4th Grade Holiday Parties: A Great Place to Network and Build Job Skills

Since losing my job back in September, I’ve gained nothing but public pity, food stamps, and alot of free time (and a nearly-homicidal strain of cabin fever, but that’s another story for another day). I’m not very good at entertaining myself for long stretches of time and the constant availability in my calendar leaves me struggling for things with which to fill my days. Sure, I could call up my friends and meet them for lunch or enjoy a ladies’ night with BOGO margaritas but that would only make my wallet suffer even more than it already is.  Remember, unemployed = no money. Add Christmas to that damn equation and I often feel guilty just filling up my gas tank.  Especially because I have nowhere to go because I have no job. 

Oh, hey there, Square One! You snuck up right next to me all stealth-like just to point out the obvious, didn’t you?

So when I received an email from Elle’s teacher last week pleading for parent volunteers to help with the classroom’s holiday party (see, you can’t even call it a Christmas party anymore), I jumped at the chance.  In fact, my response was “THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A GOOD REASON TO LEAVE THE HOUSE I’M SO DESPERATELY BORED I CAN’T WAIT TO INTERACT WITH OTHER HUMANS DURING THE DAY EVEN IF THEY ARE ONLY 4 FEET TALL!!!! What time should I be there?”  Then she replied back and asked me to bring a small jar of mayonnaise and mustard. 

Psssh…whatever your precious heart desires, lady. Since I’m not being invited to job interviews anymore, I’ll certainly accept an invitation to attend a 4th-grade party, even if I have to work the event. (There were two more parent volunteers who showed up later to help with lunchtime and cleanup).

When I arrived this morning, the kids in Elle’s class seemed genuinely happy to see me.  “Hi, Ms. N.!!”, “Good morning, Elle’s mom!”, and “Why are you here?” are just a sampling of the heartfelt greetings I received.  My favorite?  “You’re the only parent to volunteer for prep.  Think you can handle it?  Here’s a knife.” That was obviously from the teacher. 

Mrs. S. instructed all the kids to line up and get ready to head outside for relay games.  While the children shifted on their feet in anticipation of inhaling fresh air, I was shown to all the food that would be prepared by none other than…ME! Also, I was to prepare enough sandwiches to feed two classes, not just this one. 

Suddenly, I felt like a contestant on Top Chef who’d just been thrown a curveball at the beginning of a Quickfire Challenge. Because, while I’m no mathematician, that equals roughly 60-65 hungry and loud 4th graders who will probably down at least two sandwiches each.

And your time starts NOW!


There are two deadly things in this first photograph – the knife AND the gloves, which I later learned contained latex.  I’m allergic to latex so this was just totally awesome.

I quickly acquired a damn knife wound from slicing the rolls through the middle before pulling them apart one by one. MEDIC! Okay, so I didn’t really require any medical intervention. However, the teacher explained to me that they are only allowed to pull five bandages a day from the front office and she’d already run out by that morning.  All I have to say is that it’s a good thing I’m a paranoid neurotic who prepares for the worst because I had to supply my own first aid items…that I conveniently carry with me at all times in my purse.

Ah, the deadly latex gloves. The first pair of gloves got mucked up by the knife wound and I figured it would be a good idea to photograph evidence of my fingers still intact in case they all fall off later tonight.  It’s been approximately 3 hours since I’ve worn the latex gloves and I’m typing this, so all is well for now. 

In the end, the children had a great time doing races outside, participating in a gift exchange, and playing a marshmallow toss back inside the classroom.  They even raved about my delicious ham and turkey sandwiches! Because of all this praise and admiration, and the fact that no children were present to witness the butchery and carnage caused earlier by the knife, I’m considering using all the kids in Elle’s class as references in case I have to apply for a sandwich artist position at Subway.


5 thoughts on “4th Grade Holiday Parties: A Great Place to Network and Build Job Skills

  1. I’m saving that for Elle’s middle school years – you know, when she’s embarrassed by the idea that I still exist but I will still be able to impress her friends with my hook. Especially the boys. She’ll thank me for this one day.

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