Before I begin rambling on, let me introduce myself. I am a long-time friend of the author of this blog and formerly known as “Messica” in her posts. I am the mother of 2 girls aged 4 and 7 and 1 (surprise!) boy age 2.

I love the daily blog and was excited to be a guest blogger as I always have plenty to say and don’t always have an outlet! (Did I mention that I am a teacher/librarian at an elementary school? Intelligent adult conversation does not comprise the majority of my day!) But enough about me…

This week I have had Thanksgiving on my mind and, like many others, have been counting my blessings. In anticipation of the upcoming holidays, my son came home with a “homework” assignment from daycare. (Yes, the current educational trend is such that they are even giving homework to two-year-olds—but don’t get me started on that.) However, I thought this particular assignment—obviously to be used for bulletin board décor—was a really cute idea. One sheet was a cornucopia which was to be decorated with photos/magazine pictures of things your child is thankful for. The other was a printed copy of a turkey to disguise so he could “hide” and not be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.

The first thing I did was rummage through my LARGE box of family photos (you know, the ones that never make it into the scrapbook you intended to make for your kids??) for a stunning picture of myself. Because certainly my son is MOST thankful for the one who diapers him, feeds him, washes his clothes, and bathes him…among numerous other things. I figured I could find a smaller picture of his “playmate” known to him as “Daddy”. (I’ve never been known as “the fun one” but everyone seems to be clean, happy, and well-fed so it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.) I ended up finding only pics of my three children and then some out of magazines of footballs, toy cars, community workers like policemen/firemen, and a nativity scene (it is a faith-based daycare he attends—trying to score points with his teacher and remember that this is what we should really be thankful for.)

We let our son color the cornucopia and help pat down the pictures after we applied the glue. Cornucopia done! On to the business of disguising the turkey. We decided to dress ours up as our son’s favorite service provider, a fireman. We gave him a red crayon & let him create! Then we happily attached stickers with the help of our child and our two girls (directions said it was to be a family project).

We proudly brought our creation to school to turn in and only then did I realize my son was attending school with the offspring of Martha Stewart AND Pablo Picasso! I wish you all could have seen the creations these two-year-old (obviously creative geniuses) were able to produce for the assignment. Some had beautiful clothing, hair, makeup, you name it on the turkey. It was blatantly obvious that none of the children had done the project and I don’t think many of them even assisted the parents—because what parent in his/her right mind allows a toddler to play with a glue gun and glitter?

Now, you may be wondering if I was any less proud of my son’s homemade turkey and the answer is no, I was not. I was actually more proud of my husband and myself for instilling early in our children the value of a job well done and of helping but not “doing” work for our child. What would our older children have thought of us had we simply done the assignment for him (as it appears so many parents did)? My second grader clearly would’ve recognized this for the “cheating” that it was or would have wondered why we had so little faith in our son’s creative abilities.

So while you may not think I’m Pinterest Mom of the Year, I still stand by my decision. Good luck to all those parents out there who insist on “helping” kids with assignments just a little too much. You may be able to do work for the Alligator Class, but I’ve seen Common Core math, and you are going to have some problems in the near future!

11/20/2013 01:01:51

Haaaa!!! That glittery cheerleader turkey was made by a professional! No toddler help was used in that one! Looks like mama was reliving her daycare days!

11/20/2013 01:10:38

Googley eyes & cheerleader outfit. That is one kookoo helicopter mama.

The Pheasant
11/20/2013 01:50:19

I love a good guest blog! Good work Messica!

11/20/2013 02:11:10

Love it "Messica"! I am all about helping but it is still the child's project. So when the glittery cheerleader has a future project and it is a stick figure, will she feel as though "she" lost her creative skills.

11/20/2013 05:28:14

Love this! Especially the part about his playmate (daddy)! Good job messica!

11/20/2013 14:26:51

Love the playmate (daddy) part. How very true.


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