This column is supposed to unite mamas and fathers together. To bring some cheekiness to this crazy thing we call parenting. To remind each other that we all need some compassion and understanding.
I even need reminders.
As you know, my daughter has started preschool. I was really nervous about whether she was too young for it. Perhaps, I was more nervous about me managing work, daycare and school for her. I am proud to announce that my confidence was off the charts for a while.
Hannah Jo absolutely loves preschool. Every day, she has something to share. Her princess backpack is filled with artwork and a list of items she needs for that week. For instance, they were learning about pets, so students should bring back a photo of theirs. And the other day, they were reading about family, so they asked us to bring in a photo for this as well. I knocked it out of the park and remembered both pictures.
Something I found curious was the recurring, blank, questionnaire in her backpack. I know I filled that out at the start of school year. So why does she keep bringing it home?
At the beginning of the school year, they asked us to fill out a bunch of paperwork. To get organized, I bought a purple folder for all of it. I had to get in her immunization/physical forms, filled out emergency cards and the questionnaire.
The questionnaire sheet was quick and thorough. It asked for Hannah Jo’s favorite activities, character traits and a goal for her. I was so proud of myself. Getting all of her paperwork in so swiftly. Thinking I got this school thing squared away. That this is easy peasy, even with the hubby away on business.
Boggling my mind was why this questionnaire continued to be coming home with Hannah Jo. Then I came up with the answer. I bet some unorganized mom or dad forgot to put it in their poor child’s backpack. I was thinking, how irresponsible. What kind of parent would forget to answer questions about their child?
The busy preschool teacher is probably fed up with the late work. She probably does an assembly line placing papers in every student’s backpack so she doesn’t miss anyone.
Confident with my answer to the curious questionnaire, I kept trashing them.
My judging self had a wake-up call when my husband asked me for Hannah Jo’s immunization records. I went to my trusty purple folder to retrieve it. As I opened the folder, smack dab, right there was Hannah Jo’s questionnaire. Yep, I am that mama who was judging others for being irresponsible. Shame on me!
I guess we all need to be reminded not to place blame on others. And also not to be a jerk in general.
• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.