Monday, October 20, 2008

Wishful Thinking

It's parent-teacher conference time again.   And besides all the wonderful things I heard about my son (she'd like to clone him - our parent-teacher conferences for that kid are really fun), I also learned a crazy thing about myself.  Apparently at the beginning of the year when we were checking out John's classroom and tucking his brand new pencils into his desk - apparently that day I also signed up to bring treats to the Halloween party.  I italicize treats because the fact that I signed up for that task is critically absurd.  

I look back on that girl - and just shake my head.  I know what she was thinking, the silly thing.  This is the year I'll change.  I'll be super involved.  I'll find a way to volunteer at the school despite the fact that I can barely get my work-at-home hours in just taking my kids to and from.  I'll read every paper carefully and never throw away anything important (aside:  I cannot find my password to check their grades online), and apparently I'll learn my way around the kitchen and grow a new personality in which I don't save crazy tasks like classroom treats until midnight the night before.  (Aside again:  Cookies for John's birthday treat?  Bedtime.  Night before.  Pillsbury Ready-to-bake.)

She showed me that reminder somewhere between "I want to clone him" and "Here's his reading score".  I did keep listening, but I kept one eye strategically scanning that sign up sheet searching it for my name.  Surely she was wrong.  I wouldn't have signed up for treats.  I'm the cups and napkins girl.  I'm really good at cups and napkins.  But there was the proof right in front of me.  Maybe I read it wrong or skipped a line or something.  But no, I think it was that first idea.  I signed up for treats like the person who buys the smaller size and vows to diet their way into it.  I think I was telling myself to step it up.  So now I'm furious with myself as any normal person will be at their motivator now and then.

It's not that I never enjoy making special things in the kitchen for my family.  It's just that I know my limitations, and Halloween treats for twenty 8-year-olds is way over my stress threshold.  Darn that first-day-of-school feeling!  Stick a new box of crayons in my face and suddenly I think I can take on the world.  Or, you know, popcorn balls.  Is that a Halloween treat?  I don't even know.  

14 comments:

lotusloq said...

popcorn balls are definitely a halloween treat. I'm not sure little kids know that though--maybe depending on where you live. Oreos with black licorice whips legs and red hot eyes stuck on with frosting are quick and cute and don't require much culinary skill. Of course, I don't know what kind of pressure the moms at your school put on to perform. I used to get that same rush and seemed to always bring cupcakes! I'm better about it now. Maybe because 2 of my kids are older and homeschooling, and I was out of town the night they signed up for all that stuff for my second grader who's not homeschooling. Whew!

serenity said...

Thank you for the idea!

Anonymous said...

Hint: Rice Krispy Treats. Oh yeah baby!

Kathy said...

In fact, you can buy Rice Krispy Treats ready made in a box. Take them out, stick them on a paperplate and cover them with foil :) No one will know.

Valerie said...

You can also get seasonally decorated sugar cookies from most bakeries (Madison loves the ones from Wal-Mart with frosting and sprinkles). As your mom said, just repackage them if you don't want the world to know they came from the store. If you don't care if they know, there are usually cute seasonal Little Debbie cakes out there for purchase too. Bringing treats does not have to translate into making beautifully decorated homemade treats. That wasn't on the paper you signed, was it? Kids love sugar and devour it too quickly to be overly ambitious! Oh, and a Halloween snack mix recipe: M&M's, candy corn, peanuts, and raisins (although my mom thinks candy corn is the devil with all the high fructose corn syrup).

serenity said...

No, siree, homemade wonderfulness was not on that paper I signed! You people are awesome for all these tips!

Also, Valerie, after this post you won't believe it - but we made John Michael a football cake for his birthday! Michael did all the decorating - I have to give him the credit. But I got the idea from your blog, and it was just perfect for our little sports nut.

Felicity said...

Check out FamilyFun.com. They usually have super cute Halloween treats that range in culinary difficulty. Also, on Becky's Wonders Never Cease blog she had a picture of little hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough to look like little mummies. You could do that and it would break up the sugar monotony. (With fat and unnamed animal parts, of course, but, really Super Moms can't be PERFECT!)

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness, that made me laugh ... because I can relate to every single word! :-)

zanne said...

you know, i was never good at treats either. i'm always the one who says, 'i'll bring the plates & napkins! or how 'bout juice boxes? i could bring juice boxes!' and when we lived in arizona, they started into this thing where you couldn't bring homemade treats AT ALL, nope, sorry, have to be pre-packaged 'official' treats from the store. while i am totally opposed to that on health grounds (which is funny, because they said that's why they made the rule!) it sure did make it easier on me... just pick up a pack of little debbie's on the way... :D

Anonymous said...

If I was coming that way between now and when you need the treats I would gladly make the them for you.I love that kind of stuff. I'm sure with all the ideas people have given on hear you'll whip out something great.

-Heather Toro

Anonymous said...

Stink! That was supposed to be "here" not "hear" :0P

Anonymous said...

ummm.... you can check their grades online? I missed that memo too! Obviously, I can totally relate. I signed up for party favors and I'm stumped - next year I'm gonna get there early so that plates and napkins aren't taken yet.
michelle m

SolShine7 said...

LOL. Your stories amuse me.

AmyB. said...

Loved this, Seren! I love making things homemade. We are one of the schools that want pre-packaged treats. (peanut allergies are the concern) There is no way I have time for this stuff, especially since all 4 of my kids want me to help at all of their parties and I work at the school! Boy have I had to change my expectations of what Mom looks like the past few years! It has taken a while but I'm finally figuring out that I don't have to be Super Mom, that actually it is much better to just be Mom. :-)