A letter to the principal of [NAME OMITTED] Primary School.
I had the great pleasure of receiving my very first late pass of the year yesterday morning because I was less than five minutes late in getting my eldest child to school. Thank you so much for bestowing me with this great honour. You have no idea what it means to me. No, really. You have No. Idea.
You may be wondering why I’ve enclosed a pair of scissors with this letter. Well, there’s a story behind it, just as there is a story behind my tardiness yesterday morning. And I’d really like to share both with you – if you can take the time out from processing all those late passes, that is.
On my late pass, I wrote “Sore finger required band-aid” as my reason. But actually that was just the tip of the iceberg – or even, tip of the finger, if you’ll allow the joke. Which I hope you will. Because I would hate to have to fill in any further paperwork if you won’t.
Anyway, we were on the verge of leaving the house when a skirmish broke out between Mr Justice and The Pixie at the front door, causing Mr Justice to “gravely” injure his finger. Actually, to be fair to The Pixie, I think the finger injury was from a few days ago when he pulled the smallest bit of skin off next to his fingernail but then had forgotten about it until The Pixie had dared to pull his finger (not in the comic way, I’m sorry to say). In any case, he decided that the injury required immediate attention – and if sticky-tape can fix any broken object in the minds of my children, band-aids and hugs can fix any human suffering.
But could I find a band-aid? No, Brett, I could not. I could find plenty of empty band-aid boxes in the toiletries cupboard that, handily, maintain the illusion of us having a plethora of band-aids whenever I do a last-minute stock check before the weekly shopping. But not a single band-aid to be found in any one of those boxes.
In the meantime, The Pixie tried to climb into the Valco Mobile Home by herself and managed to tip the whole thing over onto herself. And at the very same moment, T. McGee, who had emptied the contents of his freshly-filled drink pot onto the floor, slipped over slap-stick style in the puddle of his own creation. They both started crying loudly, so I had to do a quick visual assessment of them both to make sure no bones were broken. Satisfied that they were still intact, I continued trying to find the band-aid because Mr Justice, too, was crying at this point because his finger “hurt so much”, so then they were all wailing and my mobile phone started ringing and somehow all this wasn’t helping me find the band-aid at all and I started shouting in my Linda-Blair-possessed-by-the-devil voice: “WHY. DON’T. WE. HAVE. ANY. BAND-AI… oh, what’s this?”. And there between two hand-towels was one lone band-aid. Of course it would be there. Where else would it be?
So I administered first-aid on the (apparently) life-threatening injury, gave hugs to all three children, set the pram to rights, mopped up the slipping hazard, refilled Tiddles’ drinky pot, got everyone’s hats on and them into their appropriate seats and we set off to school – some 8 minutes later than I’d intended.
And yet, despite all that, I was still less than only 5 minutes late.
But instead of being able to release my child into the classroom to get an education, I had to do a fifteen point turn with the Valco Mobile Home to go back to the School Office, where I found myself blabbing to the largely-indifferent office staff that all three of my children had eaten breakfast, were fully-dressed, wearing sunscreen, hats and matching shoes and even all of us (me included) had clean underpants on and that I had, in fact, made my son’s “litter-free” lunch at 5:45am that morning and cooked everyone pancakes for breakfast and even put on a load of washing before we left and that it Just. Wasn’t. Fair. But no, none of that in any way nullified the five minute delay and the Late Pass was issued. Rules are rules. Apparently.
And then, when we finally got back to the classroom, the teacher made a big point of thanking Mr Justice for getting a late pass, but she said his name wrong like it was “Mr Jar-stice” and I yapped “It’s Mr Just-ice!” like one of those pathetic half-rat/half-dog things that live in Paris Hilton’s handbag, and then, as much as one can when manouvering the Valco Mobile Home, swept out of the classroom in a huff. I then spent the rest of the day either ranting about Late Passes to anyone who would listen (not many) or feeling terrible that I’d lost my temper and made a scene in the Office and snarled at the teacher all before the first week of school was even finished.
And so Brett, we come back to those scissors I’ve enclosed with this letter. Those scissors, my friend, are simply for you and your underlings to Cut. Me. Some. Fucking. Slack.