Somewhere between Christmas and New Years Eve, my will to discipline or even dress my children evaporated all together and what ensued can only be described as a naked chocolate-eating TV romp, especially with the recent heat-wave and all. With the return to school this week, I’ve had to change all that and am proud to report that yesterday morning we started the school year by arriving 15 minutes before the bell, all fully-dressed and not a hint of chocolate about our persons. I tell you, it was one of the proudest moments of my parenting career to date.
Of course I’m not quite so proud of last year when we regularly wandered into Late Pass Territory. Regular readers of my blog may recall that I have a “thing” about the late passes issued by my school (see “Last Ones Walking“). And by “thing”, I mean something roughly the size of Western Australia and totally visible from space. And if it’s still not clear enough for you, let’s just say I’m not about to “become a fan” of Late Passes on Facebook any time soon. But for someone who hates them so much, boy do I like to collect a lot of the fuckers.
And here I am, on Day Two of the school year, facing the prospect of getting my first taste of Late Pass, and (strangely) through no fault of my own. No, really!
You see, today is The Pixie’s first day back at kindergarten – a kindergarten that conveniently lies exactly in between my house and the school, allowing me to “streamline” my drop-offs and pick-ups. On a normal Tuesday or Wednesday morning, it would simply be a case of dropping The Pixie off at kindergarten for 8:45 and then strolling casually to the school well in advance of the 9am bell. But since today is The Pixie’s first day with a new teacher and a new class, I’m faced with a dilemma: do I just do the Drop And Run at the kindy and get Mr Justice to school on time? Or do I stay to settle The Pixie in a little and risk the Walk of Shame to the School Office? A late pass so early in the year might just prove to be my total undoing…
Last year, I remember one of the local mums facing a similar but vastly more difficult decision because the 14 month difference between her children meant she had one child starting school for the first time and the other starting kindergarten on the same day. At the time I did think “Well that’s the price you pay for having sex with your husband in the first six months of your first child’s life. I mean, some people!” Now that I’ve been facing a water-downed version of the same dilemma, I’m a little more compassionate. Should I see her in the playground today, I shall apologise for ever labeling her a Sex Addict in my head. I’m sure she’ll appreciate the gesture.
Now I know what some of you are thinking. “NDM, you are a very popular lady in your neighbourhood – perhaps even a pillar-stone of the community, someone for everyone to Look Up To. Surely there must be someone else who could take your son to school instead, freeing you up to settle your daughter into her kindergarten class?”
And my answer would be yes. Yes, I am popular. Very. But the problem is that I am also very popular with my children. When I gave Mr Justice the choice of going to school with someone else or having a late pass, his immediate response was: “I feel like I want to have a Late Pass”. It is his first week, too, after all. And it took almost 10 months of school last year for him to be okay about me not walking him right up to his classroom door every morning. And it had to be me. Nobody else. Me. Me. Me. Always me. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Except today, perhaps – late passes being what they are and all.
But hang on, NDM. What is a late pass really? Why, it’s just a little green slip of paper. Pah! There’s no way I’m going to let one little green slip of paper break my spirit. After all, I’ve got the rest of the year to be exceptionally punctual. I’ll show ’em. I’ll show ’em all… And if not, I’ll just set myself up a little Late Pass Counter on my blog and revel in my tardiness. Either way, it’s so clear that I’m the winner here. So very clear that it’s visible from outer space, surely.