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Irrelevant Advice.

A parent writes the Crayola educator expert lamenting the fact that her children HATE school. What a shocking statement! How can the educator save the day with her witty wisdom, her amazing insight into the inner lives of children she's never met, her in-depth analysis of the problem in this link?

Well, don't click it if you're looking for a real answer, but the "educator" relates that the positives of school need to be talked up, but at the same time, parents can help with the underlying problem (which is usually the child's fault, I guess...).

I get the Crayola e-newsletter about once a month and have seen some pretty cute ideas encompassing "how to use Crayola products." I'll bet you that the people at the Crayola company really know their stuff when it comes down to how to make crafts using Crayola things, and I think sometime soon I'm going to want to make robot pencil toppers with Elf and Emperor. Sure, there isn't any sort of academic tie-in, but I'll log it under "art" anyway.

"Mrs. C," you're probably saying by now, "why are you railing on, of all things, a Crayola craft website? Don't you know that they just want to sell you Crayola stuff and they're not experts on childrearing and school matters?"


You're right. Um, so why do they have an entire "Parents and Teachers as Partners" section on their website? It's not really relevant. Are the Crayola people expecting "testimonials" to pour into their inboxes like, "You changed my life! I would never have thought to TALK to my child if it hadn't been for your website! And that part where you wrote about 'figuring out what the problem might be so I could help?' Brilliant! *sniff*"

And so it is with so many other businesses. WHAT is it that inspires people to ask stupid, irrelevant questions, give stupid, irrelevant advice, or just plain old be obnoxious? It must be benefitting their bottom line somehow, but I haven't figured out how just yet. Somebody help me out.

If I'm going to the OB doctor for a checkup, what's up with the "Is your husband beating you?" pamphlets in the restroom? The stupid questions like, "Are you safe at home?" from the staff? Of course I'm not safe at home! Don't you know that that's the number one place people get injured? Duh, you people. Um, now you're making me nervous with that look after I just said that. What are you writing in my chart...?

Soon, I won't even be able to go into my local Wal-Mart without the greeter saying something like, "Welcome to Wal-Mart! Can we assist you in escaping from your tyrannical husband? You'll receive a free can opener... No? Ok, thanks for your time... Oh, hello, little boy! Why aren't you in school? Has your mother stopped verbally abusing you yet? Can I help you call social services? You'd get 10 percent off your purchase today if you sign up now... Thanks for shopping at Wal-Mart!"

One of the more annoying things about having children in public schools is the fact that you get this kind of stuff on a regular basis, especially in the younger grades. (Well, maybe not as obvious.) Did I tell you about the time that the school staff confiscated my child's lunch because it wasn't "healthy" enough? Yes, it's true that the nutrition Gestapo visited. No doubt in an elementary school with 600 kids there have to be a few suffering horrible abuse at one time or another... so what better way to employ staff time than to take away the Quaker Oats Granola Bars (tm) I sent with G? (Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter, and Honey Oats flavours instead of the peanut butter sandwich, because I ran out of bread on a Friday. How dare I do that? The staff is concerned...)

How many times I sat through stupid "Reading Nights" and "Back-to-School/ We're so Excited to Have Such a GREAT Bunch of Students" nights, I couldn't tell you. How often I answered personal questions on the forms that came home because I wasn't thinking of my own privacy (brain "puff," ok? Too many beans.) at the time, I don't think I'll ever know. Hopefully it will not come back to haunt me... Imagine the court scene in another 20 years... Here, Mrs. C has clearly stated that her children are "white," and here, "Caucasian," but here, she calls them "Displaced Edenic Peoples" and here, she has written "Pure Mixed-Breed Aryan Gimme a BREAK NOYB OK??!" on the form. What is with this progression on our forms? Or in answer to our silly question here, Mrs. C wrote about a difficult potty-training incident when G was three and HERE, on this later version of the form with the same question, she wrote "no problems and why are you asking me anyway and what is your problem that you're so interested?" Mrs. C is one confuuuzed fuzzy.

Well, it's been on my mind as I have to start filling out forms for Woodjie's speech therapist. I've been striving for accuracy on the forms without divulging any real information. I've written "parents' age at birth" to be "zero." You know, ask a silly question...

By the way, let's pretend my kid says he HATES homeschool and I'm asking the Crayola education experts for help. Would they say, "Enroll your child in public school. Purchase several Crayola products to ensure a safe and easy transition to this better educational environment. Thanks for writing!"


  1. My favorite... I got a note from the school (all parents did) reminding us that the kids were taking standardized tests the next week. We were supposed to do our part by putting our kids to bed and feeding them.

    But, you story of the granola bar reminded me of a story that is retold in our home. Not long after Ron and I married, Marissa had wanted to have ice cream. I told her she had to wait until after supper. After supper, she asked to wait until before bedtime because she was so full she would pop. Well, between supper and bedtime she did something that stepped on my last nerve. I put her to bed without ice cream. Ron thought I had over-reacted. The next morning, he let her have ice cream for breakfast. Would you believe, that very day her teacher started a nutrition series in school and asked all the kids what they had for breakfast.

    I was called at work... the teacher thought Marissa was lying and was trying to encourage her to tell the truth. She stuck by her story and the teacher felt that her behavior was disruptive.

  2. Seriously. They took his Granola Bars away?? That is seriously Crazy! What is wrong with Granola Bars? Geez.. that school has a screw loose.

  3. My oldest had a medical certificate to say he was a size 13 with peculiar shaped feet & needed to wear a particular style of shoe & *still* landed in detention regularly over his footwear!!!! Some people have serious control issues.

  4. Don't forget: buy a new box of crayons every week if you want your kids to be smart.

  5. 1. School test day . . . I'll be sure to send the kids loaded up with sugar and red dye #40 . . .

    2. My husband tells people would never hit me because he knows I'd hit him back!!!!

  6. Julie, isn't it incredible what they waste time on in school? Instead of going, ice cream ok whatever and moving on she wasted her own valuable time on that. SIGH.

    I hope you are still allowing your children to sleep and eat food without being reminded by the public schools anymore... what would we all do without those helpful newsletters, too LOL?!!

    Shelly, they not only took his granola bars away, they made him purchase a school lunch with MY money. Grr. But you know I'm thinking if I fight *too* many battles, they'll call social services and I'll lose my kids. They already think I'm wack for refusing to allow my children to pray to Ra and make altars to the dead. I'm not kidding. (Yeah, D and I sometimes get into the "where the older children should receive their education" fight, but I'm just going to try to be happy with the youngers staying home..)

    Ganeida, but if they made an exception for YOUR ds they'd have to make one for EVERYONE. So that's it. No more crutches or wheelchairs allowed in schools, either. And glasses are a distraction to learning. :]

    DF, DUHHHH... I done bought the unbranded ones and lookit wut happend to my grammer! :p

    Anon, good for your dh LOL. It shouldn't be assumed though that he might be beating you.

  7. "Pure Mixed-Breed Aryan Gimme a BREAK NOYB OK??!"

    That's me to a "T" [laughing].

    And you make a great point: What is up with all those rather insipid "answers"? See, I agree with their suggestions, but that's because they are common sense [smile].

    Though, I must admit, what I do for Sonlight is somewhat similar to what Crayola is doing...


  8. So, are you saying that you write things for Sonlight like, "Make sure you feed your kid three times a day. Talk to him sometimes, too. Don't forget to clothe him in apparel that is appropriate for the season. Thanks for shopping Sonlight."

    LOL Luke, you're killing me here. :p


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