Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Picture This!

Sometimes I feel extremely under qualified for this motherhood thing. After making several school related slip-ups last year, I resolved to be more organized and on top of things this year for Brainy. It took me all of seven school days before I blew it.

Today was apparently school picture day. I'm 0 for 3 on seeing those things coming. (My mom just stopped reading so she could call and berate me for messing this up again.) But, in my defense, it wasn't as if a note came home from school or anything. It was all over the website, I guess, and it seems they expect us to check that thing religiously, which makes sense given my son goes to a Christian school.

But what happened to sending home a note with your kid to inform you that their photo will be taken tomorrow, so that you maybe don't send them to school in a blue t-shirt that has not only writing, but also frayed appliques on it?

The biggest irony of today was that it was the first day I sent him to school this year not wearing a collared polo shirt! I like to start off the year making him dress like a prep school kid, and then get casual once he's settled in. Today I went for a I'm-here-on-scholarship look, so, of course, that's the day they had to capture for posterity. I'm so glad Brainy will have professional pictures to back up the stories of neglect he'll be sharing with his therapist one day.

Another bad omen for my mothering potential this school year is that last night, at the parent-teacher meeting, I threatened some of the other moms. The teacher was going over how each of our children would be star student for one week of the school year. She offered examples of things we could do for and during that week to make them feel special. Things like coming to eat lunch with them (okay, I can handle that), to sending in a bag of little treats or surprises for her to leave on his desk each day while he's out at recess (sure, but easy on the $$$, lady), to having balloons delivered from a florist (ummm, no, I'll just pay for more important school stuff like textbooks, thanks), and, in her final example, she told us how one mom made a scrapbook for her child, that she delivered and read to the class during her child's star student week.

The scrapbook contained a page with not only pictures, but handwritten notes from each person in that kid's life, like their grandparents, cousins, Sunday school teachers, and neighbors. SERIOUSLY!!! She couldn't just come and share a happy meal or something? No, she had to accost her neighbors and use those stupid scissors that make fancy edges and realign the sun so that it orbited around her kid, so that when I send in a Hershey's kiss for Tuesday, I look like a schmuck!

At this juncture of the meeting, I turned to the women sitting nearest me and said, "You guys better not try that hard this year! Because I'm busy and I haven't even finished filling out his baby book yet, so don't have me scramblin' to come up with some kind of ego-boosting shelf-filler that's gonna make my neighbors stop answering the door when I come over!"

Am I proud of him? YES, of course. But, I'm not looking to start some kind of Brainy fan club or hire him an entourage or anything. He's a second-grader! And, one day, he'll have the pictures to prove it. Pictures that also prove that his mother never knew when it was picture day. But not because I don't care. Just because I'm old-fashioned and think an actual paper note should be sent my way as a reminder!

The sad part is that he didn't seem upset this year. Last year I remember him saying, "Mom, all the other kids were really dressed up today, and I wasn't, because you forgot picture day!" I was sad and felt so guilty that I choked up confessing my oversight to my mother. This year, he came to me smiling and said, "Guess what?" I looked at him wide-eyed and he continued, "It was picture day today." He was practically laughing as he rolled his eyes at me and walked away in his beach apparel.

But who does pictures during the second week of school? Give us a minute while we work out carpool details and homework schedules and some nutritious lunches, okay! One day, I'll take all of the class pictures of my son and make a scrapbook entitled OOPS. I'll have friends and family (but probably not the postman) write exposes on how I tried, but always fell short of the motherhood mark.