I want to address a topic that is causing me some distress lately.
School has started and we are all getting adjusted to a new routine, figuring out teacher expectations, and trying to never forget important things such as signing our young students’ homework journals each evening.
I have been a little resentful that my children got adorable new outfits and shoes when I am the one who feels like I am carrying most of the responsibility since they are still in lower elementary school. I mean, seriously, who’s REALLY in charge of making sure homework gets done and memory work gets memorized when your kid is in second grade?
That would be YOU, Mom.
This week, I had to remember to give my oldest daughter $5 for a recorder for music class. Oh, heaven help us all…WHY do we WANT children to learn how to play plastic flutes?! Seems a little cruel to the audience, especially when the concert will be in a large activity room with painted cinder block walls and a painted concrete floor, just perfect for very loud echoes. Forty some 10-year-olds playing high pitched toys is rather hard on the old ears. I reminded myself every night for several nights to give her the money the following morning, yet I still ended up forgetting and our kind carpool buddy loaned her the five bucks. Sheesh.
Since school began August 7th, I have re-learned all the continents and oceans, memorized several catechisms and Bible verses, studied the four layers of soil, memorized some Latin vocabulary words, and made sure my kids wear the appropriate clothing for PE days and chapel days and such.
I’ve remembered to pack lunches and snacks and water bottles every day so far.
I’ve remembered to turn in field trip permission slips and to attend the volunteer orientation.
And yet, as is bound to happen with me, I was met dead on with something I had forgotten last week.
It was a typical school morning of running around and making sure everyone at least kinda resembled a well-groomed child who had definitely NOT eaten brownies for breakfast because I’d baked some the night before and left them in plain sight. I gave the usual hugs and kisses and “have a great day” smile to them as they made their way out of the house. I was thinking I had made it another morning and everyone was on time and I was really doing pretty great at all this remembering stuff. I actually even considered volunteering to be room mom for my older daughter’s class. I could totally handle that. I LOVE delegating and sending emails and actually am pretty good at administrative tasks. I could be the room mom all the teachers wish they had! I reminded myself to send an email to the teacher right after the kids left. I was feeling good. Competent. In control of the chaos.
My daughter came bursting back in the door with a look of anguish on her face.
She pretty much looked nothing like this in that moment, but if her mother had remembered show and tell, this is what she WOULD have looked like.
“MOM!!! It’s Friday! I need something for show and tell!!!”
Well, crud. There went my perfect record of remembering. And to a second grader, this was a
BIG deal. In her mind, it could definitely ruin her entire school year. You remember show and tell. You NEVER wanted to be the poor schmuck who had nothing to show OR the resourceful but unsuccessful kid who resorted to showing the class his plastic pencil sharpener he kept in his desk.
I looked around frantically for something, ANYTHING she could take to school. Her ride was waiting and we did not have time for this crisis. Her teacher had requested that the students bring something they had made or gotten on a trip or anything that had special meaning.
My mind raced…what to grab? What would work?
I was seriously about to raid my dish towel drawer to find one that she could say her parents got as a wedding gift 13 years ago. I could feel the sweat starting to prick my forehead. She would be the dish towel girl for the rest of the year. You don’t live this stuff down easily, you know. I could just picture her trying to sell a ratty, plaid towel that had seen better days as an article of mystery and fascination. She would be the kid who everyone pitied, shaking their heads sadly because her mother clearly forgot to help her prepare for this, the most important event of the week.
And then, just as I was pondering if the Christmas tree stand in the garage would work, my daughter had a brilliant idea. This:
She made this little flower craft this past summer at cousin camp with my parents. It was sitting right by the door to the garage because I haven’t quite figured out what to do with it. Yea for procrastination! It saved the day! She scooped it up happily and the world continued turning, the universe back in proper order with this crisis narrowly averted.
I breathed a sigh of relief as she climbed into the waiting car and thanked my lucky stars for super grandparents who actually did crafts with my kids. I also made a mental note to put a show and tell reminder on my phone.
Still haven’t quite remembered to actually DO that when I’m holding my phone, but you know, in theory it will work.
Good luck this school year with all your remembering, mamas. This is serious business and there will be a final exam in the form of end of the year parties, field trips, projects, and general random mayhem during the month of May.