When Annalyn was in full-time daycare, I didn’t have time to get to know her classmates’ parents. Sure, I smiled politely – and tried not to ding their cars in the cramped parking lot. But when it came time for class parties and school fundraisers, I just didn’t participate.
[I know this is not good. But it’s how it was. Just don’t tell the Mom of the Year committee.]
Now that my schedule has freed up quite a bit, I’m excited – and a little nervous – to get more involved. But even though we walk past each other during morning drop-off, I hadn’t had a chance to get to know any of the other parents.
Enter the class Halloween party. I just knew it: THIS would be my chance.
When Annalyn’s teachers sent home the sign-up sheet for the party, I played it safe and volunteered to bring drinks and cups. The sheet came back with a note that said cups had already been provided, and that I should not bring boxed drinks. Please.
Ummm…what? Not boxed? Then what am I supposed to bring?
Honestly, I realize this is not a difficult situation. It’s not complicated or confusing or anything. But for DAYS, I could not think of a single drink that is not boxed.
Here’s the thing: WE NEVER BUY BOXED DRINKS. But once they said “no boxed drinks,” it’s the ONLY thing I could think of!
Thankfully, I realized a few days before the big party that I could just buy a bottle of juice. (I know. I am so smart.)
I decided to be festive and bought apple cider. It cost about three times more than regular juice, but you know what? It was for a PARTY.
Apparently, not everyone feels the same.
As I folded myself into a mom accordion to sit (on the floor) next to Annalyn as her teachers passed out party snacks, I heard another mom say to her dad (I think it was her dad. It’s not like we went around the room and did introductions. Although that sure would have been nice.), “Hahaha! When they poured it into his cup, he [her son, another student in the class] said, ‘Ew! I don’t want JUICE! It has too much sugar!’ Hahaha!”
Look. I make no secret of my issues with food (and weight). I have bad eating habits and am forever battling them. But because of that, I have worked SO hard to teach Annalyn to eat much better. And it’s worked (so far)! She loves fruits and vegetables, and she only drinks milk and water.
But because I tried to be FESTIVE, now I’m branded the UNHEALTHY mom.
Did I mention that the anti-sugar mom is the size of a toothpick, drives a Hummer and wears low-cut yoga pants every day that conveniently reveal her lower back tattoo? And that I was trying not to be all judgy-judgy?!
Oh well. Since the party, I’ve realized that it’s not that big of a deal. (News flash!)
And besides, I met three other moms (and one dad) who were SUPER nice. One lady suggested we get together and scrapbook, the mom and dad who live near us and have THREE girls age THREE and under cracked me up, and the other mom and I bonded over willful three-year-olds and their tantrums.
So, overall, the preschool Halloween party was good for meeting some other parents. Even if ONE of them hates me and my sugar-drinking ways.
[Oh yeah, Annalyn had a good time, too. Until she threw a fit and got herself put in timeout. By me, not her teachers. That’s notable, because I’m confident her teachers would have known not to put her in the stairway for timeout. The stairway that ECHOES. Yeah.]
This Friday, I’m giving this meeting other moms thing another try. I’m going to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting. When I signed up, I didn’t think I’d know anyone, but apparently a couple girls from my church go to this group. I’ll keep you posted on how this outing is . . .
If you’re a mother, are you friends with the parents at your kids’ schools? And whether you’re a mom or not, do you have any suggestions for the next time I take drinks for the class?
Lol, I think cider/juice is just fine. Here’s the thing: Someone will ALWAYS complain about what you do or bring. If you brought milk, someone would have been lactose intolerant. If you brought water, someone would have complained about that, too. If it was me, I might ask the teachers about what parents usually bring to make myself feel better, but I still think your choice was just fine.
So true! Thanks!
I’m not friends with the other parents…but, I smile, say hi etc. I kind of avoid the “I’m a part of every aspect of my child’s life” moms. They pretty much drive me crazy because they never stop talking about themselves or their kids. That’s my non-judgemental opinion ;)
As far as juice…my kids certainly get it here and there (usually watered down) but for a special occasion, I think it’s great! You have to treat your kids sometimes, or else they’ll end up in therapy later on! :0
I water down juice on the rare occasion I give it, too. And let’s be honest – there will be therapy, juice or no juice. ;)
It’s kind of like what my doctor told me when I asked about giving my little girl sweets–all in moderation. He said if you deprive her of all sweets, she could become like one of those kids who will fight for a stale M&M off of the floor! We don’t want that!
No, we don’t want that. :)
Hmm… I’ve never heard of a preschool requesting “no boxed drinks”. That’s insane! I always bring juicy juice for my kids preschool class. When I worked I didn’t get to know any parents in the preschool class. But then I did when I quit working. My son made friends with the kids in the class and so we had lots of play dates and I was able to get to know the moms one-on-one (because the hallway at drop-off is so awkward). So this year has been interesting because my middle son is a bit of an introvert and hasn’t asked for any of the kids to come over to play. Perhaps I’m going to have to initiate it myself. But yeah, it’s hard to build relationships during this season.
Oh, how I wish I’d thought of Juicy Juice! I’m so glad for these tips, though – because I’ll do that next time!
I’m friends with a couple of the moms from my kid’s school, but they are all elementary. Not so much when my kids were in preschool.
Keep in mind, that a cup of apple juice is 2 fruit servings! No worries about your choice. Juice is just fine – as long as it’s not all the kids are drinking!
Well, it’s certainly not all MY kid is drinking! :)
I’ve learned that as long as it says TRADER JOE’S, WHOLE FOODS (or if you’re really looking to impress ORGANIC) on the bottle it’s not as sinful for some reason :) Honestly, I’d rather be the “unhealthful” mom showing up with juice then the “are you kidding me?!” mom showing up with milk…ha ha
Ahhh, there it is. I should’ve brought organic cider! ;)
Tell me about it. I love most of the moms at my daughter’s preschool, butone mom who said to me, “What? You let your kids play video games?”
I patiently tried to explain to her that where I work we MAKE learning games for preschoolers that help them learn pre-reading skills. And that we play together. And when she said, “Too much screen time is bad for kids that young,” I told her they only get a half hour a day, and that they have to earn it by picking up their toys.
She still kinda looked down her nose at me, kinda shaking her head like ‘what a bad mom’. And then her kid pushed my daughter and I felt really justified in thinking she was a jerk.
You could try bottled water in those cutesy little kid bottles, if that was allowed, but honestly, juice seems fine to me. I only care if someone tries to give my kids soda or something.
Wow. I don’t think I’d like that mom, either. Hmph!
Oh I’m glad to read that you didn’t participate in school fundraisers. My son’s pre-school is having a bingo fundraiser this weekend that we are supposed to be selling tickets to. We are new to the community and I work full-time from home, so I haven’t sold any. I’m dreading turning the packet in with nothing sold. I keep hoping my husband will come home from work and announce that he found a lot of bingo playing old ladies to buy our tickets, but I just don’t see that happening :).
Also I’ve taken juice to my son’s school twice now. Totally fine! It is a snack, it is a treat. Personally we don’t give it at home so I don’t mind if he has it at school.
I wouldn’t worry about that fundraiser. There will always be another one. ;)
Hang in there, Mary. I’m proud of the way you’re putting yourself out there and making the attempt to meet the other parents. Some of my very best friends were other moms from my girls’ elementary school. We bonded during Moms In Touch and have been friends for years now.
Thanks, Shelly. It seems like it gets harder and harder to get up the nerve to meet people the older I get. I keep forcing myself, though, because I know it’s the right thing. And I’m hoping practice makes…easier. :)
Oh, hon, this brought back such memories of my son’s preschool days….not all of them good, either! Whenever we had class parties in 3K there was a mom who always made these elaborate sandwiches that the kids LOVED. I brought chips. Ha!
I have been “friendly” with other parents at school but not “friends”, unless I know them from somewhere else, like church. But, that’s just me. I like to keep my circle of friends small.
OK, here’s what you do…Next time you bring juice, get the reduced-sugar Mott’s apple juice in addition to whatever else you bring. Speak up to super-skinny yoga mom and say, “I know you’re concerned about little Timmy’s sugar intake so I brought him some special juice, or maybe you’d just like to fill his cup from the water fountain, instead.” She may not really get the point but you will feel a whole lot better! :-)
Yes, I’ll definitely choose “more wisely” next time. Although I can’t help but wonder what her son’s eating every OTHER day at snacktime!
Seriously, you are the unhealthy mom because of juice? Would they have preferred an artificially-flavored “juice beverage”? Or one that is 10% juice? Juice is fine, as long as it’s not the only thing they are drinking. Give me a break.
End rant. :-)
I know. And thank you. :)
Oh you are SO much nicer than I’d be. I think I would have told the non-juicin’ Mama something like… Well I did bring some diet soda too if you’d rather have something with less sugar. he.he.he.
I didn’t say a word. You know what they say – if you don’t have anything nice to say…!
My goodness the craziness of class parties! I would have taken the juice comment personally too until I ranted about it and let it go.
Do the preschoolers pour their own drinks? That’s why we had to bring in regular juice or whathaveyou to preschool when my kids went.
Older grades we would just do caprisun and bottles of water for the parents attending.
Hope MOPS goes well. I’ve never participated in that before.
No, they don’t pour their own. THAT would be a mess with these little ones! :)
my daughter’s preschool asks that we only send in 100% juice- no Hi-C or Hawaiin Punch- or juice cocktails- I always send Juicy Juice apple juice
I guess I’ll try that next time. Guess it just goes to show how much I DON’T know about juice!!
I see no problem with juice for a class party. We don’t drink juice at home, but I actually expect juice of some kind to be served at parties. Sometimes my kids choose water, but that is their choice. I don’t know a lot of moms at school, because I don’t go to everything at school either. I don’t work outside the home, but I do have a 6 month old, a willful 2 year old, and a 5 year old to take with me everywhere. Not so conducive to having fun and meeting the other parents. I know a few moms better, but it has taken a couple of years in school to get to that point.
Keep meeting people and keep telling us about it!
Yes, I’d say you have three great reasons not to attend every school event! :)