Back to School, Blog, Brands, Children, Education, Family, Homework, Humor, Kids, Kindergarten, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Pre-k, Relatable, School, Teacher Appreciation, Uncategorized

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?

42506584_10218146101303170_7074618019132997632_o

“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!

Education, Holidays, Kids, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Teacher Appreciation, Uncategorized, Writing

And Chances Are, If You Give a Teacher Some Appreciation…,

…she’ll want some pencils to go with it.  

All too often these days, our educators are ignored, bullied, and passed over.  They are the forgotten link in our kids’ success stories.  To be in such full view, they are certainly kept behind the scenes.  I really, really hate that.

small seeds.png

All my life, I grew up loving school (with a few years exceptions, of course).  All my life, I had amazing teachers.  I also had amazing parents who never blamed my teachers for my own shortcomings, and they never let me not accept my own blame.  My parents, my very first teachers, taught me to love and respect the people who would shape my mind for many years to come.  My aunt, a teacher for many years, unknowingly taught me to admire and listen to those who had lived a life before my own.  As is such, I have the utmost respect for quality education and the fine women (and men!) who provide it to my own little ones.

heart.png

As most of you know, Gabe has had some learning struggles along his admittedly short school path. I am glad to say that we’ve had some, for lack of a better term, crappy teachers. I am thankful for them because those women gave me the sight to see what AMAZING teachers he has also been exposed to. Women (and men!) who have fought tooth and nail for my stubborn, hard-learning little guy. They have loved and fussed, held up and nailed down my Gabe in a way that I so appreciate. Their sticktoitiveness and gumption have made more of a difference in Gabe’s life (and that of my own!) than I’m afraid they’ll never fully know.

Connor began his first year of “big boy school” this year.  He has loved everything about this new experience and is so eager to learn.  While he will not face the struggles that our Gabe faces, he will one day fight his own battles.  I am so hopeful that he will have awesome relationships with his teachers in the same way his big brother has been blessed with.  So far he, himself, has gotten to know and love the people who surround him at school, and I am so happy that he will get to spend his days in a learning environment where little guys are not only taught but lifted up, as well.

magical.png

I have grown to not only respect these people but also treasure them. They are special people with some of the most enlightened souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. In addition to their own very busy, hectic lives, they choose to take on my, what some would call “hard” (hell, what I would sometimes call hard), kiddos with the gusto that I cannot fathom. And not just mine, but countless others. Today, in the world we live in, so many parents place blame where blame is not called for. Our teachers catch the brunt of lazy parenting and, by due course, ill-behaved children. It is unfair, hard work. But they attend to it with grace and their own brand of stubbornness and make their way home with heads, and red pens, held high.

A simple thank you seems insufficient but for now, that is all I have. So thank you, ladies. Thank you so much for reaching out to my boys. Thank you for your time, your patience, your encouragement, and most of all, your care. From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful for all you have done.

baac5a4e8a1251c1b3769f7cec748532

To all you other teachers out there whom we’ve not yet met, apologies and thanks in advance. I am sure we will encounter our fair share of even more mediocre individuals attempting to pass as teachers, but I do so look forward to meeting you nurturers. The soul seekers. The up-lifting, no-nonsense, believe in you-ers. The mind shapers. The EDUCATORS.

Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week. You are SO needed.

*I originally posted this on my very first blog about a year ago.  You can find it here.