I was just thinking about the time that I went to the moving up ceremony at the elementary school when my youngest was going from kindergarten to first grade. Several of the parents brought flowers, balloons and/or gifts for their kid. I was like, these guys are 5 years old for fucks sake! Nothing like setting them up for a lifetime of thinking they get a huge prize for every footstep they take! I don't know, maybe that sounds cynical and mean, but when did a kiss and hug and, "Wow great job!" become too little?? Don't these over-indulgent people realize the domino effect that they'll have on the other, normal-ish parents?? You're all thinking, greaaaaat, now at the next event, everyone will be bringing their kids fancy prizes to avoid looking like that one single DoucheParent, and to keep up with all of the other SuperParents... where does it all end?!
Truth be told, I felt shitty and caved. My kid came off the stage and ran to me all excitedly looking for her balloon and WRAPPED PRESENT, and she promptly asked, "Where's my present?" My husband and I looked at each other like, shit... I felt so guilty, I told her that her present was going for an ice-cream cone and to the local dollar store to pick out a shitty prize. I wish I had it in me to just be like, "Your prize is being a Kindergarten graduate! And isn't it awesome that you got a certificate for Outstanding Student? WooHOO! Now lets go to the playground and I'll push you on the swing til I'm so bored I can't think straight."
I hate when I cave to things like that!! It never even occurred to me that anyone would bring their kid a bouquet of flowers. Because, why?? Why would you? If I had known that was normal protocol, I would have been better prepared mentally. For future reference, I'd appreciate a heads up when we are all supposed to be over-indulging our kids. Not that it would change my stance or anything, but at least I'd have some pre-thoughtout response when my kid looks around at the 5 year old in the ballgown getting a dozen roses for doing something that every other kid in the universe does. Like, come on! I am barely even exaggerating when I say a kid was in a ball gown getting a dozen roses. I was like, huh?
On another note, is it just me or is it stupid that there is a moving up ceremony for every freaking step of the way in school? First there's a "Moving Up from 3 year old Pre-K to 4 year old Pre-K." Then there's "Moving Up from 4 year old Pre-K to Kindergarten, " then "Moving up from Kindergarten to First Grade." At least you get a break between Elementary and Middle School. Because yes, yes there is a "Moving up from Fifth Grade to Middle School" ceremony. When I was a kid, at the end of 6th grade when all of us dumb bells were leaving Elementary School and heading to Junior High, my mom handed me a brown bag with a soggy tuna sandwich in it and said, "Have a great day!" And then I walked almost a mile to school (God forbid!) with my little sisters tagging along behind me like I was the Pied Piper, asking me to tell them a story for the walk. The only real ceremony we had was when we actually graduated (from High School) and were heading to college!
We of course had like, a last day of school doing cool stuff, playing games and eating popsicles and bouncing around with excitement at the upcoming summer vacation, and that was good enough! It was fun! I almost think having a million different ceremonies sort of dulls the excitement of the real achievement - graduating from High School. The kids are all like, "Oh. Another party. Bleh."
I guess my biggest issue is that I hate second guessing my parenting skills because I know that I am a good, smart, logical and kind parent with a shit ton of experience and patience. I really, honestly did raise some decent humans, which means I've done something right, right?
What are your thoughts on presents, awards and prizes for every damn achievement under the sun?