Theme Days Craze


I’m tired, you guys. Wacky Wednesday was the final tipping point.

We picked out an outfit, talked through the details, and I made sure he would be comfortable (because that is the number one factor in our house). Then, school was canceled Wednesday because of weather. Wacky Wednesday was rescheduled to happen on Thursday, and my 4-year-old darling quickly imploded. How could he do Wacky Wednesday on Thursday? No more mismatched clothes, no more underwear on the head, no shirt on backward. What did we get? Star sunglasses, and only for 2.5 seconds of the school day.

So goes one day of my life. With my boys in different schools, the theme days just keep hitting me from all sides!

<insert your best Seinfeld voice here> What’s with all the theme days? I don’t remember having that many. I remember homecoming week in middle and high school, and by that point in time, I was more resourceful/responsible for myself! Between the parties, the organized learning activities, and homework that we all juggle, sometimes these theme days are the last straw on the ever-growing list of individual things we all balance for school. I find it stressful, yet I still make it happen, because it’s all part of the preschool/elementary school experience, right?

Just one example of “optional” theme day activities.

So here’s a non-exhaustive list of the various theme days I’ve seen and heard about so far this year:

  • Kindness Matters Day (everyone wear yellow)

  • Patriotic Day (wear red, white, and blue)

  • Pajama Day (my personal favorite, even though finding a decent, weather appropriate pair of pjs can also be a challenge)

  • 100th Day of School

  • School Spirit Day

  • Storybook Character Day

  • Decade Day

  • Duck Dynasty Day

  • Mustache Monday

  • Crazy Hair Day

  • Crazy Sock Day

I am a firm believer that complaining about things definitely fixes NOTHING. I love where my kids attend school and I love the people who teach them. Also theme life makes me crazy, but I do have a smidge of control over that.

So here are my helpful hints of how to survive the crazy theme days:

Don’t overthink it.

If your precious angel is happy, let it go. You might not be caught dead in that outfit or combination, but the good news is, you’re not wearing it! Relinquish control and let that angel’s imagination do the work.

Don’t compare.

Some people love this stuff – they live for it. Those people can plan for weeks, pull out their sewing machines, and make their kids’ wildest dreams come true. That’s not me, and I don’t need that guilt. Guilt is so real in my life, and I certainly don’t need this kind in the mix.

Dial it back.

Squash your little darling’s dreams if you need to. You can’t make everything – you don’t have the time, resources and/or talent. Offer other, more manageable suggestions. Besides, I think our darlings need to remember sometimes that we are not short order designers/seamstresses. Give that sweet darling a small, kind dose of reality – it builds character.

Write everything down (and be sure to read everything).

It is inevitable that there is one sentence in a monthly or weekly newsletter about the inevitable upcoming theme, and in an effort to brush over the minor things because you are dealing with dinner/bathtime/homework/life, you will miss it. Or you will see it, think to yourself, “I’ll remember it because it’s two days from now,” and then promptly forget it because of all the other details rambling around in your brain.

Treat yo’self!

Create a killer costume for your sweet kiddo? Treat yourself to a doughnut or a cup of coffee. Let your precious tot walk out the door looking like a hot mess but feeling like a million bucks? Order a margarita at dinner to appease your OCD side. Proud that you actually remembered theme day the night before and had a rough plan in place? Girl, brag about that mess to the world!

A special note to all my teacher friends and family:

Thank you – this post is not meant to demean the amazing work you do. You all are saints sent straight from the heavens above. You plan the themes, dress up, and create (or fake, at least) interest and enthusiasm. You’re killing it, and I know you have to be more tired than I am. Hang in there.