Thursday, November 8, 2007

No shoes, no service

Lately, Hannah has been expressing a lot of anxiety about P.E. at school. Every morning as we're getting dressed she wails, "Oh, I hope I don't have P.E. today. Do you think I have P.E. today? Oh, please, NO P.E. TODAY!" One would think that she is being asked to spend her childhood in a hot, sweaty factory assembling plastic toys for ten cents a day instead of playing a little kickball on the playground with her friends.

This has been going on for several weeks now. She loves and adores absolutely everything else about school. Riding the bus? Awesome. Her friends? Perfect. I think she even has a major crush on her music teacher, Mr. Eddy. But when it comes to P.E.? It's a nightmare.

And I'll be honest, I have for the most part ignored this. I've simply not worried about it. Felt like it was one of those things that would work itself out.

Because you know what, kid? I hated P.E., too. I'm still traumatized by those years spent in my middle school gym uniform - an orange shirt, blue short-shorts, and knee socks - holding my head and bracing for the worst as the boys pummeled the girls in dodge ball. I was never what you would call athletically gifted and did not enjoy humiliating myself in front of my entire class. So I get it. But what can I do? She's at the beginning of what will be several years of torture.

But finally, I decided that the time had come to have a talk. I thought I'd use this proud parenting moment to help her understand that even if she doesn't like something, it's important to try. I'd even throw in my favorite lecture on the necessity of physical fitness (just hold on, let me put down my donut first). I was going to help her toughen up, deal with these issues, and get past them.

So I sat down and began to ask her what she hated about P.E.

And do you know what I found out? Apparently, because she is not in sneakers, they will not let her participate with the rest of the class. Anyone who doesn't wear sneakers, has to stay inside and bounce a ball against the wall, while the rest of the class plays outside.

It has come to this.

I have become THAT parent.

You know who I'm talking about. The one that sends their child to school with a lunchbox full of candy and cheetos. Or sends them without lunch. Or money, even. Or shoes, in my case.

Now you have to understand that the child wears dresses and tights EVERY. SINGLE. SECOND that she is awake and breathing. And because I am trying REALLY HARD to deny all that is white trash inside me, I refused to let her wear sneakers with a dress.

At the beginning of the school year, I bought her a very cute pair of Sketchers, which in my mind, WERE her sneakers (not to mention the ten other pairs of non-sneaker-like shoes taking up space in her closet). These have a rubber sole on the bottom, just like a sneaker, and cost a lot more than those ugly, light-blinking princess ones she wanted. But because they don't lace up and look like a traditional sneaker, the gym teacher has kept her inside.

Had they sent a note home, or called, I would have immediately gotten her the proper shoes. I may go to Wal-Mart in my sweats, and [gasp] without make-up, but dammit, my kids are well-dressed in public.

So now, in the eyes of the school, I am white trash mom no more. And in true Hannah form, she proudly wears those ugly pink and white sneakers with her dresses and tights. Which makes us look like white trash anyway.

I think I'll give up. I'm just going to throw my hair into a scrunchee, put on a moo-moo, rat my bangs, and celebrate with dinner at Chuck-E-Cheese.

At least there, I'll be with my own kind.

23 comments:

RobynandJoe said...

That's pretty funny...at least you finally got the real reason out of her...it could have gone on for the whole year! When you go to Chuck-E-Cheese with your moo-moo, etc., make sure you take a picture and blog about it...can't wait to see it!

Mahina said...

take your camera with you to chuck e. cheese! that would be a great post! i look forward to the mu'u mu'u!

i can't believe you never got a note about the shoes! that's not right! glad you got to the bottom of the "i don't like p.e." thing!

Bridget said...

You are so funny. I unfortunately had to give up dressing my kids well. They have STRONG opinions about what they will and will not wear. I stopped fighting the tears and tantrums and I'm lucky if they are fully clothed in public. I'm jealous your kids will wear cute things. Nice choice with the Sketchers though.

Just as a note, Maren wears similar shoes and her P.E. teacher does approve them for physical activity.

Amanda said...

I have to say that I think it is strange that they didn't send a note or something home! I would have been annoyed. I'm also surprised that they didn't think the sketchers were "sneaker" enough. They are very cute.

girlymama said...

I remember CRYING in 1st grade because I had to wear (gasp!) pants on Thursdays for PE - they wouldn't let me wear a dress. I was seriously very upset.

Tell Hannah I can totally relate.

DanandCindy said...

Why do the public schools feel like they need to indoctrinate our children on their definition of sneakers? You shouldn't have conformed. You should have bucked the system, and teach these schools that they have to stop telling our kids what to wear. Are they freaking podiatrists?

Paige said...

PE shoes are a big issue for us to. I'm glad you caved on the ugly shoes, I'd try the skechers route too. I've got too many kids to tie their freakin' shoes, or wait while they tie them.

You are a better mom than me, I would have gone in a proven to the gym teacher that her shoes WORKED, darn it!

Denae said...

Every mother's fear... to be "the mom" that neglects her child! But don't worry about it. I think those skechers are FINE! But at least it's not really PE she has the issue with.

Kimberly and Devon said...

Hey, at least they still offer P.E. and music classes there. I don't know what's wrong with the schools here, but we don't have extra things like that!

momy4him said...

i am with bridget on this one. i dread shopping for my kids because they never like what i like. they would go to school with ratty hair and mismatched clothes everyday if they could!

momy4him said...

tagged!

Marty said...

I think it's great she eventually told you the "problem." I didn't find out for years that my kids weren't popular because they took hot lunch. In my day, cold lunch meant you couldn't afford hot lunch, so by my way of thinking, I was giving my kids social standing. Who knew I was really ruining their self esteem?

My name is Ali... said...

I love your stories! You're so good at telling them and actually having me feel like I can picture it all...and I don't even know you! Too funny, love, love, love your blog!

Family Adventure said...

Oh poor girlie! I have had similar situations with the boys. Why, oh, why, can they not just come out and SAY it? I would have taken care of it already. Argh!
Seriously, though, the teacher could have sent you a note when s/he noticed the shoe situation to be a regular occurrence!

And those shoes (in the next post) are rockin' :)

Heidi

lainakay said...

I, too, am surprised that they didn't send a note and that your PE teacher isn't savvy enough to know that those Skechers ARE sneakers! Princess wears Ked Mary Janes frequently for PE with no problems! She's a girly-girl, too.

Poor girl doesn't have lovely blinky Princess sneakers though because she has a mean Mommy that shops for school clothes WITHOUT her! I'm not sure yet what she thinks when she sees other kids wearing them... in her world they don't exist!

Celia Fae said...

I really need to know if you did, in fact, buy the princess sneakers.

gab said...

Never bought the princess sneakers...but we did cave on the Strawberry Shortcake sandals.

Every day I shake my head at the outfit Em wears to school...with a closet and dresser FULL to bursting with darling clothes, she chooses her outfits based on the "softness" factor. Soft=old, faded and ugly.

Jessica said...

Have people already suggested having her tote the shoes and changing into them?...that's what we do around here.

Cara said...

I love it! YOU should write the PE teacher a note and complain. Seriously what's up with that? If it helps, my Cassidy will take her shoes in her backpack on PE day if they don't match her outfit and change them right before. BTW I think you should write a book. You are so funny and such a great writer it would sell millions!!

Cara said...

One more thing about this book you are going to write. You are WAY more talented than that ebay lady and funnier too AND I know a publisher. So get to it gitlfriend, I want to see you in print!

crystal said...

Hooo boy! Much laughing on my end of the computer with this post. I'm a little perturbed, though, that I might be "that" mom for real! Cheetos in the lunchbox--why not? No lunch--it's happened! Forgot to pay the lunch bill so my kid gets fed bread and water--done it!

Ouch.

mama jo said...

get used to it...teachers for some reason love to torture parents...it would have been so simple to send a note if it's that big of a problem...good luck...

Darilyn said...

I'm with Paige. I would have marched myself into that gym teacher too and made a complete fool out of myself. I applaud you for your self control. I think those shoes would be just fine!