-k was kind of overwhelming for him on a social scale and I kind of figured he’d have similar issues this year. Much to my relief, he loves school and learning which makes life that much easier.

Gabe has entered into fourth grade. Our school and the teachers there are awesome, so lemme just preface with that. The homework given is in-line with their lessons and we parents are provided with resources so that we can adequately assist our kids. I’m a firm believer in homework for kiddos like Gabe, anyway, who are super bright but need consistency and repetition in order to make the grade. But y’all — this. kid. is. KILLING. me. We’re exactly three weeks in and I’d be lyin’ if I said I didn’t have an early nightcap last night (and I still had to treadmill once the kids were asleep).

This is not a new issue for us. Connor is a bit of a class clown but academically on-point, whereas Gabe is exactly the opposite. He’s well-behaved and well-mannered.  But when it comes to schoolwork?  LAWD HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS.  Can he do the work? Abso-freaking-lutely. The problem is that he doesn’t want to do the work. It’s boring for him and, if I’m being honest, a bit tedious. His double whammy of sensory processing disorder and ADHD has his focus all over God’s green earth. I totally get how that can be problematic for him (he’s a mini me if ever there was one) but I also get, from experience, that if he would just push through he could be UNSTOPPABLE. Y’all, this kid is no Billy Madison, but getting him from points “A” to “B” is a flipping chore.

I know you guys have seen this meme floating around the interwebs:

jurassic

And, yeah. This is pretty much totally accurate. But the hidden backstory here (I’m speculating, anyway) is that this was said by a mom who was on her fourth glass of red wine who just went straight T-Rex on her math-hating prey, er, kid. Again, speaking from experience here. We literally wrapped up his three items of homework, like, thirty minutes before bedtime. To sum that up, he gets out of school at 3:30. We got home at 3:40 and started homework at 4:00. He finished homework at 8:00 o’flipping clock. Gabe still had to eat dinner, brush his teeth, and shower. Yeah… he showered this morning because at 9:23 last night he was an hour past bedtime.

jurassic nope

Now, bear in mind — those four, LOONNGG hours were not spent strictly completing homework.  Lemme break it down for ya like a fraction:

4:15-5:45 — Gabe takes multiple bathroom breaks during which time he forms a one-man search party whose job is to locate — wait for it — his old toothbrush which was stamped with Elmo.  (Side note: he has not had that toothbrush since he was three years old.)

5:46-6:46(ish) — Me alternating face-palms of increased intensity and bellowed, “OH, COME ON” mental breakdowns, featuring the upbeat sounds of pencils being sharpened twenty-eleven times.

6:47-8:00 — This is the time slot in which the homework was actually done, but only by threat of Lego-tossing.  I managed to sneak into the pantry to stress eat an Atkins peanut butter cup and check out Google Maps to see how far away Timbuktu is from our dining room.  Checking for a friend.

8:15-8:45 — Our Tyson chicken patty sandwich dinner of champions was served.  The boys proceeded to argue over condiments.  I finally snapped and ordered absolute silence lest they sleep on the deck in sleeping bags.  All the wine is gone.

jurassican

Three weeks ago Gabe was excited to be back at school.  I, stupidly, thought things would go off without a hitch.  “He’s growing up!”, I said.

Two weeks ago Gabe mildly complained about having to write a paragraph.  He did it, but it took a little longer than necessary.  I was okay with it — fourth grade is a whole new ballgame.  No worries — he’ll get there.  His paragraph was well written, which sparked hope.

Last week he “didn’t need to study the science words” because he, “knows that a delta is rock broken down by erosion”.  I’M SORRY, SAY WHAT??

This week I’m bracing myself.  This week I’m gonna pray my way through the car rider lane and all the way home.  This week I’m going to look into those crystals that you chant to in order to prevent pre-mediated thought processes.

This week.  This week I’mma be a homework survivor in the land of Terdassic Park.

Fire up the grill!