The Me Box

So, I may have mentioned a time or a dozen that zj started kindergarten last week.

This has rocked my world in all the usual ways - what's up with this 7:30 bus pick-up, by the way?  This is totally eating into my running time.

One of the most surprising things, though, has been the workload he brings home and I have to complete most nights.

A recent assignment was for him to create and bring to school a "Me Box" which would contain things that were representative of his likes, interests, family, etc.  He would then stand in front of the class - with the microphone - and give a presentation about all the things in his box.

What. The. Hell?

He's five.

I'm pretty sure my first "in front of the class with the microphone presentation" came some time in high school, plus I stayed home sick that day so I wouldn't have to do it.  Then I faked laryngitis the rest of the year to get out of it.

But that's just me.

When zj brought home the paper explaining it, my super-competetive spirit kicked in.  We could do a Powerpoint!  And give out prizes!  And have a backdrop!  And require class participation!  Maybe make up a rhyme!  We were going to win the Me Box!

When I shared all my somewhat insane ideas with zj, he said "Mama, that's not what the other kids are doing."

Fine, be mediocre then.

Zj and I finally came to an agreement, and the Me Box was created.

When I asked him what kinds of things he wanted to put in it, immediately gathered up 4,796 of his favorite toys.

We pared it down a little, and this is what he ended up taking:

  • His race bib from this 5k he ran over the summer.
  • Some small dinosaur figures that he described in excruciating detail, using words like "predator" and "carnivorous" and using descriptions like "teeth as big as bananas."  Whatever.  He could be a girl and they could be Polly Pockets.  That sounds about a million times worse to me.
  • A shark-tooth necklace to commemorate our family beach vacation.  He told everybody that his Daddy found it in a real live shark.  Actually we got it  in an overpriced tourist shop for $1.  The kid can sure can tell a good tale, though.  Wonder where he gets that?
  • A superhero figure to commemorate each of the movies we saw this summer: Thor, X-Men, Green Lantern and Captain America. 

When he got off the bus the day of his presentation, I immediately began to bombard him with rapid questions asked how his presentation went.

Zj:   "It went fine.  Hey, we had PIZZA for lunch.  AGAIN!"
Mj:  "Hey, let's talk about your Me Box.  What did the kids say?"
Zj:  "Nothing really.  Hey, some kid knows how to blow a BUBBLE INSIDE ANOTHER BUBBLE!  Well, he said he did, but I haven't seen him do it, because we can't have gum at school, you know."
Mj:  "What did your teacher say about your Me Box?"
Zj:  "I don't really remember.  Hey, we got to have recess outside ON THE GRASS today!  But not on the swings.  Swings are tomorrow.  We have to take turns with the other classes, you know."
Zj:  "Huh?"
Mj:  "Never mind."

So apparently living vicariously through zj in all his brilliance isn't going to be an option.

Maybe I'll just make my own Me Box.

It will be red.  It will have a bottle of Oliver Soft Red Wine, a 6-pack of Blue Moon, my Nook, and my iPhone in it.


Actually, I just described my purse.

Damn, that was easy.

See, I AM good at this.


  1. OK, I know I should come up with some sort of supportive parenting comment, but I really don't have one since I kept doing my kids' projects until the eldest was a Freshman in high school (the Cell Book for Biology - I still have it and it's awesome). My REAL comment is that Oliver Soft Red is one of my very favorite local wines! Have to tried their Sangria? It's to DIE for!

  2. @Angie, I think I will begin a separate binder of all the cool projects I do in kindergarten... Sigh. Maybe I need a hobby that doesn't include micromanaging someone else's life. Now, to the important stuff. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Oliver Sangria. Sadly, my local liquor store- read: gas station - doesn't carry it, so the red is my fallback. I stock up every time I'm in a real city, but it never lasts long. I suspect someone breaks into my house and steals it...


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