Hello, it’s me – the lady driving the car with a new shiny bumper sticker.
What kind of bumper sticker you ask?
Political bumper sticker? No. Very limited political figures to get behind right now.
The stick figure family? No. Those stick figures are pretty annoying though. I am particularly annoyed when the five dogs and three cats each get their own stick figure. I am intrigued, however, by the creator of the stick figures. The creator must be living it up on an island in the Caribbean. Anyway…
The honor roll award kind? Yes, that kind. I know, I’ve heard it from my mother, my friends, myself — oh no, she’s one of those people (worse than the stick figure family). I judged the kid award bumper sticker toting people too – and I still judge some of them if I am honest. I cringed every time I was stuck behind a minivan advertising each time their child(ren) had made the honor roll, had perfect attendance, or managed to show up to soccer practice. I wondered what made otherwise good decision makers plaster cheap stickers on a perfectly good vehicle. Why would you do that?
And then it happened. Goose came home from kindergarten and briefly mentioned some award. However, we had family visiting from out of town, so he quickly moved on to something else. Later that night as I went through his notebook, I found a principal award ribbon, note, and the bumper sticker stating his achievement along with the school’s mascot. I was overwhelmed with pride I read the note:
“Goose is working hard to set a good example for his classmates! He puts forth great effort in all his work and is kind to everyone.”
An award for working hard and being kind! Proud parent moment!
Goose is my mini-me perfectionist who is always worried about getting the right answer, following all of the rules, and keeping everything in order. While we have worked hard to let him know he does not have to be so serious, we were proud that his kindness towards others was acknowledged. In the midst of our beaming, he saw his opportunity:
“Mommy, will you put the sticker on your car?”
And just like that, I was stuck. I stared at the large six-inch in diameter bumper sticker. It felt like the principal had come home and personally plastered my car with bumper stickers. But it was Goose’s first school award (and it had been a rough year):
“Yes, Goose, we can put the sticker on the car – just this one. If you get any other stickers, they will go in the scrapbook.”
In the midst of the award excitement I also noticed an “All About Me” poster as well. However, there were not any instructions in his notebook or with the other award information. When I asked Goose about the poster, he said he had to finish it “sometime.” A week away from Christmas break, I decided this must be something that will be due after the holidays. Right? Why would a five-year old have a project to do over the weekend before Christmas holidays begin?
Sunday evening rolled around – 7 p.m. to be exact, an hour before bedtime – and suddenly Goose remembered. The (rather large) poster needed to be returned the next day. I texted another mom. She confirmed that indeed it was due and it was because he got the award. Special weekend project just for Principal Award recipients. What kind of crazy award requires more work!
The poster covered every topic under the sun: favorite color, favorite food, what he wants to be when he grows up, favorite place to travel, favorite toy, what his ten-year plan is (maybe not that part). It was a big poster. And it asked for a drawing of each of his favorites… no, there was no way this was going to get done.
I read the fine print again. Photos! Photos, we can do. When the kids began pre-school (aka daycare), I quickly learned to have a stash of photos ready for cutting at a moment’s notice for such occasions [tip to parents of toddlers – always have multiple photos of kids and family for random projects when they enter school].
We finished the poster quickly enough. He took the poster to school the next day, where the poster proudly hung at the front of his classroom the following week.
Now I have a bumper sticker (and I am pretty sure other drivers are hostile towards me now). I am still trying to figure out the appropriate bumper sticker protocol for how long to display the bumper sticker. Low Key has suggested that in the hot Florida sun the sticker is likely to fade in a year. Hmm, that’s a long time. Looking for other suggestions. How long does the bumper sticker need to be displayed? How does one explain to a kindergartner when it is time to remove the bumper sticker?