This mum is all of us when another ‘dress-up day’ notice comes home

Melissa Radke

You know the feeling. You’re fishing around in your child’s bag after dinner, making sure there’s nothing suspect or sloppy concealed within. Your hand settles on a crumpled, drink-bottle-sodden note …

You extract it gingerly, heart sinking as you bounce your eyes over the text. Yep. Shudder. It’s announcing yet another dress-up day and you are certain you’re at your breaking point when it comes to mother-freaking crazy hair/crazy shirt/crazy clown-face awareness events. Noooooooo!

The struggle is real

Do not get us wrong. We are 200 per cent for raising awareness and mobilising people in the direction of worthy causes (especially young people!) It’s just that so much of the burden for this awareness-raising falls on parents’ weary, late-night, soggy kinder-bag, frantic costume-sourcing shoulders. There must be a better way.

It seems we’re not the only ones who have felt like this.

Texas mum Melissa Radke is having many, many feelings about dress-up days too.

She’s taken to Facebook to share hers after a particularly gruelling, week-long school dress-up regimen for the anti-addiction focused ‘Red Ribbon Week’ arrived in her hot little hands.

While Melissa supports the cause and agrees that kids should be diverted from the path to rack and ruin that drugs and alcohol can create, she’s unsure of how ‘Neon Shirt Day’ and wearing camo print are going to truly impact her beautiful children’s (potential) future addiction issues.

Supportive, yet exhausted

Melissa is steadfast in her admiration of educators, but she’s also expressed the view that dress-up awareness days are a little misguided and are possibly missing the mark.

“The goal is to drive mums crazy with different outfits every single day, that’s the goal!” Melissa reveals in the now-viral video that sparked the #crackncamo hashtag.

The takeaways

Melissa raises so many good points in this poignant, passionate piece to camera:

  • People who wear camo are NOT invisible. Wait. What?
  • Dress-up days were invented to force mums to go to Target and buy tie-dye.
  • Bright t-shirts may not protect against drug addiction.
  • Athletes may not always be the best anti-drug role models. Just sayin’
  • Crazy hair day may not protect against drug addiction.
  • ‘Stop, drop and roll’ could be a good response if you are offered drugs.

Life skills?

When Melissa shared her video on Facebook, the response from other parents was swift and (mostly) supportive.

“Today is Camo/Western day for Red Ribbon Week. It also coincides with School Picture Day,” one (probably) sobbing, confused and over-stretched mother commented.

“Also, WHY do schools insist on using Comic Sans for every damn flyer they send home? Is this what you’re teaching our kids?” wrote another as the floodgates opened and other deeply concerning issues bobbed to the surface.

Some commenters were unhappy, outraged that Melissa would dare to question the effectiveness of ‘Don’t let drugs find you! Wear camo! Day.’

Sad mockery?

“Instead of complaining in this silly little video to see how many others will like your video, go volunteer at your school and see the entire big picture. This is a sad mockery of trying to accomplish several life skills, education components all at once,” one outraged lady said (possibly whilst wearing camo.) It is unclear whether camo wearing, crazy hair or crazy sock-wearing was the life skill she spoke of.

We will leave you with the question of socks as life skills and an inspirational quote to ponder (as you anxiously prepare to rummage through that soggy bag, yet again.)

Crack doesn’t go away if you match the forest.

Melissa Radke

Bless you, Melissa.

Godspeed, parents of dress-up day kids.

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