Parents: Here's Your Friendly Reminder That the 100th Day of School Is Upon Us

My kids are teenagers, but I’m still traumatized by the stress of scrambling to prepare them for the 100th day of school. Which is why I’m here, a harbinger from the other side of early childhood, to issue a reminder to start gathering a hundred pompons … a hundred plastic eyeballs … counting out a hundred Cheerios or pennies. Because the 100th day of school is coming up, and your kid will inevitably inform you at the very last minute that they need a poster board with one hundred of something glued to it. Likely in a “100” formation.

Unlike Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving or something, the 100th day of school is not an observance that’s on a calendar. (Unless you put it there. Which would mean you thought about it beforehand, in which case this is not for you.) The date changes every single year. There’s no “100th-day fairy” or other magical visiting entity that makes your child excited enough to talk about it weeks in advance.

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So for me, it never failed: in the hustle and bustle of raising four kids, I would somehow miss the announcement from the school (“But I brought home a paper about it, Mommy!”). And either the night before or the morning of, one of my kids would casually saunter up to me and drop a bombshell. Oh, you have to dress like you’re 100 years old? Sure, lemme just grab the child-sized old person costume I keep on hand.

Spoiler alert: I do not, in fact, keep a child-sized old person costume on hand. Or really, anything good to make one with. Which is why I was always left making a mad dash through the house, racking my brain for bits and pieces I could use to cobble together an acceptable (if mediocre) substitute. Don’t we have a pair of fake glasses from the time somebody was Harry Potter for Halloween? Didn’t I see a big gnarly stick in the yard the other day that we could use for a cane?

Or there’d be the “bring in 100 things” requirement. For parents like me who aren’t crafty, this can pose a problem — namely, a serious lack of stuff I have a hundred of. I could maybe scrape up 100 pennies but I’d have to search under my couch. I don’t keep multitudes of fuzzy pompons or googly eyes or pipe cleaners or plastic jewels on hand. Not to mention a poster board or glue. I don’t know why I don’t keep these things lying around, since you’d think I’d have learned my lesson after literal years of 100th-day failures. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson after I accidentally superglued my finger to a piece of salvaged cardboard while helping my kid adhere 100 slightly-stale Cocoa Puffs (what? We were fresh out of Cheerios). But no.

Which is why, parents, I’m here to give you the heads up I so desperately needed when my kids were little. The 100th day festivities are coming up: maybe it’s this week, maybe next — maybe it’s even tomorrow! — but it’s definitely lurking. So ask your kids and prepare accordingly. Order that gray wig from Amazon Prime. Grab a poster board and make sure your glue isn’t crusty and unusable. Gather up 100 of any small thing. Because before you know it, your kid will pipe up with, “Hey Mom! Tomorrow is the 100th day of school and I have to bring a hundred (insert random celebratory requirement here).” And for once, you’ll be ready … one hundred percent.

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