Happy Hawaiian Cowboy Pajama Day!!

It’s 8 o’clock at night, and the moment of bliss most parents dream of is upon me – my kid’s bedtime.  I breathe a sigh of relief and pat myself on the back for managing to keep both my kids alive for another day.  I’m precisely five minutes away from snuggly pajamas and a glass of wine when my youngest child utters six little words that shatter all my illusions of a lazy night of couch surfing….

“It’s Hawaiian day at school tomorrow.”

My body immediately goes into crisis mode, and within a matter of seconds, I’ve mentally inventoried the entire contents of my house for anything that might qualify as even remotely Hawaiian.  With a growing sense of dread, I realize that I’ve got nothing, unless the can of pineapples in the refrigerator counts.   I waste a few more moments clinging to the hope that I can somehow fashion a shirt out of pineapple chunks and dental floss because the alternative is even more gruesome – beginning a scavenger hunt for leis and grass skirts at 8:00 at night.

Suddenly I’m launched into the parental version of  The Amazing Race – can this exhausted, frazzled mom find something Hawaiian before the clock runs out?  Or will she just give up and drink herself into oblivion?  Stay tuned and find out!!

I opt out of getting drunk (for the moment), race over to the party supply store, and squeak through the doors ten minutes before they close.  I shrink beneath the glares of the workers who silently berate me for standing in the way of their own dreams of pajamas and couch surfing.  But my remorse only lasts for a second because at the moment, my life sucks even more than theirs.

When I find the luau section, I realize that my worst nightmare has come true – it’s totally picked clean.  All the parents who paid attention to the flyer that was given out last week, telling us about Hawaiian Day, have already been here like a plague of overly organized locusts.  All that remains is one pathetically mangled, plastic lei that would make Don Ho sob on his ukulele.

The pineapple chunk shirt, it is.

Before all the inhabitants of our beautiful 50th state get pissed off at me, you should know that it’s not just “Hawaiian Day” that I have a problem with – it’s all of these special theme days that schools set up thinking it’s going to promote a sense of school spirit.  Because all they really do is make 90% of the parents frantic, and inflate the (already inflated) egos of the other 10% who see these days as their opportunity to prove to the world that they’re the BEST PARENTS EVER.  You know who you are, and if you fall into the 10% category, please stop reading.  I’m sure your time would be better served finishing up that batch of homemade Play-Doh for your kids, or continuing your search for organic crayons.

For the other 90%, please know that I feel your pain:  the panic, resentment, inadequacy, and guilt over knowing that your special themed outfit will suck in comparison to the other 10%.  But fear not.  Here on my blog you are free to bitch about all the special themed days that make you want to set the PTA president’s underwear on fire.

Here are some of mine, in no particular order (because they all suck equally)….

Hawaiian Day Not only because of the aforementioned Hawaiian Day story fiasco, but also because it seems unfair that only one of the fifty states should be celebrated every year.  Where is Disgruntled People of New York Day??  Not festive enough for you?  Well, excuse the hell out of us for not pooping sunshine and rainbows, Hawaii.

Looks like these kids got to the party store first.

Clearly these kids got to the party store first.

Crazy Hair Day – If we’re being honest, this day should really be called You’ll-Be-Scrubbing-That-Crap-Out-of-Your-Hair-For-Hours Day.  It’s not “special” enough to just leave your kid’s bed head alone in the morning.  Now, you’ve got to dye, mold, and sculpt your kid’s hair until they look like they stepped off the pages of a Dr. Seuss book.

Cindy Lou Who motherfuckers.

One fish, two fish, red fish, screw this.

Pajama Day – This day is deceptively difficult.  On the surface it looks like a great opportunity to save parents time in the morning.  You get to just hop out of bed and you’re already dressed for school, kids!!  Wrong.  My kids sleep in oversized t-shirts and sweatpants that are too crappy to wear to school.  But thanks to the magic of Pajama Day, now I’ve got to go out and buy actual pajamas so my kid’s teacher doesn’t think we’re homeless.

I bet half those pajamas were hanging on a department store clothing rack 24-hours ago.

I bet half those pajamas were hanging on a department store clothing rack 24-hours ago.

Victorian/ Colonial Times Day – Stop it.  Seriously.  I’m not going to go out and spend gobs of money on time period clothing just so some school teacher can have a reason to live out her secret Little House on the Prairie or Queen Victoria fantasies.  Kids should learn about history the way nature intended – from a textbook.  Too boring?  Tough shit.

Where are parents buying these little doily hats?!  Sure as hell isn’t the party store.

Where are parents buying these little doily hats?!
Sure as hell isn’t the party store.

The Hundredth Day of School – Most of the time this day is commemorated by making the kids dress up like they’re 100-years old.  Because nothing says school spirit better than adult diapers, polyester-blends, and dentures!  Am I right?

Smile and pretend that you’re life is almost over, kids!!

Smile and pretend that your life is almost over, kids!!

Okay, now it’s your turn.  Vent, rant and rave to your heart’s content because it’s better to do it here than at Parent/Teacher conference night…..

19 thoughts on “Happy Hawaiian Cowboy Pajama Day!!

  1. I feel your pain! My son was in first grade (he’s 29 now and I still shake when I remember this) when he woke up one morning and announced to me “Oh yeah, Mom, I forgot to tell you that today is the day my class is going to celebrate my birthday so you have to bring cake.” WHAT!!! I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet so I didn’t even have a box mix in the house! So here’s where my Italian grandmother’s superpowers of being able to put on a meal for ten unexpected guests finally kicked in and got passed down to me. I scoured the kitchen and found one lonely cup of coffee yogurt in the fridge, just enough dust at the bottom of the flour container, and enough oil and vinegar to put together one of those King Arthur Flour one-pan cake recipes in time to rush it over to school as the celebration began. Later that day rumors reached me that the kids loved my cake better than their own mothers’ cakes and even the teacher wanted my recipe! Hee! Hee! A little gloating never hurt anybody, but I kept the secret to myself. Told everybody it was an old family recipe that was handed down through the generations and not to be shared with outsiders. LOL!

    • Jody –

      There’s nothing worse than that flash of panic, is there? In that one moment, you envision yourself walking up on stage to accept your award for the worst mother of the year. But I give you major kudos for throwing together something so creative at the last minute. I probably would’ve ended up throwing some Oreos at my kid and saying, “Better luck next year”.

      This year, my son’s school has instituted a new rule about bringing in food for your kid’s birthday. There are so many allergies that now you can’t make anything homemade; it has to be store bought so they can read the label and find out if there are any allergens in it. I pretended to act disappointed, but inside I was turning cartwheels because it meant that I would never have to stay up until midnight frosting cupcakes again.


  2. Picture this. It’s February 2004. I drop off my FIVE MONTH old at daycare and am remided by the teacher that tomorrow is sports jersey day. So I go off to my job in my suit and heels and after work I head over to the mall (which is shaped like a big wagon wheel, so there are five corridors and at the end of each corridor you will get to a big store like Sears or JC Pennys, but you have to backtrack to get to another big store.) So I’m going back and forth with the heels on and FINALLY, I find a Denver Broncos jersey that is probably a 2T which is still 3 or 4 sizes too big for Dante bkut he can still wear it and I can still keep what’s left of my somewhat awesome mom status. I pay no attention to the name on the back. (Note foreshadowing)

    For four years, Dante wore that jersey to daycare on jersey day. One day, I took him in and his teacher (a male) asks me if I’m related to Jake Plummer (the name on the back of the jersey) I say no. His teacher smirks and moves on. So I go home and google Jake Plummer and here’s what I get:

    “On March 23, 1997, Plummer was accused of fondling three women at the Tempe, Arizona night club, Club Rio. The women stated to police that Plummer reached under their skirts and down their pants while dancing with them and consuming alcohol. When one of the women objected, he allegedly kicked her in the leg. Plummer was formally charged on May 28, 1997, with felony sexual abuse. He later struck a plea bargain, received two years probation, was also fined $1,020, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.”

    Awesome. I got blisters on my feet to get a size 2T jersey for this jackwagon.

    Today happens to be jersey day at school. Dante is wearing a generic Philadelphia Union tee shirt (Major League Soccer). Hopefully the team won’t be busted for crack orgies any time soon.

    • Moe –

      So it’s not enough that we have to find a sports jersey at the last minute? Now we have to run background checks on the players too? That’s bullshit. Well, look on the bright side, if Dante ever has a “bring your favorite sex offender” to school day, you’re covered.


  3. I’m the party-pooper bitch of a parent who would likely launch a campaign against Hawaiian Day as promoting the marginalization of culture, ala https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/1489_462525467198703_1394016980_n.jpg. Luckily for my kids and their schools (though not me) they live with their father who couldn’t care less and so the chance of double embarrassment (being dressed in the last minute pathetic grub they would end up in because, planning and no one has time for that, as well as having THAT mom) is negated by home address.

    • Melanie –

      I can be your campaign manager!! And after we eradicate all special theme days at school, my next job as your campaign manager will be to go find your ex-husband and strangle him with my sad, little plastic lei.


      • Special theme days are the bane of parents’ existence. You’d think there wasn’t a teacher alive with children.
        If you tell my ex you’ve got a lei for him, he’ll hear lay and will be an easy target. Woot! But no, I can’t. You’re kids need someone to turn them into centenarians at the drop of a hat.

      • I suppose I should have waited a few hours – when I went to pick up my K student from public school this afternoon, there were all the other kids wearing pjs. OOPS!!!! Mommy missed that memo some how! And when I picked up my other child from his Montessori VPK- a flier came with him announcing ‘spirit week’ next week. I am at a loss. What will I do???? Dun dun duuuunnnnnn

        • There are few words that can fill my heart with dread the way “spirit week” can…. except maybe “annual pap smear”. Good luck! Please report back any motherly bumblings for my amusement.

  4. My daughter goes to Disney daycare so they have days like favorite Mickey shirt which we thankfully own a lot of. I was never a fan of Spirit week when I was in school. We ended up with flannel shirt day. Just what every parent wants to document: a class full of flannel shirt wearing teenagers.

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