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decided to conform to the pressures of a learned
society and send your child to kindergarten.
Congratulations! This will no doubt be an exciting
time, as your child discovers the world of letters,
colors, and all the other amazing things he or she
has known about for the last two years.
The main differences in sending the child to school
are that A) due to the larger number of children,
more punching, and B) your taxes pay some other sucker to be responsible for these children for
much of the
But the other interesting thing is that only 50% of
what constitutes kindergarten happens in the actual
classroom, while the other half, to the great
surprise of most parents, consists of either
planning, executing or
attending birthday parties so lavish as to make
Madonna's wedding reception look like your cousin
And so the following is meant to be a primer for
parents unaware of this gigantic and unexpected
Read on, and prepare yourself for a year replete
with so much premeditated fun that you would hurl
from the top of the Sears Tower if you could only
find the time.
No, You Cannot Get Out of It
The first thing you should know is that attending
these parties is absolutely mandatory. If your
child has a
life-threatening disease, and the day he or she is
scheduled to have surgery is also a classmate's
should consider asking the host if the doctor could
perform the surgery at the party. ("Look, kids! A gall
bladder!") The only other option is to reschedule
the surgery for a date after the party, even if it
Yes, You Must Get the Kid a Decent Gift
Sorry, dads. It doesn't matter that you couldn't
care less about some kid in your child's class
you've never met.
Mom is trusting you to pick out the gift this
time. And no, the child does not need a variable
But What Does the Child Need?
The important thing to remember about gift giving
at this stage is that while it is ostensibly about
there is an unspoken competition going on between
the parents. So while the child may be happy with
new pet brick, the parents will brand you as the
weird, poor, smelly family unless your gift
requires a degree in
aeronautical engineering to operate.
Gift tip for girls: This year's hot items are dolls
with heads that are three times too big for their
bodies, as if
they have had an unfortunate accident while trying
to keep their lips sealed around the nozzle of an
compressor. They are stylish, independent dolls
with plenty of "girl power" (power evidently
derived from the six
AA batteries hidden in their shoes). The doll our
daughter got says things like, "I'm totally smart,"
and "I'm so
into this green top." Being conscious of what one
is wearing is highly important to these toys, which
considering they are usually dressed in a manner
that would get them kicked out of Mardis Gras for indecent
Gift tip for boys: Anything that promotes repeated,
senseless, brutal violence.
What to Do When Your Child Gets a Lousy Gift
Suck up and deal. The PTA is more powerful than the
CIA and the FBI combined. If you destroy the gift,
will find you. If you attempt to "lose" the gift,
they will know. And if you even think about
"re-gifting" it, you
should not be surprised to wake up one night with
the head of Toys R Us Mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe
The Golden Pool Rule
The practice of forming strategic alliances is no
longer isolated to the reality television show. If
another set of parents who agree to take your child
to half the parties if you return the favor, you
will cut your
obligations by 50%. This is an option many
resourceful 21st Century parents are adopting,
until such time as
their child comes home and announces that "Jimmy's
dad drank a whole lot of smelly stuff from a brown
and punched Happy the Clown in the face."
Some of These Kids Must Have Summer Birthdays
No they don't. We know, it is a statistical
anomaly, but all the children in your kid's kindergarten class were born
during the school year to ensure that you must attend the maximum number of parties possible. This
revenge for the time you left your date standing in
the rain for six hours on junior prom night.
What to Do When It's Your Turn
Book a ridiculously expensive place with a name
like "KidFunTimeManiaLand" where the children, with
of a 17-year old professional party hostess, can
ingest an unlimited amount of candy and caffeinated
become so over stimulated by videogames and club
music that the sound of their 25 collective heartbeats
almost drowns out the noise of their own
Any deviation from this pattern will result in
ostracism. And you don't want to be weird, poor and
smelly now, do you?
We hope this has shed some light on what to expect
as your child goes off to kindergarten this year.
It is sure
to be an amazing experience, with all sorts of new
developments and exciting growth happening every
That is, if you can even be bothered to send them
to school to begin with.
After all, you've got a party to plan.
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