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Column: This mom doesn't want homework for the 100th day of school
Shannon Casas high res
Shannon Casas

Wednesday is apparently the 100th day of school in Hall County.

As other school systems hit the milestone, I’d already seen on Facebook the children dressed in suspenders or pearls and carrying walking canes, made up to look like 100-year-olds.

I secretly hoped I wasn’t going to have to pull this off with our student. But alas, the email arrived Friday — students are invited to dress up like they are 100!


It’s going to be the great drive-in movie car debacle of 2017 all over again.

You see, I thought parenting a toddler required patience, persistence and a big bag for extra diapers, wipes, clothes and snacks. I did not realize parenting a toddler required being a master craftsman able to magically turn an old microwave box into a shiny red Lightning McQueen race car.

After obtaining our box, we made a few cuts, folded a few flaps and decorated the vehicle like he was going tailgating. I thought we did OK. We even had fun.

Then we got to day care.

Our car paled in comparison to the other creations. These moms had spent hours on their drive-in movie cars — one was a painted tractor-trailer complete with cottony “smoke” billowing from its pipes. And yes, there was also a Lightning McQueen race car and another with a Minnie Mouse theme.

My kid was devastated. He now hated his car. He probably hated me. He cried. Hours later, he reminded me again of what an awful failure his car was.

After switching to a new day care later, I was again tested, this time with World Heritage Day. The kids were to dress in something representing their culture.

With the memories burned in my brain of the most awful drive-in movie car ever, I went to great lengths to determine the heritage of these kids and handmade costumes — no sewing involved, I’m not that skilled. When they paraded the kids in their costumes, I realized I’d outdone myself. Their costumes were better than almost all the rest. 

The moms at this day care were not about pulling together handcrafted costumes during their busy work weeks. Meanwhile I’d had strips of cloth and a glue gun in my office for spare moments at work when I could craft.

I do not get many spare moments at work, as you might imagine. I get even fewer spare moments at home while taking care of two children who constantly ask questions like, “When are we going to ride on an airplane?” or “What’s for dinner?” or “Can you help me go potty?” or “When can I play soccer?” That’s when they’re not shouting or running through the house or fighting over Legos.

I had no plans to go to such great lengths during the next World Heritage Day. But I didn’t mean to forget about it entirely.

I arrived at day care with the youngest, dressed in the usual pants and dinosaur T-shirt, and then I saw the sign — whoops. The child care worker assured me other parents had forgotten as well. This kid didn’t seem to hold it against me, thank goodness.

But I don’t think I can get away with forgetting the 100th day of school.

There may be some pressure from other moms I see on Facebook. But mostly there’s mom guilt. And Pinterest.

I should have consulted Pinterest for that drive-in movie car. I can consult Pinterest for dress-like-a-100-year-old day, which is not a holiday I recall celebrating when I was 5.

I’m going to need a fake mustache, suspenders, some makeup to create wrinkles, a cane or walker, bowtie, gray hair dye and fake glasses.

He’ll smudge the makeup off within an hour, likely get gray hair goop on everything he touches and complain his suspenders and bowtie are uncomfortable.

Or we could skip it all and I’ll be the one with the coffee mug that says “World’s #7,054,325th best mom.” 

At least it’s easier than Dr. Seuss Day, when parents are required to dress their kids up as characters from his books. 

Then again, that holiday designed just to torture busy working parents isn’t until March 2.

If I’ve got to paint T-shirts to create Thing 1 or Thing 2 or dream up what kind of materials to use to create The Lorax or Sneetches, tell me now. Otherwise, I’ll be skipping bedtime reading the night before to finish this homework for parents just so my kid doesn’t hate me. 

And I don’t think Dr. Seuss wants us skipping our bedtime reading. 

Shannon Casas is editor in chief of The Times and a foster parent. 

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