Dress like an idiom

Halloween costumes are not allowed at our elementary school. Instead, the Friday before Halloween was “wear orange” day, which is pretty much every single Friday’s uniform for people of all ages in all of Knox County. On Halloween, the fourth graders were given the assignment to dress like an idiom.

I thought this was a pretty ingenious way to blend learning with silly. We spent hours talking about idioms and how to make sense of them visually. The adults quietly mumbled several dozen completely inappropriate idioms and costumes, like a fake backside worn on the front of your body.

Eventually we agreed on an idiom that wouldn’t require major clean-up on a busy evening with Trick or Treating. A tiny pail was laced into a shoe so that it clanged and bounced with every step. I told Amy to grin and say she was kicking the bucket. In my mind, I pictured Jimmy Durante’s ever so silly bucket kicking scene in “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.”

Unbeknownst to me, her father decided that wasn’t enough background information. He told her aaaaall about the origin of the idiom and described examples with humans and animals. I found this out when she was describing her day to me and repeated her graphic monologue about her chosen idiom.

Amy will be very lucky if her classmates don’t start calling her Wednesday Addams. Doug will be the person talking to Social Services when they pay us a visit.

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