My child’s school speaks rainbow

The other day, Helena came running off the bus waving a brightly colored piece of paper in her hand and I immediately rifled through that mental rolodex I keep in my head called What Things Mean and flipped to the section entitled Brightly Colored Notes From Elementary School and How They Relate to You.

And yes, I know that I just showed my age by using the word “rolodex” in its proper context because it’s all about crackberries and iPhones and PDAs and blah blah blah nowadays, right?

I don’t care. I’m 42 and going through perimenopause. So, rolodex it is:


Hot pink note in take-home folder:

What it is: Lice is going around your child’s school.

What it means to you: Remain vigilant, check your child daily and try not to panic. Submerging your offspring in olive oil and wrapping them in Saran Wrap seven days a week qualifies as panic, so stop it. Besides, that stuff is expensive.


Hot pink note clutched in your child’s hand as you pick her up from school at 9:00 a.m.

What it is: Lice is going around the top of your child’s head.

What it means to you: Smelling like salad, sending your child to school wrapped in a Hefty garbage bag and freaking out whenever her head gets within spitting distance of another child’s head, all for at least the next two years. In other words, go right ahead and panic.


Blue note in take-home folder:

What it is: A book fair, a fundraiser, a party, a field trip, a jump-a-thon, a bike-a-thon, a whatever-a-thon, etc.

What it means to you: Money, anywhere from $2 to $25, depending on how long you can listen to your child holler CAN I, MOM? CAN I, MOM? CAN I, MOM without jamming a toothpick into your eye and running away from home.


Purple note in take-home folder:

What it is: Volunteers needed to help out at a book fair, a fundraiser, a party, a field trip, a jump-a-thon, a bike-a-thon, a whatever-a-thon, etc.

What it means to you: Time. How much is up to you, depending on how long you can tolerate children, including your own, before you donate them to Goodwill for a tax write off. Oh, and whether or not your insurance covers Xanax and psychiatric care for the next six months.


Yellow note in take-home folder:

What it is: Your child was sent down to the Principal’s office as a witness for the seventeenth time this week.

What it means to you: Your child needs to find a hobby. Constantly running up to the bus driver to inform him that the kids in the back of the bus are swearing and they’re not even doing it right because her Mommy always pronounces it FOR SHIT’S SAKE, not FOUR SHIPS ACHE, no longer counts.


Yellow note clutched in your child’s hand as you pick her up from school at 9:00 a.m.

What it is: OH FOR SHIT’S SAKE. Again?

What it means to you: Signing your kid up for Intro to Sign Language in Braille.


Orange note in take-home folder:

What it is: A special occasion is coming up and your child must dress accordingly.

What it means to you: Staying up until 2:15 a.m., creating a jumpsuit by duct taping white sheets together and bedazzling the utter bejesus out of it because some moronic idiot thought a Viva Elvis! theme day would help the kids learn their multiplication facts.


Red note in take-home folder:

What it is: The school will be dismissing the kids fifteen minutes early on Monday to test the In Case of Emergency Dismissal plan you submitted at the beginning of the year, wherein you instructed your child to go directly to your neighbor’s house if she discovers your garage door is closed when the bus drops her off.

What it means to you: Fifteen less minutes to watch TNT and see Chris Meloni flex his tattoo on Law & Order: SVU. Hope your DVR is up and running. And you like acronyms. But take heart, at least you’re not one of those moms who failed to submit such a plan in the first place and whose kid will now be in therapy for the next ten years because unbeknownst to him, Daddy also left work early that day and HOW COME DADDY GETS TO PLAY ON THE GOOD COUCH? NAKED? ON TOP OF MOMMY?


But the note that Helena excitedly threw in my face the other day was green and she had never come home with a green note before so I read it carefully and filed this away in my mental rolodex for future reference:

Green note in take-home folder:

What it is: Your child has been assigned the violin as her musical instrument of choice for next year.

What it means to you: Ear muffs.



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30 thoughts on “My child’s school speaks rainbow”

  1. Avatar
    Donna in West Aus

    And I thought the recorder was bad! You, and your eardrums, have my sincere condolences.

    Love that your school has different coloured notes for everything. Ours must be on more of a cost-cutting exercise because everything is in black and white.

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    At least your kid brings them home. I don’t see any colors until it’s too late and I once again assume the role of stooge mom.

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    My rolodex has been working for me just fine for 47 years. No need for a crackberry at this point in my life!
    If you think violin is bad, try viola which has it’s music written in…? double c cleff or something odd that I the guitar player could not help my dd with! She started in 4th grade and ended in 8th…((WHEW))

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    Oh, no. Not the violin. Bug decided not to participate in band this year and managed to lose any interest she may have ever had in playing an instrument. Yee haw for me!

  5. Avatar

    Heh. I played the violin in 4th grade too. The only thing I learned to play was the theme song to “Star Wars.” Can you imagine HOW bad it sounded? *insert badly played squeaky violin* “Errrrrr Eeeeeee Er Er Er EEEEE EEEEE, Er Er Er EEEEEEE EEEEE, Errr Errr Err EEEEEEEEEEEE!” I have no idea how my mom survived it.

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    rofl This brings back way too many memories. Thanks for the daily dose of laughter. And good luck with that violin.

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    Violins should be banned from the instument play list, as should drums, recorders, triangles and most definetly piano accordians. You have my deepest sympathy.

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    Hey! It’s scientifically proven that girls who play the violin are the most awesome. And somehow manage to be the hottest as well. According to me, at least. 🙂

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    I played the violin for many years. My Mom actually encouraged me, but I think she might have been using some Mother’s Little Helpers! My sister took up the clarinet, and when she would practice our German Shepherd would howl. She thought he was singing along with her. Silly girl! My boys decided to play the bass…no, not the one you are thinking of, but the one that comes from uber big Kicker speakers that make the car and house windows rattle. I would have prefered the vilolin…..

  10. Avatar

    Good luck with that and make sure you sign up in time to go with the kids for the band field trip. I hear they get to practice on the bus all the way there.

  11. Avatar

    I just have to say I love your blog!!! You’re writing style is hilarious- and so true. You have a gift!

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    The “for shit’s sake” comment completely busted me up!!! It would be my child too who would correct the children in the bus…don’t feel alone.

    I just love your blog…it always gives me such insight as to what to expect from my kids in a few years. I’m dreading the PTA….absolutely dreading it.

  13. Avatar

    I played the French Horn in school and I sounded like a dying goose for most of my first year. Just the site of the case sent my dog running for the back door. And when I played…lets just say there was a incident with a doberman peeing herself as she slid across the tile floor. Just about the time I started to get the hang of it, I got braces. Good luck to you!

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