I have to be honest – I am sick of school uniforms. The cuteness of seeing the girls in their red, white and black or grey each day wore off after about the second week. Now, some of you may think it would be nice if your kids had to wear uniforms. No fighting in the morning over what they’ll wear to school. Not true! “These tights don’t feel right. I don’t want to wear them.” Or, “I don’t want to wear skirts anymore. I just want to wear pants.” Sorry honey, but you only have two pairs of black pants and you get them dirty each and every time you wear them, so the skirts are staying in the line up.
You may also think uniforms keep it simple – you only have so many items to choose from. True - but also boring. Very, very boring. I have girls. I like to dress them up in cute clothes. They won’t allow me to do that for much longer so I am running out of time. I miss helping them pick out this shirt to go with that cute skirt, and then adding some colorful tights. And the shoes – yikes! I am over the black shoes. I want to see them in a pair of fun boots, or Ellie’s beloved Toms – anything but BLACK MARYJANE SHOES please.
And then there is the laundry. Again, you are probably thinking, “What is the heck is she complaining about? She just has to keep their school cloths clean. How easy is that?” I am constantly washing school clothing to make sure they have enough uniform pieces to wear each day. While I could buy more school uniform apparel, here is the thing – we don’t know how long we will be in this particular village attending this particular school where the main uniform color is red. While we plan and hope to stay in this house for the duration of our two years here in England, it is possible the people that own this house will decide to come back from India at a moments notice and we will be out the door. Ok, that may have been a little dramatic. While they may return and want their house back, I’m guessing they would give us a month or two to find a new place. Why am I worried about this? Because it has happened to other expats over here, on multiple occasions. And the leases here just aren’t like those in the US. They can be broken. Our signed two-year lease really doesn’t mean that much.
Because I’m not sure the girls will be attending this school for the full two years we are here, I am reluctant to spend money on too many red sweaters. We have just enough pieces to get us through the week, and because my daughter, who will remain nameless, cannot get through one day of school without getting her pants dirty, and they have to wear white shirts under their cardigan sweaters, I am doing laundry a few times a week just to ensure there are enough clean pieces of clothing available each day. By the way, I don’t entirely blame unnamed daughter for getting her pants dirty. We live in England. It rains here a lot and the ground is perpetually wet and soggy. At school, they go outside to run around three times a day and I love it! They send them outside no matter the weather, so she can get her pants dirty if she wants.
They recently had a pajama day at school. This was the first time since we’ve been here that they’ve been allowed to wear something other than the standard uniform. I don’t know who was more excited – me or the girls! I finally got to send them in something other than red, white and black to school. I will take it, even if it’s just PJs. They both picked out the fun pajamas they wanted to wear to school and put them on that morning. But here is the funny thing. They have gotten so use to wearing the school uniforms that they both came downstairs wearing black socks AND their black shoes with their PJs. When I saw this, I was like, “What are you two doing? You finally have a chance to wear fun socks and shoes to school and you are wearing BLACK?” It took several minutes to convince them they wouldn’t get into trouble at school if they wore fun socks and anything but black shoes to school with their PJs. It was like they had been brainwashed.
I understand why they wear uniforms here and many of the schools in the US do as well – keeps everyone on an even footing, and that is fine. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.