I’m sick and tired of getting into trouble with Adam’s teacher. Lately, everytime I drop him off, I learn about some crucial thing that I forgot to bring in – a library book, a parental release form, cupcakes for the class party, or worse, homework assignments (yes – 4 year olds get homework these days!). Between two kids, two schools, two jobs, and too much crap for two to do, Dick and I are left looking and feeling like the most disorganized, neglectful and careless parents in the class.

Our inability to coordinate with one another was recently highlighted when I walked Adam into his class one morning and a sea of kids in red t-shirts greeted us. Adam, with his gleaming white shirt on, stood out like a sore thumb. Apparently, it was red shirt day and I didn’t read the memo – again. If I had seen it (Dick forgot to bring it in to show me), I would’ve learned that red shirts were mandated by the teacher for the class field trips to the library.

As I struggled to explain, Miss Melissa said to me, “Well, ‘mam, I explained the process in the note I sent home with Adam yesterday. You know, you should try to read everything we send home with him to avoid these types of situations in the future.”

(Is it just me, or was that kinda’ bitchy?)

You see, like most naughty children, I find myself pointing in Dick’s direction and saying the adult equivalent of, “But it was his fault….” everytime the teacher calls ME out for something WE’ve screwed up. It usually is Dick’s fault; he’s notoriously bad about bringing in the kids’ backpacks or notes from the teacher.

Then again, maybe we are both screw-ups? I mean, I think we assumed (wrongly) that Miss Melissa, being a parent of 3 kids herself, would understand what it’s like to juggle family, work, marriage, etc. and give us a little latitude. After all, he’s 4; it’s PRE-Kindergarten – and I’d like to point out – they’re not curing cancer, here.

For the record, I’m the one doing all the homework, anyway. Adam’s assignments always come with instructions like, “Draw a rocket ship and then have mommy or daddy write a three-page story about what you would do on a trip to Mars”. Hardly a fair distribution of workload if you ask me.

So, what’s the big deal if we forget to turn in the occasional homework assignment? Who really cares? Well, Miss Melissa cares – deeply. I haven’t figured out yet if she cares because it’s the one, tiny little scrap of power she has in this world – shaming delinquent parents – or if she cares deeply for our son and fears for his future living amongst such hopeless flakes. One thing is certain, if Pre-K is the educational equivalent of training wheels for children AND their parents, Dick and I keep falling off the bike and skinning our knees.

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