Friday, August 10, 2012

Back-To-School Paperwork

I hate back-to-school paperwork, not as much as getting a root canal, but definitely more than watching From Justin to Kelly.  And that movie was terrible.

Each year, we spend hours giving the same school the same information: name, address, birth date, parents names, emergency contacts, yada, yada.

Is there a "No Changes" option?  Listen, my time is valuable.  That True Blood isn't going to watch itself, you know.

A younger child's paperwork is always very detailed.  Drew's preschool was interested in his favorite foods, nap-time rituals, likes and dislikes.

And there's always an uncomfortable catch-all question at the end.

Here's where things get awkward.

If I leave it blank, then I'm a bad parent who doesn't give a crap about my kid's happiness between the hours of 8 AM and 2 PM.  Drew's well-being does not concern me at all.  I AM EVIL.

But if I write too much, then I'm a needy, overprotective parent who's going to be at the school anytime my kid sneezes or they need a volunteer for the Fall Festival.

Make that mistake, and somebody's asking you to be the PTA President.  No.Thank.You.

If I was nice, I would have done Drew's teacher a solid and written,

Dear Preschool Teacher, 
There is some information that you might find beneficial, so thanks for asking!
Drew has been known to expose someone's butt in public, which can lead to a WWF smack-down. You probably won't be able to understand him (bless his heart), so when he says his name is "Jude", remember that we spell it "D-r-e-w".  Oh, and last year, he gave his teacher crap.  And I mean that literally.
Basically, I suggest you stop by  And remember, it's never too late to start a new career.   
You're welcome.
Drew's Mom 

But I didn't.  Instead, I wrote, "Drew loves to play with puzzles and read books".

I need to get something off my chest here, THAT WAS A LIE.  Drew hates them both, but I felt like "video games and naps" wasn't as impressive.

As a parent, it's my job to convince you that my kid is the next Albert Einstein.  As a teacher, it's your job to figure out that I'm a liar.  

A 6th grader's paperwork isn't as personal, so I was flying through it.  In fact, I was going so fast that I misspelled my own name.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, when I signed my own name, I did not spell it correctly.  

But now, I'm totally off the hook for the Room Mom gig.
              Potential Room Mothers
1. Mrs. Smith's Room Mom from last year
2. Nice lady who volunteers for the PTA
3. Idiot who can't spell her own name

Below was an actual part of Bailey's school paperwork.  Is it 1994 and nobody told me?

Hey, y'all - if there's an emergency, just beep me with a  -911 and I'll pull over at the next pay phone to call ya back.

I didn't know pagers existed anymore, but guess what, you can still buy one!  Believe me, I checked.

So I've added "beeper" to our back-to-school shopping list for next year - right beside Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit CD and silk button down shirt with a floral vest.

"What's a pager, Mama?"
"I had one in the 90s.  We clipped them to our belts to get messages that were sort of like text messages, except it was just a phone number.  Then we'd use pay phones to call the people back."
"What's a pay phone?"
"There used to be phones at gas stations and at various places near the highway for people to pay a quarter to make a phone call."
"Ohhhh!  A pay phone!  So that's what Maroon 5 is talking about!  Why didn't you just use your cell phone?"
"Most people didn't have cell phones back then.  They were crazy expensive, like, several dollars per minute."
"Really?  How much was it to send an email?"
"Cell phones couldn't access the web.  In fact, when I had a pager, I did not have an email address or a computer. If I needed to write a research paper, I had to go to a place called the LIBRARY and read some things called BOOKS."
"Oh, Mama!  We have libraries and books now.  But what about Facebook?  Was there Facebook?"
"No, Facebook hadn't been invented yet.  Myspace hadn't been invented yet, either."
"What's Myspace?"

Seriously.  I've GOT to get me a pager before next year!  I'll be the envy of all the moms who can actually spell their own names.


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  1. The word "pager" throws me into fits of convulsions. It is now a Pavlovian response. Please hurry, I need CPR.

    1. hahaha! I know how you hate the pager! :) I guess this part of the paperwork only applies to doctors and their families. :)

  2. Oh, Amanda... add my (misspelled) name to the list of those that hates back to school paperwork. You know, by the time Fiona is filling out her own we'll probably have our own QR codes and she'll have to be able to draw it in perfect cubist DOS style matrix.

    I hat paper work the most because Fiona is in her father's school district so they don't consider me the primary parent. Plus, Steve being her step father adds another layer of stuff... I've been contemplating a microchip installation and barcode tattoo... but that seems too "end of the world"-y.

    1. Mine can tend to get a little complicated, too, at times. It freakin exhausts me. I just want to write a note that says, "No changes. Thanks." :) P.S. Your "by the time Fiona is filling out her own we'll probably have our own QR codes and she'll have to be able to draw it in perfect cubist DOS style matrix" was pure awesomeness!

  3. -- Well, I put the wrong Child's name on the wrong INFO..and for 1st grade for Kaleb the bit were they want you to put a little extra INFO.. I relied he's interest are Baseball, Football and Basketball, he knows his colors by the All the TEAMS and ABC's what Team and he can name you every player that's GOOD not matter what sport. Now, he needs to work on his reading skills because when he wants to look these things up on YOU TUBE, I get tired of having to type in how to exactly Spell these Teams names. He knows sight words as in, "GO, PRINT, OKAY, VOLUME and EXIT and a few others internet related..LOL

    1. hahahahaha! Stacey, I love it. Your comment should be a blog post!

  4. I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard at something I cried, but THANK YOU. I was with you from word one, since I have to write 3 info cards apiece for my kids, and all those identical details (same as last year) end up filed alphabetically next to each other - can't I do one set with both kids' names??? Do we have the technology to cross-reference one set of frickin cards??? Nooooo. But when you started talking about, "beep me with a -911" I totally lost it, and I have yet to regain my composure. I'm still laughing, waiting for my husband to get over here so he can read it. So. Funny.

    1. It's good to know that I'm returning the favor because you make me LOL all the time! :)

  5. I LOVE this post! I completely relate. Yes, stay away from the PTA, it's crazy...I mean some people think it's a job. :-)

    1. I saw an someecard that said something like, "I just learned that PTA stands for Parents To Avoid". ;)

  6. I have been enjoying your blog for a little while now, so I created a blog of my own just to be fair! You can check it out if you'd like here :

    1. I just read your "I should've been a cat" post, and I have to agree with you. I think I should have been a cat, too. I think my husband will concur. :)

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