The thing about theme days

South Shore Breaker - - Sports - HEATHER LAURA CLARKE THE MOM SCENE heather­lau­r­

I love a good theme day.

There was no­body as ex­cited as me when I fi­nally got to par­tic­i­pate in my first crazy hair day at our el­e­men­tary school two years ago.

I was de­lighted in hot-glu­ing LEGO bricks to bar­rettes and turn­ing our son’s hair into a LEGO tor­nado. Our daugh­ter still talks about how much she loved the “cup­cake hair” I’d made by tug­ging her bal­let bun through a hole in a pa­per plate.

For my own hairdo, I wound a high pony­tail in­side an empty, two-litre Diet Coke bot­tle so it “poured” out the spout. I was re­ally proud of my­self un­til I saw a stu­dent who’d done the same thing, ex­cept hers even poured into a Sty­ro­foam cup. She clearly won.

The oc­ca­sional theme day is fun for ev­ery­one. But do you know what is not fun for ev­ery­one? A new theme each week — es­pe­cially when it’s for an af­ter­school ac­tiv­ity you’re pay­ing to at­tend.

I was ir­ri­tated when a no­tice came home from one of the kids’ ac­tiv­i­ties on the very first day, an­nounc­ing that there would be a new theme ev­ery sin­gle week for the term.

It started with py­jama day, which was easy enough. Then it was favourite shirt day and I had to make sure the favourite T-shirt was clean and ready to go, in­stead of what they would nor­mally wear to class.

Then it spi­ralled into outer space day (dress like an as­tro­naut or alien) and silly sock day and favourite hol­i­day week. I sup­pose it would be sim­ple enough to throw a Christ­mas-themed T-shirt on your kid, if you had one (we didn’t) and you had easy ac­cess to it in the be­gin­ning of Oc­to­ber.

The weekly themes are get­ting old — fast. It’s al­ready enough of an ef­fort to get my child ready, fed and de­liv­ered to their class a few min­utes early. All of these theme weeks mean that we, the par­ents, need to hus­tle to get their child the ap­pro­pri­ate the­mewear or else our child will feel left out or that they’ve done some­thing wrong by not dress­ing up.

The kids al­ready love the class and are happy to be there, un­like school, for ex­am­ple, where it be­comes rou­tine and per­haps they need a lit­tle fun to jazz it up some­times.

Adding a ran­dom theme to the mix for a fun, af­ter-school ac­tiv­ity is just un­nec­es­sary, in my opin­ion.

Or maybe I’m just cranky be­cause my child is al­ready ask­ing for a ring­mas­ter cos­tume for when cir­cus week rolls around.

Heather Laura Clarke

Heather Laura Clarke en­joys the oc­ca­sional theme day (like Crazy Hair Day) but doesn’t like when they hap­pen ev­ery sin­gle week.

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