Friday, December 10, 2010

Thankful Hats & Celebratory Candles

Josie is an enthusiastic listener.  And if something she hears peeks her interest, she will remember it FOREVER.  It happens a lot at school.  Teachers will mention something to Josie in passing and she will come home and announce it as urgent fact.  Unfortunately, her memory has a few flaws, the most important being that it can be more than a tad selective.  Josie also has a very poor concept of time, so if you mention some event or assignment to her, chances are she will only remember a few key pieces of it and she'll have no idea when it's actually due. 

Case in point:  right before Thanksgiving, Josie came home and told us that she needed to bring in a hat on the next music class day and the hat had to represent something that she was "thankful for."  "A hat?"  I asked.  "Are you sure?"  "Yes," she insisted.  "A hat that represents something that I am thankful for."  This sounded crazy to me, but we gave it some thought.  She didn't like my idea of a winter hat which suggested that she was thankful for our house and its protection from the winter elements.  She didn't like Gordy's idea of a visor that proved that she was thankful for her tennis lessons.  Instead, she went with Henry's idea and she wore an old Indiana Jones hat and was "thankful for movies." 


When I picked her up from school that day, I asked her how Thankful Hat Day had gone and if all the other kids had remembered their hats.  And she said "No!"  No one else remembered.  Even the music teacher hadn't remembered until she saw Josie WEARING her actual hat!  Luckily, Josie had some company, because while she hadn't remembered to wear a hat for that reason, one little girl in the class had coincidentally worn a knit hat to school that day and kept it on for music class once she saw Josie's hat.  To this day, I still have no idea what the teacher said that made Josie think that she was supposed to bring a hat into school for music class. 

And then Celebratory Candle Day arrived.  Two days ago, Josie informed me that she had to bring in a "holiday candle" to school.  "A holiday candle?" I asked.  Since when are children asked to bring fire implements into public school?  But yes, Josie stuck to her guns.  A candle was needed and it had to be a celebratory one -- whatever that means.  Josie thought a birthday cake candle would do, so I sent her to school with a lone birthday candle in a ziplock baggie.

But this time I had to learn more.  When I picked Josie up from kindergarten, I had a moment to ask her teacher.  "What's the deal with the birthday candle?"  I asked.  After laughing for at least five minutes, the teacher was able to compose herself and explain.  Apparently, the teacher told the children that NEXT WEEK, they should bring in a candle that represents their holiday traditions.  She said that she kept the birthday candle, but Josie was welcome to bring in another candle that better suited the December holidays and our family's traditions. 

Josie may not have completely understood the assignment or the date it was expected to be brought in, but I have to agree that the task is a confusing one.  I have a college degree and I'm still not exactly sure what candle to choose.  Are there candles which express "I come from a unique agnostic/atheist, Christian/Jewish, Norwegian, Santa-Christmas celebrating, cookie-eating, Christmas carol / dreidel song singing family?"  Maybe there is.  It's a good thing we have a week to find it.

But what will be next?  Will Josie be required to bring in her favorite live barn yard animal?  Will she have to make a collage depicting her family's voyage from the old country complete with attacking huns and coffee-drinking vikings?  I shudder to think but I'll be sure to keep you posted.


Elizabeth said...

Remember that 1970's candle store in the Livingston mall? Too bad you can't go there and pick out something surreal.

Martha said...

I loved that store! I used salivate over those cupcake candles. I wonder if they did a good business. If I don't think of something, she'll have to bring in a plain Ikea one. But really, what's the point. Obviously they can't light them!

Elizabeth said...

To more accurately depict our traditions, she should bring in a candle stuck in a Norwegian Christmas dessert. :) Now there's a celebration.

Angela M said...

We have been looking at various candles for more than a week now, with A trying to decide which one he wants to bring. Which one is perfect? He wanted to bring a birthday candle after Josie did - he insisted on it! But I've redirected, offering all types - votives, tealights, tapers, pillar...
Of course, the brand new votive I brought home (for me!) fits the bill for him perfectly - why would he have brought something that we already have in the house?!?!?!?

Of course, we can always go back to the birthday option. Then, at least, the class will be able to put two of those in the "birthday candle" pile when they sort!

Martha said...

I'm SO relieved to hear that you are struggling with this too! Right now, Josie has forgotten all about the assignment, so I'm hoping that the birthday cake candle will suffice! Although, I have to admit that this assignment is better than the shadow box American Revolutionary War project that Henry is working on! I wish he could just bring in a candle for that one!

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