The two objects. Oh God, not the two objects.

Did I happen to mention that my oldest daughter started first grade last week?

I now have a first grader and a pre-k-er.

I’ll stop right there before I cry all over my keyboard and blame it on the joy of no more tuition payments. Go public schools!

(That’s my mom’s brand new website by the way. It’s awesome. And you can follow her on twitter at @goingpublicorg. More on that later.)

Thalia bounded home from her second day of school, excited about seeing friends, the shark she drew, and having her first homework assignment. Something tells me she will not be excited about homework forever, but for now, it seems to rank up there somewhere between fairy dust and free ice cream.

I was excited too, I’ll admit; I actually had four free seconds in which to help her with it this weekend.

She unpacked the flat brown paper bag and read the instructions: include two items that help describe your child to her classmates. And be creative.

Two? Just two?

I had heard about this assignment elsewhere, but I was under the impression we’d get more objects. Ten maybe. Five if we were super extra thoughtful. But how do you describe the light of your life in a mere two objects? Small ones, at that?

Now I’m not one to do my kids’ assignments for them, but if it were up to Thalia she would be bringing in a crappy plush animal that I won at Universal Orlando and trying to stuff her sister in the bag.

Instead, we sat down and made a list of all the things that describe her. We talked about her love of art.  The way she memorizes so many flowers and birds. Her ability to sing most of Mamma Mia, most of Fish Heads and all of Jingle Bells Batman Smells.  The tomato plants she planted at Grandma and Papa’s house. Her insistence that I read just one more chapter every night. Her love of ballet. Her refusal to try foods. Her good, straight soccer kick. The way she loves her sister so much, she’s already got a plan to go down and visit her classroom on her birthday in May.

But how do you describe the way a child runs toward you and throws her arms around you when you get home from work at the end of the day? What object represents the way she squeals when she sees the moon in the sky during the day? What do you put in a bag that says I love this kid so hard, and you classmates had better not break her heart or take away one drop of that sweet innocence or I’ll kill you?

And that’s when I realized oh God, I’m That Mom.


I know it’s just show and tell.

Then again, this is Brooklyn. I’m waiting to hear about the violin bows, the Hamptons equestrian trophies, and some kid’s professionally produced rock video starring him.

Thalia cracked that we should bring an empty box, to represent how much mail we get for my job.

Instead, we settled on her drawing pad from Spain with her sketch of The Three Graces that features her own namesake; plus a photocopy of her favorite illustration in her favorite book, both of which really do say so much about her.

If we were going for accuracy though, we’d have put in a packet of sugar and the television.


28 thoughts on “The two objects. Oh God, not the two objects.”

  1. Hmmm. . .interesting idea. My son would try to box an armpit fart and his bicycle. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at that presentation!

  2. My two had to bring five things (3rd grade) and they both were trying to figure out how to get a soccer ball, a rugby ball, their bikes, their favorite video games, and a few other gigantic things into their little sandwich sized plastic bag. They settled on pictures of the balls and bikes, plus the case to a game and I think some Pokemon cards. But I’m with Fairly – farts, giggles, and bits of soccer turf would have dotted their bag had it been truly accurate.

  3. It’s like going to your reunion and having to sum up your entire life since high school in one paragraph. Wonder what you, Mom101, would put in your bag: diapers, cat hairs, a box of mac and cheese, or your very first blog?

  4. We had to do this too for my 3rd grader. It was soooo hard for me to let him make his own choices! I did get some help as the objects had to fit in a brown paper lunch bag so I was able to veto a few things based on size.

  5. We had to do this for our first grader, too. Interesting part, for me, is how he decided — after years of being 100% certifiable about dinosaurs — that he wasn’t going to include a toy dinosaur in his bag. I suspect dinosaurs are beginning to be “babyish” in his eyes. *Sniff*

  6. Love this. My daughter starts preschool next week and I am dying to see what kinds of “projects” we are expected to complete. I am certain there will be something similar to your “bring 2” in which case she may try to shove her brothers in her bag. Happy back to school!

  7. Thank goodness we don’t have this assignment (yet, I guess). At my son’s school, so far he has done a summer book each year and they kids bring those in and they share them in morning meeting each day for the first month or so. It is really a pain, but the kids love them. Some of the pages have prompts and other are blank for the kids to fill with photos or art of their own.

  8. Just wanted to say your mom’s website is impressive! I think I know where you got your brains. 🙂

  9. One would have to be her stuffed dog, loved to a scraggly, limp greyness, which tells so much about her love of dogs and the loving person she is on the whole. You can tell just how much it means to her by looking at it, with its ears in ponytails, and the stuffing hugged out of it.

    For the other? art is huge for her, and she’s made some amazing pictures of her family and friends. I think we’d rifle through the art box and find something wonderful in there for object #2.

  10. I love this –

    ‘If we were going for accuracy though, we’d have put in a packet of sugar and the television.’

    Same for my third grader!


  11. We got to put five in there. Guess we have a nicer teacher… ;P

    Oh and my kid came home with more! One of his friends gave him a silly band to bring back. Oh WHY???

  12. Oh, what a cool- yet maddening- assignment. But that girl of yours will never need violins or horses or videos to make her any more awesome.

    Reminds me of my oh-so-chatty son’s first show and tell at school. He needed to tell his class at least two things about his chosen item. I think it was one of his crazy Lego creations that he went on and on about at home. When I asked him later what he said about it in class, it boiled down to: I made it and I like it.


  13. Oh, man, now I can’t stop thinking about what I would bring. The plastic pink pig she sleeps with? A picture of Miss L and our dog together? A purple clothing item? A train? Argh!

  14. That’s a tough assignment. How can you describe a little person you love with all of your heart with two objects? I love what she picked and totally agree with your accuracy statement. My daughter would have the same!

  15. I’m fairly certain that the two things Girl would bring are her ever-present companion, Bunny, (with her through every single scary medical thing – even this last spring at 8 years old), and her butterfly clip. (barrette). She’s drawn to butterflies.

    Boy would bring a fire truck and a train. For sure. He loves them.

  16. My son wrote an acrostic poem about himself to put in his bag. For the letter “T”, he declared himself a “Tea Drinker”. That’s about when I decided I’d leave the rest of the assignment in his very capable, tea-drinking hands.

  17. Those are such nice things she brought in – very special. In Kinergarten, my little dude brought in his favourite rocks and crystals, and special coins. This year? If he were allowed, he’d bring in the ipad. Seems he’s on it… quite a lot lately!

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