Zoe came home from kindergarten today with an assortment of paperwork; a worksheet emphasizing the letter T, a notice that a child in the classroom has flu-like symptoms, and a newsletter with information about the upcoming Halloween parade.
The Halloween parade consists of all the kids in the elementary school putting their costumes on and walking through the halls, where parents are crammed in with cameras, waiting for that 2.3 second window when they can catch a blurry shot of little Frankenstein or Princess Jasmine sprinting by. Or, in more recent years, Pimp Daddy or Hooker Harriet.
The newsletter is very specific about what is allowed and what you should leave at home. No masks, face paint, hair dye, fake blood, S&M accessories, guns, knives, grenades, machetes, throwing stars, swords, rabid animals, or anything that would be considered religiously or racially offensive. There goes my idea to dress Charlie as a pregnant nun.
I know that there is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violence in the school, and obviously anyone with a brain knows that a kid should leave weapons at home, but wouldn't it be nice if the policies were a little looser for Halloween, as long as the accessory is clearly made of plastic and necessary for the costume? Any kid that is weird enough to voluntarily dress up as a policeman knows that a cop carries a Glock 17. He doesn't catch the bad guy by bludgeoning him with a breadstick and then giving him a good talking to.
I used to be really motivated to keep all toy weapons away from my boys. I thought they were unnecessary and that they would never miss what they never had. We were going to be a weapons-free household! But after Charlie, at 2 years old, nibbled a graham cracker into the shape of a gun and started shooting his brother with it, I realized I was being unrealistic. Now we have a "weapons drawer" in the playroom, a "weapons basket" in the garage, and yet my boys still haven't shown any desire to harm small animals or rob banks. Plus, watching graham cracker crumbs shower the floor gives me way more anxiety than watching Charlie pelt his brother in the head with Nerf gun darts.
A girlfriend of mine has a kindergartner who has been busted a few times for head-butting his classmates. Is my friend a good parent? Absolutely. Is her husband a champion UFC fighter who is teaching his son some really cool moves? Not to my knowledge. Does this kid head-butt because he plays with swords and guns at home? No. He head-butted Little Travis because he was using a creative way to get his point across, and honestly, Little Travis probably had it coming because you can only steal someone's crayons so many times before you have to deal with the repercussions.
Zoe wore a pirate costume to school a few days ago to celebrate the letter "P", and the first thing she said was "Cool! Where's my sword?" For the Halloween parade she'll be wearing her fireman costume, and although she won't be bringing her ax to school, she's going to be really pissed off if someone takes away her crowbar.