Sweep, sweep, hurry, hard!

You won’t believe it, but it has been actually hot here the past couple of days.  Not just warm, but HOT.  It’s beautiful.  Nothing teaches you to carpe diem like a hot day in Calgary.  It’s like the whole city is well aware that such a gift may not ever happen again, and so everyone is outside frantically enjoying the sunshine.  Seize the day, goddammit!  I’ve noticed a lot of sunburned faces around, which is also typical of this city where people take a few weeks to realize that yes, there is such a thing as sunscreen. 

A lot of those red faces were at the school.  Yesterday was Music Monday and I went to watch 430 students singing on the hill behind the school.  It couldn’t have been more perfect, and as a side note: is there anything that Chris Hadfield cannot do?  The guy is the whole package, moustache and all.  He writes songs, he orbits in space, he plays the guitar – seriously, what an amazing man.

I brought freezies to the playground yesterday after school and enjoyed feeling the sun while the kids played.  I checked Mark’s agenda and in there was a note reminding all parents about appropriate clothing for warm weather, reminders about hats, sunscreen, and water bottles.  There was also a reminder about shorts – how short is too short? – and that there are no spaghetti straps permitted in the classroom; tank top straps must be two-finger-widths at minimum.  I’d never received this particular note before, and I didn’t get one from Jake’s class, so I have to assume Grade 3/4 is the age when these rules start to be enforced.  After all, I’ve seen plenty of kindergarteners in sundresses with skinny straps. 

It reminded me so much of Swistle’s Middle School Dress Code post that I had to go read it again.  This is my very favourite paragraph from that post:

I can HEAR in the newsletter that the middle school staff does not WANT to make a dress code. They want to say, “Wear REASONABLE clothing, please, and let’s get on with the day.” But no: the children push and Push and PUSH, until the staff is FORCED to say things such as “Shoulders of tops must be at least three (3) inches wide.” I’m sure that in the beginning they were thinking, as I am, “What’s wrong with a tank top?” And many VERY HEADACHEY days later, it’s “three inches” and then needing to spell out that “three” = 3.

I just didn’t realize I would be facing this in Grade 3.  Of course, I can be as flip as I like about it, since my own children are wearing t-shirts that have the 2010 Vancouver Olympic mascots on them and nearly knee-length cargo shorts.  I am not likely ever going to have to worry about them wearing spaghetti straps and short shorts to school, and because of this I feel very fortunate.

Slight digression: I’ve always found sleeveless shirts on men to be kind of vile, outside of a gym or yoga studio or athletic activity.  I think it’s the armpit hair.  Anyone else feel this way, or is this going to be another of those issues that divides us, like shorts?  We can all still be friends, no matter what our view on shorts are.  This isn’t O Magazine.

There is one thing that is very trying about this weather, and that is the very dry dead grass that is everywhere.  Green grass is only just starting to sprout, and so the dead grass is literally everywhere.  It was all over my blanket that I took to Music Monday, it’s inexplicably all over the kids’ clothing, and the dog, the DOG keeps rolling around outside and bringing in vast quantities of it.  The dog isn’t due for his day at the groomer’s for another two weeks, and so his giant fuzziness is constantly shedding dead grass all the live long day.  I cannot stand the sight of it, which means I am sweeping the floor constantly.  “I’m in a battle with the grass,” I said casually to the boys, who immediately jumped on the word “battle”.  They immediately began describing the video game that could be based on my life.  Mom versus grass.  My weaponry is a broom and sometimes the vinegar-and-water spray bottle and mop.  Level up!  I swept up the grass.  There’s more grass!  I’m losing lives!  Get out the broom! 

Anyone want to get in on the lamest, most housewifely video game idea ever?  Anyone?  I was a little saddened by the apparent turn my life has taken here; I mean, my superpower is sweeping up dead grass with a broom.  This is what my life has come down to. 


  1. In our school district they enforce the clothing rules from Kindergarten on, presumably because one too many children said, “But my five-year old sister is allowed to wear spaghetti straaaps….”

  2. We are also having amazingly warm weather here. Last week I was walking the dog in my winter coat and yesterday I wore sandals. Which was short sighted of me because I still had to traverse a few snowbanks.

    Will the houswife in your video game wear a cape? B/c I will do almost anything for the chance to wear a cape even in virtual reality.

  3. I love the “please understand what we’re saying here” undertone of our handbook, which says individual cases will be evaluated based on age and maturity of students. In other words, “Please don’t make us treat kindergartners the same as we have to treat the 8th grade girl falling out of her top.”

    I am not fond of men in sleeveless, either.

  4. HA dead grass sweeping video game! The other night we were watching The Amazing Race with oldest while I folded laundry. In a moment of triumph, I matched ALL THE SOCKS! In three baskets of laundry. Oldest announced that if there was a sock matching task on TAR, moms would totally rock it. Then I realized (again) my life has becoming really boring 😉

  5. We just received the Appropriate Clothes Notice too. Only in ours it asks that no tube tops be worn. Which made me think of Stephanie from Degrassi Junior High who always changed out of her normal clothes into tube tops in the bathroom at school. Which must be happening here because what parent would knowingly let their kid wear a tube top to school?? Or is that just me?

  6. I have not had any appropriate clothing notices, and I have three daughters, with the oldest in grade five. How have we avoided this?

    But today, I got what I consider to be the stupidest school permission form ever. Our kids are going to have a tennis unit in gym class. To use the tennis courts they must walk around the school parking lot (not cross it, they will walk around it) and thus they are leaving official school property to use the tennis courts directly touching school property. I had to submit health care numbers, and recognize the risks and inherent dangers. Ugh. The letter accompanying the forms was funny to read. The teacher obviously thought this was as stupid as I did, because the tone was decidedly polite, but pointed fingers at the authorities who deemed such forms necessary.

    • Hahaha! There are many dangers in walking to the tennis court, obviously! THERE MIGHT BE WILD ANIMALS (squirrels, birds, etc.).

  7. It’s gotten hot here too. I love it.

  8. My 6yo has a Spongebob t-shirt that we picked up at Value Village; Spongebob’s in his underwear and it reads “Spongebob Nudiepants”. One day, unbeknownst to me, he wore it to school under his sweater.

    He was politely asked by his teacher not to wear it again.

    I have no idea if the school has a stated dress code, or if they just deal with issues on a case-by-case basis, but the only notice we’ve had about clothing was of the “it’s cold out now, please make sure your kids are dressed for outdoor play with it’s below zero” rather than anything about tube tops or spaghetti straps.

    • And I should proofread comments more carefully because that one’s kind of a hot mess. Sorry. It’s early and I haven’t had my coffee yet. :p

    • Apparently we have an actual dress code, I just don’t think it’s overly enforced. We also get the “hey, it’s cold, make sure your children are appropriately dressed” notices in the fall.

  9. We have a dress code that’s sporadically enforced. Tank tops are not allowed at all, which I find kind of annoying, because the air conditioning in the school is either crappy or non-existent, and I don’t think kids should be forced to defy the dress code or die of heat stroke when the temperature is in the thirties, which it often is for the last month of school. I agree about men in sleeveless shirts, and I think it is at least partly the hair – whenever my husband lifts up his arm I can’t believe he’s not embarrassed that it looks like he has a dead squirrel stapled to his pit. It’s unseemly.

  10. It WAS warm but it has cooled all the way down and they’re calling for snow on the weekend, which is why I’m such a bitter old jerk.

    The kids’ school has the finger-width rule for tank top straps, no skirts/shorts shorter than the bottom of your fingertips AND your shirt can’t lift up when you raise your hands or something (although I don’t see how they TEST that one). There’s nothing that I find violates my kids’ rights in any way – just poor teachers trying to keep the under 14 set from dressing skankily. I would NEVER EVER be a teacher.

  11. I kind of wondered what the dress code was for summer. We sort of hit summer last week. Today we woke up to frost and sad looking plants.
    I agree that men look douche like in tanks. There is this guy on my husband’s baseball team and he rolls up the sleeves so every one can admire his fat arms and tribal tattoos.
    PS. My dog also eats the grass and it gets stuck on the way out. True story.

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