Why 'Crazy Hat Day' Drives Me Crazy


crazy hatI bet whoever came up with "Crazy Hat Day" thought it sounded like fun. Oh, what fun! Like a harmless way to spice up the same-old school calendar: Hmmm, it's the middle of the winter and the holidays are over and kids are bored ... let's plan something fun! Like a day where kids get to do something really wild, something against the rules ... something like wearing a crazy hat!! In school! All day! Now that's what I call fun!

Except Crazy Hat Day is not, in fact, all that much fun. Neither is Pajama Day or Wear-Your-Clothes-Inside-Out Day or Silly Sock Day. No, not much fun at all.

I learned this lesson a long time ago, but I forgot about it until the other day, which just happened to be the annual Crazy Hat Day at my kids' school.

I remembered the no-fun thing at precisely 7:24 a.m.. That's when I heard myself yelling, "What do you mean the court jester hat with the jingle bells isn't crazy? Of course it's crazy!!"

I don't know about your kids, but mine tend to change their minds. A lot. Especially at the last minute. They're the "actually I think I want to be a ninja instead of a vampire" mid-afternoon on October 31st type. And I, unfortunately, am the unprepared, disorganized type, which means that when they're having that 11th hour Crazy Hat Crisis, I'm inevitably in the middle of my own Damn, I Forgot to Buy Juice Boxes Crisis (or something along those lines).

And so it goes that an activity or event originally intended to be fun -- the opposite of stressful -- turns into a giant stress-fest. My daughter couldn't wear the rainbow-colored sombrero because it apparently turned "stupid" overnight (good luck arguing against that logic). My son was all set to wear the purple wizard's hat until my daughter told him it made him it made him look like a girl (freakin' sibling rivalry!!). My pre-caffeinated idea to stick stuffed animals on an old baseball cap with the hot glue gun was not met with enthusiasm. Red plastic firefighter's hat from Fire Safety Day? Nice try, Mom.

I don't know why my family responds with panic to these "fun-filled" occasions, but it's the same chaotic scene every time. Whether it's hats or socks or mismatched clothes or whatever else, for some reason, mandated silliness just doesn't work for us. And so I am forced to relive the same moment over and over again, my own personal Mommy Aha! Moment: If I'm yelling at my kids about Crazy Hats before 8 a.m., that must mean I'm the craziest hat in the room.

My children did make it to school that morning (10 minutes late) with what passed for crazy headgear (Mardi Gras crown, aforementioned effeminate purple wizard's hat). So I guess all's well that ends well.

Until Silly Sock Day ...

Are days like Crazy Hat Day ever way more stressful than they should be for you?


Image via qwrrty/Flickr

elementary school


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semin... seminolemom

YES!! We have lived those scenarios exactly -- could have written it myself!

Fonder Fonder

I think you are setting yourself up.  Don't like the hat you got and its one hour to bed time tough. Here are my kid's option start liking it again or go to the sewing room and make a hate you will like.

Kiwis... Kiwismommy19

We have fun with it. She knows better than to change her mind. What gets laid out the night before is what gets worn the next day, no mind changing allowed.

Kediset Kediset

we actually had these kinds of days in high school (you heard me right) xD at least mine did... there would be a designated week where every day had some sort of theme. I confess I liked the pajama day one... only because I loved this one pair of pajama pants my mom made, and I could match it with any number of shirts.

Until I read the article, I was wondering what the problem was, but now I understand :) That would be frustruating...

Silli... Sillieguze

The teachers aren't crazy about those themed days either.  It just make the kids act wild and we have to constantly tell them to stop playing with their hat.

nonmember avatar Meri

As an elementary teacher I think these spirit days are inappropriate. They are for high school and college, when students can take care of it themselves and manage the distraction. Kids get worked up and ordinary days become another Halloween. I wish parents, especially PTA members, would stand up and say enough already. Let's get back to learning!

nonmember avatar Karly

Ah, come on, they are kids, let them have a little fun once in a while. It's enough that we have to cram standardized tests down their throats and stress them out so much. I taught at a school where they did these themed days and it was fun. When class started I asked students to remove their hats if they are going to be a distraction.

Momof... MomofSCMJJA

Hallelujah!  Spirit Week is my LEAST favorite week of the school year!  It saps my spirit the entire week as I vainly try to match the inflated ideas of what is "cool" this week.  But I will tell you, I like crazy hat day better than CRAZY HAIR DAY!

nonmember avatar Don'tBeTrippin

Kids pick up on stress.

Stop letting them freak out and call the shots, and decide on what's being worn the night before with no do-overs in the morning.

It's simple really.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

Maybe it'll get different when my kid gets older, but we're in kindergarten and my kid's school is very interactive like this. We're all the time wearing funny socks, particular shirts or spirit colors. We've not had any trouble out of her yet as to the mind changing, but so far I've found this very fun and encouraging to my daughter. Whatever makes school more fun for them to actually WANT to go!

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