February 21, 2014

How The 100th Day of School Aged My Daughter 94 Years

Today is my wife’s birthday, which means, if my arithmetic is correct, she’s turning one year older than she turned last year. Oddly enough, both years she turned 29. And the year before that she turned 29 too. She must use that new wave math that politicians use when creating budgets.

Either way, happy birthday to my beautiful wife, who is smarter than I am, funnier than I am and looks almost as good in yoga pants as I do.1

Today is another significant day in our lives, as my eldest daughter turns 100. (I know what you’re thinking: I look super young for having a 100-year-old. I should really write a post about beauty tips.) That’s her in the picture to the right.

I promise that this is not a cruel joke we are playing on my wife to make her feel old on her birthday, though that would have been an awesome joke had we thought of it first! In fact, my daughter and her classmates are celebrating their 100th day of school by dressing up as 100-year-olds. They are demanding that we parents turn down our loud music and have dinner ready for them by 4 p.m. They are also requesting more bran in their diet and telling us stories about how they survived that one time in their youth when they had to watch a TV show on a non-HDTV. (Oh, how rough they once had it.)

The scene at her school this morning looked less like a group of elementary kids getting dropped off to learn and enlighten their minds and more like a group of old-timers getting dropped off to play bingo. The only things missing were ink daubers and good-luck troll dolls.

When dressing my daughter up, my wife and I agreed that there were five essential elements to looking like a 100-year-old. We found them all (as you can see in the picture) and they are, as follows:

Fancy hat? Check!
Curlers? Check!
Bathrobe? Check!
Skinny glasses with string to keep around neck? Check!
Carefully crafted wrapping paper cardboard-roll cane with tennis ball on the end? Check!

I asked my daughter if she and her friends planned to talk like old people too? I’m not sure if she knew what I meant. The more I thought about this, though, the more I realized that I am so old now that I’m probably more likely to understand the antiquated language of a 100-year-old than I am the hip language of a grade schooler. I have been listening closely to my daughter and her friends so I can get a better understanding of their lingo and, I’m happy to report, I have learned a few things, which is hard when you’re as old as a dinosaur. I have learned that instead of saying “totally,” they say “totes.” And instead of laughing they just say “LOL.” Apparently they have no time to communicate in full words.

Let me give you an example of a conversation between first graders and then give you the translated equivalent of the same conversation between 100-year-olds so you also have a better understanding of the generational differences between the two.  

A first-grader conversation:
Kid 1: Geez, LOL. Did you munch that new ep of Austin & Ally?
Kid 2: Totes. I rocked it on my iPad all day.
Kid 1: Totes.

Same conversation held by 100-year-olds:
Old Person #1: Did you see that show about those young whippersnappers who sing?
Old Person #2: No, I’m blind.
Old Person #1: Me too!

When I was in grade school we didn’t celebrate the 100th Day of school. That wasn’t a thing, just like the Internet wasn’t a thing and Justin Bieber wasn’t a thing (OK, so growing up eons ago wasn’t all bad). But grade school is a lot more fun nowadays. My daughter has had crazy-hair day and movie day and all sorts of other fun events that get woven in between the wonderful education she’s getting at her grade school. As a parent, this is kind of a glorious time to have kids in school. You really get to participate and enjoy it.

The 100th Day of School “Dress Like You’re 100” Day will go down in my books as one of my favorite days of grade school yet. Plus, it’ll be a nice way for my wife to remember her fourth 29th birthday. 2

Though I have to admit, I’m looking forward to my daughter coming home and taking off the old lady garb. After all, she’s still my little lady and I prefer to keep her that way as long as I can.

1You are now picturing me in yoga pants, aren’t you? You’re welcome.
2It’s not really her fourth 29th birthday, but I value my life too much to tell you which one!

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