EVERY. SINGLE. SCHOOL THING. EVER. Show me the thing my kid made or let me hear my kid sing and GET ME THE FUUUUUUUUCK OUT. If there’s one thing that puts me on edge, it’s chaos. And there’s NOTHING ON THIS EARTH more chaotic than whatever an elementary school wants parents to come down and see. An elementary school is basically a Hellmouth. Disorder and chaos and disease and discord just radiates from every elementary school auditorium like a discordant heartbeat.

Speaking of disease, a third of my kid’s class is out with the flu and one of those little plague vectors gave it to my kid. So this year we’re celebrating Sickmas. Just think of all the less fortunate, healthy children. Do they  know it’s Sickmastime at all? As you reflect on those poor, non-immunocompromised souls, throw back a mug of Purellnog and warm yourself by throwing all your clothes and bedsheets in the fire. “I’m dreaming of a bleaaaagh Sickmaaaassss.”

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DID YOU GET YOUR HOGWARTS LETTER YET?! Check out these Harry Potter inspired owl post earrings and necklaces my wife made:

harry potter owl post letter necklace earrings etsy

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  1. Why I couldn't be a parent, in a nutshell. I've been to enough of my siblings' school recitals, I'm good on them for a lifetime. (There's also the fact that the very thought of being completely responsible for a tiny human's well-being is straight up fucking terrifying to me – I can barely take care of myself FFS!)

  2. I helped out with my little brother's Christmas concert last week and everything was just so bad. When I came home I immediately apologized to my dad for every elementary concert he had to site through for my brothers and I.
    During the thing I turned to my old music teacher and asked, "Is this seriously what I have to look forward to when I become a parent?" He replied with a solemn, "Yes."

    • There's one aspect of every one of my Kiddo's school programs that frustrates me to the point of madness and that is how NO ONE in that school knows how to set up a PA system. Every assembly or program we've been too, the PA speakers are pointed AWAY from the audience and AT the kids. PA speakers are DIRECTIONAL. They do this, supposedly so the kids can hear the music or whatever, but the audience can hear NOTHING. Kids walk up to the mic, say their line and no one hears ANYTHING. They're using the speakers as monitors and don't seem to understand that the audience is completely left in the dark.

      Of course, this makes me irate while I'm ACTUALLY THERE. As soon as we leave, Im just glad to be gone and I no longer care about the audio visual woes of the elementary school.

      • That's so you can get maximum "SKEEEEERRKK!! SVEEK! SKRAACK! feedback.

        I swear they test school employees on technology and only the ones that fail are hired.

      • Fortunately, my elementary school has the PA system permanently mounted to the walls point outwards from the stage. Unfortunately, children still do not understand that you need to be loud so a microphone actually picks up what you're saying.

  3. Well at least they don't boot your car or demand you turn over your car keys when you enter the gym for the performances…I assume that would be a form of kidnapping!

  4. When I first saw your tweet about your daughter's school program I laughed a little and thought to myself "he's probably exaggerating." Then I went to my son's preschool winter concert. Holy baby Jesus was I wrong. The madness, the moving chairs out of their straight lines, the sitting in the front row even though your kid's not performing right now. On top of that the songs were repeated so many times. "Oh hey, you liked the 18 month old's rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas? How about the three year olds?? Four year olds?? Is that better? Is this what you want????" And dear lord the off-tune singing of the teachers. Also didn't help to have my moon's blood upon me and having to sit next to…people uugh. But my kid was amazing and he sang all the songs and totally didn't run off even though some other kid pushed him. He's perfect, perfect I say!

  5. Also it's always in the gym, for obvious reasons, and those things are acoustically HORRID.

    The worst part is that they could stop the echoes and make it so people had half a hope of at least hearing what was going on (you still couldn't actually see it unless you were in the first three rows, unless you're fortunate enough to be on raked bleachers) by simply hanging some curtains on the walls. Heck, just make some basic, thin frames out of scrap lumber and cover them with carpet, and hang them on the walls during things like this to absorb the sound instead of bouncing it all over the place, would make a HUGE difference.

    At least it's only once a year.

  6. No children. Never. Don't see how people handle it.

    I have three nieces, and I've deftly pigeonholed myself into the "eccentric uncle" role. That means I don't have to go to these bizarre public gatherings, and I get to patiently await their crossover into sentience before interacting with them. Also, they get to toss soft objects at me and/or stare at me vacantly when we're at family gatherings. Fine print, gets you every time.

  7. Now imagine also not being a Christian and having to sit there listening to 87 Christmas songs, and the one token Hanukka song. If I may quote XKCD, King Wenceslas massacred my people.


  8. Ha! I used to teach dance classes, ages 3-adult (DIFFERENT classes, although all together would be amusing). I loved watching; I was seeing all of them through "parent" eyes because I love all of them, so it was always heartwarming & hilarious at the same time. Otherwise? Yes, it's hell. HELL.

    Also definitely using "Sickmas" from now on – my niece has made everyone deathly ill 2 years in row! Looking forward to coughing around their new fireplace!

  9. Beat boxing and free-style rap would have been infinitely preferable to what I had to do as a kid in those shows. For 5th and 6th grade, I had to go to a private Christian school for reasons to this day elude me. Didn't help I had terrible stage fright back then, but as I get older (and drink more booze), those memories become a hazy blur.

  10. Sorry to hear that your kid has the flu. I just got over it, and I think that's what killed my hamster.

    The first time I had the flu was on Thanksgiving weekend, 1991. All that food, and just looking at it made me want to barf. Even worse, any food I ate and didn't puke up tasted like absolutely NOTHING. It was like a punishment designed by Hades for all the assholes in Tartarus.

    Speaking of your kid and the holidays, go check your PO Box. The Transformers I sent you guys should already be there. Hope you guys enjoy them!

    • Note: Stomach Flu and Influenza are different beasties.

      My bout with Influenza was more "I'm a guest in someone else's home, I want to die, how can I feel hot and cold at the same time? I just wanna go home, but I'm not safe to drive 3 hours."

  11. For half a second the way the way the crowd in front is blueshifted and the color of Emily's shirt made me think that she was wearing a crop-top.

  12. Last year I observed Sickmas in the traditional way- lying on the couch sipping nutrient replacement liquid from the chemist, and watching Archer DVDs. I can't say I cared for it. I hope your daughter feels better soon, Joel.

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