1.12.2006

Snowman Showdown

When I was in High School, playing in or attending games against the schools in the neighboring town was an enlightening experience. The parents in that town took 'fan' to a whole new level. They make the drunks in the stadiums for pro-games look tame.

As a parent, I expected to encounter some sore losers and even worse winners. I had read my share of stories about the poor sportsmanship adults have been known to role-model. I was preparing myself for my own first-hand experiences as the kids were older and perhaps invovled in whatever activities they decided to venture into. I also expected to see the parent 'aided' science projects some day.

I did not expect to see it emerge in preschool.

Nor did I expect it to be over something as mundane as a snowman craft.

Today was Frosty's birthday. At least it was for the kids at our preschool in the Tues/Thurs sessions. Tomorrow it will be Frosty's birthday for the rest of the school. Parents got to join along in the fun. We sat in the back of the room while the kids sat on the floor up front. A magician entertained us all and then Frosty himself emerged for a photo session.

A week ago the school sent home a blank sheet of white paper and very simple, vague instructions. Students and their parents were to use the white paper to make a snowman - make it any way you want. Use whatever it is you want to use to decorate it. Have fun. The point, really, was to do have some nice crafty quality time working on it together. Our little creation was due back at school on Tuesday. Today every single snowman from each of the nearly 500 students in the school was hung on display in the large gym-like room where the party was held.

Over the weekend we made ours. I gave Logan the choice - draw on the white sheet or cut out. He decided we'd cut. I drew the outline and handed him his scissors. He started and then asked me to cut it for him. He agreed to cut half of the hat. I did the other half. He cut out the scarf. We discussed with Daddy how to decorate our little frosty dude. We went with buttons and glitter glue. We used pipe cleaners for his arms and legs. Logan was in charge of getting all this stuff placed on our guy. I made the mini-paper snowflake to rest on his hand.

When I walked in the gym today, I didn't know whether to laugh in humor or horror. There, on those walls at the preschool event, were some of the most perfectly drawn and decorated snowmen I've ever seen. Meticulously created and ornately decorated. Clearly not the work of any 3 year old I know.

Lest I be labeled a cynic, I must relay the conversation that took place behind me while we waited for the classes to arrive:

Mom #1 - I was so stressed out by this snowman thing! I didn't know whether to cut it out or just draw on that paper. I was so afraid I was going to do it wrong.

Mom #2 - Oh I know! I had this great idea about using a piece of real carrot for the nose. Well I left it out overnight to dry it so, you know, it wouldn't ruin the paper. It was just gross.

Mom #3 (in hushed tones of awe) - What did you end up doing?

#2 - Oh I used an orange birthday cake candle!

#1 (gushing) - Oh that's brilliant! And it looks fantastic.

#3 (also gushing) - Oh, I wish I had thought that up! I'm so jealous! We had a debate in our house whether or not Frosty had a broom. Didn't he have a broom. I wanted a broom but [the kid] said no.

#2 - Frosty so had a broom. What did you end up with?

#3 - We have that hula snowman over there. See it? It's cute I guess. There's another hula Frosty over there from room 14 that's better though. I almost don't want to point mine out.

MINE?! She said mine, folks. Mine. Not ours. Not [the kid]'s. And her buddy?! She's all stressed out?

You don't know how badly I wanted to turn around and say, "You're freaking out over a craft project your 3 year-old was supposed to create? My God, I hope you're kid isn't in my kid's 8th grade class come science project time."

15 comments:

Minerva said...

What a beautiful blog and you are so right - parents are scary! I will never forget going to a club thing for Easter and the parents were grabbing the easter eggs for the kids...I had to glare at a parent whose hands were filled in order to get an egg each for my girls...

*sigh*

And the lessons are just perpetuated aren't they?

Minerva

mooalex said...

I miss age 3... Mine are 15 and 11. Hello via Michele!

mar said...

You are absolutely right, it is scary... Plus those little kids can do such wonderful things, it is really a shame... visiting from Michele's today. I will be back for more.

kenju said...

Those kids will be wanting their parents to do everything for them - even when they are 45 years old! That is sad.


Michele sent me.

Dak-Ind said...

greetings from michele!

i so know what you mean about this stuff. my number one son is 13 and i remember how it was with grade school. it was awful. and now i get to do it over again with the new baby.

i love the header on your blog. well, actually i like your whole site and enjoyed my visit very much.

Plumkrazzee said...

THIS IS crazy. And so very sad, but true. Yikes, I woulda probably said something nasty....=)

Mama B said...

Sad, but true. Enjoyed reading your blog as always. Michele sent me!!

Lazy Daisy said...

Thanks for visiting my site today...I did lose 4.2 pounds last week so it wasn't a bust. As you see I did get information from the Portion Control Hero.

Love your post....at 3 my kids were still eating the crayons. Thanks for my exercise of laughing.

Tammy said...

Ok, that's just sad...but so true, I'm sure.

Michele sent me!

Trent said...

When I overhear such things, my belief that bad parents make bad kids is just reinforced. Childhood is a series of lessons: many are fun, most are soft, and a few are hard. By doing this, what kind of lesson are the kids learning? That their parents will just take care of it and they don't have to do anything?

It's just kind of sad. In my opinion, of course. I intend to help Joseph (my two and a half month old son, who's also my first child) when he asks, but for projects like that, he's in charge, not me. It's not "my" project.

Such parents make me shudder.

panthergirl said...

And it only gets better (worse)!! My sister actually had a parent storm into her daughter's 3rd grade class, demanding to know why the teacher had given HER a "B" on a project!!! HER! The MOTHER!

Thankfully, when my daughter was in 5th grade her teacher said she only used home projects as 10% of the child's grade, because she knew most of the work wouldn't be done by the child. (I always insisted that my kids do their own projects, and they wind up looking like crap in comparison. Oh well.)

WendyWings said...

There are some very scary parents out there. I am thankful my kids are not sporty so I don't have to deal with soccer moms etc.
Wait my kids are dancers and singers, stage mothers are the WORST !
Michele sent me today.

Erin said...

First, Hello from Michele's!! Your banner is beautiful. Makes me long for my favorite spot on the Outer Banks.

Second, I totally hear you! I have a 3-yr-old daughter and sometimes I look at other parents and wonder WHAT were they thinkging!!!!

Have a great weekend!

surcie said...

My son is 2. I have so much to "look forward to," don't I? (Michele sent me.)

expatmama said...

Wow-- that sounds like one of those horror stories I've read about but have never experienced in real life-- almost too crazy to be true! I'm sure you will stay sane amidst all of this craziiness, and maybe your example willñ even give other moms the courage to break away!