Dear My Child's Teacher:
I was thrilled to receive a note from you yesterday.
I really liked your use of red and blue pens, though I would warn you not to use red in the future, as it brings back old memories of Naughtiness and Failure.
I was especially delighted to have yet another reminder that Today is Field Trip Money Due Day. You see, I'm completely and utterly bamboozled by a calendar. The field trip permission slip from three weeks ago wasn't clear enough. I mean, there were all those lines and symbols, and I wasn't sure when the money was due.
Because my intellect is base at best, I only sent the permission slip back because you decided to have a sweet little drawing for the kids who brought their signed waivers of 'I Won't Sue The School but If You Hurt My Kid While At The Pumpkin Farm I'll Find A Loophole and You Will Die Alone' back the next day.
I'm sure you wanted my money to accompany the signed form, as it would make your life easier, and hey...I'm ALL for easier. Might I suggest not having a separate Permission Slip Due and Field Trip Money Due dates? I'm thinking if you combine those, say, into the SAME day, your troubles would be less and you wouldn't feel the need to break out a red pen.
As I noted earlier, I'm slow and didn't catch on when you sent home the first three reminder papers with cute little pumpkin graphics that you probably don't have the right to copy. I won't turn you in, because I'm just not that kind of person. I was still quite hazy on when you wanted that money turned in. Due on Thursday probably means next Monday, right? Because *wink wink* I know you aren't going to keep my kid from going to the first field trip of the year.
I suspect you were aware that some parents do indeed operate this way, which is why you surprised me with a call yesterday. I'm so glad you called from the nurse's office, because when I see her name on my phone, I get really excited and want to answer the phone straightaway and ask what horrors have now befallen me.
You might not remember our conversation, and I probably don't have all the particulars, but here's the gist:
"Hello? (slight whimpering)"
"Mrs. Blount? Are you there? This is Ms. I Literally Just Graduated and feel the need to call myself Ms. My Last Name all the time."
"Oh, hi Ms. You Are Young but Age Doesn't Matter As Much As Enthusiasm and Dedication and I Totally Trust You to Unlock the Learning Potential of My Sweet Quirky Child and I Don't Ever Stay Awake at Night Wondering if She'll Work at Sears Portraits Because Ms. Just Graduated Didn't Know How to Harness the Brilliance of My Baby."
"Mrs. Blount, I notice that you haven't sent in your field trip money."
"Right. It's due Thursday...so..."
"You do recall that you were selected as a parent chaperon for this field trip, and under the terms of Secret Parent Agreement #666, you must turn in your money....listen carefully...by the due date, or your status as parent chaperon is forfeit."
"Right. It's due Thursday...so..."
"Are you planning on coming as a parent chaperon, Mrs. Blount?"
"Yes! I'm totally thrilled that you picked me, because My Child probably REALLY needs me to be there for the first field trip. She can be...exuberant. I've seen some of the Other Parents out and about in Smyrna, and I don't think I'd trust them with my imaginary friend. I'm not saying her I.Q. is higher per say, but she would never go to school in her house shoes, without her teeth, and smoking a cigar the size of a Yule Log."
"What's a Yule Log?"
"I'll pretend you didn't say that. Good grief. When did you graduate? No, don't tell me. It will only make me despair that someone born in 1990 has their degree while I look forward to field trip chaperon opportunities."
"You know, you can send in a check made out to the school. Do you know how to spell it?"
"Bloody hell, I'm not a total fool. Let's see, are there two m's in I Only Sent My Kid Here Because It Is Free and I Had No Other Choice? Oh, and about the checks...you see, I ran out of checks a couple of months ago. Oddly enough, our check usage went up to pay for my OCD therapist, and then when the checks ran out I couldn't muster enough anti-OCD courage to call and order more checks. Phones freak me out and if you want a peek at my life, I can't even call for another appointment because it requires a phone call AND a check and that thought makes me look at Oprah's picture and weep because I feel that she understands my shortcomings. (Slight giggle because shortcomings is a truly funny word.)
"So the money..."
"Will be in by the due date. The date it is due. On the day of dueness, the money will arrive."
"Um, ok. Well...some Other Parents are using black magic and voodoo dolls in order to become Parent Chaperons and they are starting to foam at the mouth. They sense that you haven't turned in your money, and they are starting to squeal with evil delight."
"Creepy. Who knew the people of Smyrna could be anything but Southern Baptist?"
"Oh no, they're still Southern Baptist. You can tell by the hair."
"Ms. Your Last Name, I will have that money in. Do not fear. I will not fail you on this, my Important Mission of the Month."
THIS SECTION HAS BEEN DELETED DUE TO INAPPROPRIATE USE OF THE WORDS FRICK, WEASEL, AND PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM.
You can imagine my delight this morning to find a sticky note in my daughter's folder. I know, I know. I was supposed to see it yesterday, because all good mothers check the school folders as soon as they walk through the door. I, however, was busy yesterday attempting to determine if I should get groceries or bathe the children. I opted for cleanliness and then we all ate cereal at my parents' house before embarking on The Joyous Journey of Wednesday Night at Church.
As I pulled up in the drop-off line, I saw the red and blue pens admonishing me to send in my money. It was really helpful, because otherwise it would have totally slipped my mind that the world would fall apart if our $14.25 wasn't submitted. It made me laugh with unbridled glee that you told me my place was going to be forfeit. I only wish you had given me the exact hour and minute, so I could have slipped it under your door at the last possible second. You know, just to ensure that you remain easygoing.
It took all of my adult maturity and realization that you might retaliate on mine innocent child to not write my own note in invisible ink:
Dear Ms. Stick In Your Hiney,
If you choose a due date, this is the day that the money is due. Stop harassing me, because the elves harass me enough with their wee little pointy shoes. HERE is your FRIGGING MONEY. I hope you appreciate the fact that I gave you a surplus of .75 cents. I'm going to send you notes every day until you return it to me. Also, if my child tells you that I instructed her to repeat here'syourmoneyhere'syourmoneyhere'syourmoneyhere'syourmoney until you take it out of her folder, it is a lie. I told her to yell it.
Yours In Educational Partnership,
Mrs. I'm Not Above Baking Ex Lax Into Your Christmas Present.