PracticalDad’s Information Folder

When you’re bouncing back and forth amongst kids, it’s easy to set aside school and activity paperwork and lose track of it.  Unfortunately, this paperwork – showing schedules/contact names, field trip information, registrations, and all many of stuff – is just as important as the tax receipts.  So I keep a folder at the kitchen desk to hold specifically and only that information.  And I’ve come to live by it.

Today was one of the days where the system broke down.  Middle had a choral concert this evening, and a form was sent home weeks ago by the music teacher with all of the pertinent information including the all-important what-to-wear.  This form unfortunately didn’t make it to the folder after being noted on the family calendar.  Consequently, this morning found all manner of angst about what would be appropriate attire since what a sixth grader finds appropriate doesn’t match PracticalDad’s definition.  This chart exemplifies the conflict:

                                                                Pants                              Shirt                              Shoes

PracticalDad                                         Navy Blue Dress          White long-sleeve      Black dress shoes

Middle Child                                          Blue Jeans                    White t-shirt                Black sneakers

Making the situation even more difficult was that the students were being bused to the high school immediately after school and wouldn’t be home to change, so what they put on that morning was it for the concert.

Now here are a few comments about what you’ll hear from kids who want their way.

  • All the guys are wearing t-shirts and blue jeans.  Lemme get this straight.  I’m the only parent out of more than fifty sets of parents who thinks that a concert deserves more than looking like a skateboard convention? 
  • All the guys are wearing t-shirts and blue jeans (part two).  Remember that any twelve year old boy who enjoys dressing in a dress shirt and slacks is going to be thought of as the town freak by his peers, so none of them are willing to admit that they have to dress appropriately.  They’re blowing smoke.
  • I can’t wear this all day!  Why can’t I just take it with me?  Because dear son, if you put it in your backpack it will wind up in your desk and forgotten.  If you put it on a hanger, it will probably fly out the bus window if it even makes it to the bus for the trip to the high school.
  • It’ll just get dirty on the playground.  Dude, the staff ain’t stupid and you won’t be on the playground today.  And you’ll note that there’s no mustard on your lunch sandwich.

Had I not been so engrossed in an argument with Middle, I would’ve thought to call another parent.  And after he left, I made sure that I pulled the folder to verify that other upcoming event information was there.

As it was, he went to school in the PracticalDad approved attire just like all of the other kids in white dress shirts and dark slacks.  And yes, he heard about it afterwards, too.


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