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Devlyn Brooks, Published December 22 2009

Parenting Perspectives: Share day one-upmanship getting out of hand

I’d like to say thank you to the mom of the girl in my son Bug’s class who decided to send candy with her daughter to their share day.

No, really, thank you (much sarcasm implied).

While I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and guess that you did it unwittingly, you’ve still upped the stakes for the rest of us on our children’s share days to a level that will soon become unfathomably unreachable.

Let me recap.

Earlier this fall the kids in Bug’s first-grade class were required on their share day to bring an item that began with the same letter as the first letter of their name. Predictably, my son Carter, aka Bug, brought a sack of Matchbox and Hotwheel toy cars. But another little girl, whose name also begins with “C,” brought candy.

In fact, she brought two pieces of candy for every child in class. And that was the first volley in this share day gamesmanship.

So on their next share day, the kids were supposed to bring two things that rhymed; you know, a cat and a hat or a bear and chair.

(Side note: Garrett suggested Bug could bring a daisy and something crazy, the latter being their grandmother. But please, let it be known, that after stifling a laugh I admonished him for saying it.)

The Bug happened to be at his mother’s the night before the share day and after several hours of difficult discussions, they finally settled on Carter bringing candy and, well, they graciously waited until dad called to say “goodnight” for me to fill in the blank for the second item.

Needless to say, finding something reasonable to bring to class that rhymes with candy is a challenge. But this was about

9 p.m. and I wasn’t about to drag the conversation out any further with a child who should have already been asleep.

The next logical question, of course, was what kind of candy I needed to go find. But thankfully the Bug had already outsmarted all of us. After school he had went to the grocery store with “crazy” grandma and he talked her into buying him a bag of that pick-a-mix Brach’s candy. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was an unknowing accomplice to the Bug’s devious plan to bring candy to school for his share day. The 6-year-old had played all of us.

So the Bug went to school with his bag of treats to share and a pop bottle top as the rhyming component of the assignment.

You see, the candy he picked out was those little hard candies that taste like certain pop flavors, such as root beer, orange, Dr Pepper, etc. So I figured that he could bring a bottle “top” with his “pop” candy. I know, I know: It was a stretch. And I’m sure Bug’s teacher probably raised an eyebrow. But heck, I’m pretty sure that the rhyming lesson was learned.

Now I just have to hope that the little girl doesn’t top Bug again, or otherwise this share day one-upping could get ugly.

Readers can reach Forum News Editor Devlyn Brooks at (701) 241-5505