I had hoped that the 100 Days Project would be the only major homework assignment I was expected to complete during my tenure as a kindergarten parent. After all, I do have a master’s degree, and I feel like that should have earned me a free pass in the homework department. But apparently, Addie’s school cares nothing for my MFA, and is working in cahoots with my old middle school art teacher Mr. Caponi in their long-standing assault on my arts and crafts skills.
This time, we were expected to make something called a Bottle of Fun:
You will notice that, once again, these instructions are pretty specifically aimed at the parents, not the children, as Addie has access to neither a hair dryer nor “tile/grout glue”. In fact, all she had to do was write her name on the thing– the rest was left up to me and my IMAGINATION, although rule three explicitly states that I am to follow the specific instructions on the attached paper.
The bottle we were given was The Celebration Bottle, which consisted of the following items:
- Corn syrup
- Curling ribbon
And that’s it! How hard could it be?
Ben scoffed at the assignment, asking what Addie could possibly learn from such a project. (According to the handout for The Celebration Bottle, all it said was “self esteem”, which seems like sort of a hazardous lesson to teach kids– YOU CAN GET SELF ESTEEM FROM THIS BOTTLE! DRINKING IT MAKES YOU A BETTER DANCER!)
Addie may not have learned much, but here are the lessons that I personally learned from The Celebration Bottle:
1. Do not, under any circumstances, forget to look in your child’s bookbag until two nights before Spring Break ends. If you do, you will find an idiotic assignment for a Bottle of Fun, and you will feel even more idiotic that you didn’t know about it until one day before it was due.
You will also find the calcified remains of her lunch from two Fridays ago. Really, check that shit as soon as it comes home.
2. Literally no one sells confetti anymore. It’s as if President Obama’s last act in office was to have confetti banned nationwide, and to expressly inform all store employees to act as though you have requested a bag of freshly steaming bear poop every time you inquire if they have any in stock. Thanks, Obama.
3. Michael’s sells 200 kinds of ribbon, but none of them are curling ribbon. And when you try to buy confetti at Michael’s, they will straight laugh in your face. And I’m like, you know what, Michael’s? It’s not like your 40% off shadow boxes and bucktooth rabbit Easter decor are exactly high art.
4. You will find curling ribbon at Target, but no confetti, except some stupidly oversized silver discs that could honestly be used as compact mirrors in a pinch. It’s like large print confetti for the elderly.
5. It’s okay to have a mental breakdown in the middle of Target when you can’t find the confetti and text your best friend in all caps.
6. Target does not keep the corn syrup with the rest of the baking supplies, because it is gross and should not be considered a food stuff. You will briefly flirt with the idea of using coconut oil instead, but one last pass through the next aisle over will reveal a bounty of corn syrup, and it’s totally okay to pump your fist in the air and yell “YEEEEEAH!” (Maybe this is where the self-esteem comes in.)
7. Drug Mart doesn’t sell confetti, either, but they do sell a random bag of sequins, and that is GOOD E-FUCKING-NOUGH.
8. Your old neighbor Patti works at Drug Mart now, did you know that? And she did not like you. And you think she doesn’t recognize you, but she does. And she does not laugh at your joke that Drug Mart is the only store in a 20-mile radius that sells anything even close to confetti. Instead, she just stares into your soul with her dead eyes and makes you wish you hadn’t been born.
9. Corn syrup cannot be poured through a funnel. I mean, I guess it can, but it takes forever, and by now you have wasted so much of your evening that by the time you got home, it was already almost time for your kindergartner to go to bed AND BY GOD SHE WILL BE A PART OF CREATING THIS BOTTLE OF FUN BECAUSE THIS IS FUN, GOD DAMMIT!
10. Do you remember how curling ribbon works? It involves scraping one side of the ribbon with scissors until it magically curls up. This takes about three hours to do properly. Four if your kindergartner and her little sister insist on pressing themselves against your body the entire time like scared dogs during a thunderstorm.
So never let it be said that Bottles of Fun is not an educational project. Clearly, there are many important life lessons to be learned from this assignment.
I am hoping there’s a follow-up assignment that explains what to do with the leftover corn syrup, curling ribbon, sequins and glitter now cluttering our kitchen counters, because right now it is doing nothing for my self-esteem.