I want The Dictator to Fit In
Do other moms obsess about their children fitting in with other kids?
I read a really interesting post by a blogger yesterday who was contemplating whether her child should wear Dora the Explorer clothes to school. It's not that this woman was opposed to Dora (How can you hate Dora with her big brown eyes? Plus, she teaches us Spanish! And, I'm sorry, Diego is kind of cute.)
It's just that this mother knew that other kids can be mean and may make fun of her child for wearing Dora to school. (Apparently, you will be made fun of if you like Dora after the age of 6.)
She was trying to think of a good way to suggest to her daughter that she might not want to wear Dora to go to school.
Anyway, I understood where this Blogging Mama was coming from.
How do you make your kid fit in, and dress not to be made fun of, without encouraging them to think it's ok to make fun of kids for what they wear? Because it's not ok.
Yes, it is a tricky problem. Tricky is what it is.
A couple weeks ago, Nanny Mimi came home with The Dictator and handed me a schedule for The Dictator's Friday's "class."
This Friday, I'm the mom responsible for bringing "the class" snacks. (I know, I never saw this ever happening in my life. But here we are...)
Anyway, I asked Nanny Mimi what I should bring. "The teacher wants parents to bring fruit," Nanny Mimi answered.
Um, fruit? Eeesh. Really?
Hey, I love fruit. But I'm an adult and wasn't the fun in getting snacks in class that they were a special treat?
What I definitely didn't want to happen was for my child to bring in fruit if every other kid was bringing in chocolate cupcakes for the class.
I tried explaining this to Nanny Mimi. "So all the other kids brought in fruit then?"
"Well, no. But the teacher wants you to bring in fruit," she said.
Yeah, I'm sure the teacher also wishes The Dictator was toilet trained. But that's not how it's going.
See, I care about The Dictator's well-being. It's these little things that can make or break your kid, and make or break them feeling liked or unliked in class. I know she will probably feel hated in class one day. But I don't want her feeling that yet. Or ever.
It's awful, yes, but true that these things matter. We all remember that one poor classmate whose mother made them bring in carrot/cranberry/bran muffins as their school treat for their birthdays, don't we?
Face it. Kids like chocolate cupcakes more than they like fruit.
"Ok, Mims," I said. "I know the teacher would like us to bring in fruit, but are all the other kids bringing in donuts?"
"The teacher wants you to bring fruit," she repeated.
The problem is is that Nanny Mimi is also a health food nut. She would want The Dictator to bring in fruit. So I'm being ganged up on by these two fruit-lovers. Unfortunately, I think of the class.
If I were a kid in The Dictator's class, I'd be quite mad at the girl whose mom brought in fruit for snack when every other mother sent brownies (with no peanuts of course!) in. I might even call her "Fruit girl" for the rest of my life.
So I've decided to buy a fruit plate AND cupcakes. That way, the teacher and Nanny Mimi will be happy, and me and the kids will be happy. And I've aided my daughter a tiny bit, maybe, in fitting in. I don't want her to be called "Fruit girl."
This way, everybody wins! (Especially me, who will make sure I get a couple extra cupcakes.)
I just have to remember that Friday is my day for snacks. Friday. Friday. Friday.