Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Flunked Kindergarten

I flunked Kindergarten, so they are making me repeat it.

There goes my perfectionist nature again. I didn't flunk. In fact, on every report card, I received a "Needs Improvement" mark, which is not actually failing. But here I am, four years later, trying to improve.

What moms may not realize before their kids go to school is that when your kids go to school, so do you.

And when my first daughter went to Kindergarten, I did not do very well. On all three of her report cards, she received "Outstanding" marks in all areas but one: turning her paperwork/homework in on time. And as I was the one who devised the system of keeping her homework in the pretty oilcloth folders I made myself and kept on the kitchen shelf, but often forgot to get it back in her backpack even though she completed it on the first day it came home, the "Needs Improvement" grade was really for me.

I misplace things all the time. My own things, and the kids'. If I told you how many times I've had to ask the pediatrician for a new immunization card (and I would if I could remember), you would feel a lot better about yourself. So I wonder how in the world I can teach organization to my precious babies.

Sophia seems to have come by it genetically, from her father's side. He was voted "Most Organized" by his senior class in high school. If it were up to my genes, the kids would be in trouble; my dad loses his keys on average once a year. Once AAA came out and found them in the ignition. The next time, they found them in the front door.

But against all odds and genetic predisposition, I'm doing my best to get a higher mark in Kindergarten this time around with Olivia.  Her reading log is in a secure place on the fridge and her homework folder had gone back and forth to school four times already.

Meanwhile, my "most organized" eight year old is harassing me about getting all her paperwork filled out and sent back in a timely manner. Last week she didn't just hand me the Thursday Folder, a weekly manilla missive filled with permission slips and PTA flyers and trust me to do what had to be done. She read all of them and tried to explain them to me. Perhaps she is still upset about those "Needs Improvements" on her record. And when she had a question about when the folder was supposed to be brought back to school, she wouldn't trust my answer, and called her third grade "homework buddy." She was thwarted by the buddy's answering machine and confused by our call waiting beep at the same time, so she never got through.

Ha, I win! I may lose paperwork, but I can operate the phone. And I was right about what day to return the Thursday Folder (it was Friday). "Outstanding" mark for Mommy!

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