Monday, September 17, 2012

Parent of the Year Awards

Over the next few weeks, I'll writing a small, hopefully funny series regarding the challenges of having a child who is starting kindergarten. For those of you with older children, please chime in and comment with any advice or encouragement for us, the parents of new kindergarteners. For those of you with younger children-- well, snicker away friends, your time will come too...mwah ha ha! 

Joe and I will not be winning any parenting awards anytime soon. And when you hear about the most recent bout of parental stupidity... well, I hope  you won't chuck me off your list of friends, thinking I'm the most self-absorbed mother in the world. I'm not. Really, I'm not. But this morning, boy, I'm feeling like I deserve a tomato thrown at my head, or at least, that I should hang it low in shame. 

This weekend started off with a bang. Let's call it the weekend of good intentions, shall we? I got up on Saturday, fed the Kiddo, fed the cat. Kiddo played out in the backyard while Joe worked on getting the dead moss off the garage roof with the old broom, flinging it grossly--rather unfortunately-- everywhere. We did our myriad Saturday errands, the air hot with one of those 'golden haze of summer' days. At the very end of our day, we'd planned to head to our favorite lumberyard, Mr. Plywood, for wood to build Kiddo a playhouse. That said, once push came to shove, we realized that we didn't have a good-enough plan to know what to buy, in what lengths, and what would fit into the car without removing that gargantuan car seat from the back. (Joe would more or less rather cut off his arm than have to remove and reinstall the car seat.) While the delay in getting the lumber was disappointing to Kiddo, we promised to make good the next day and moved on.

Sunday, well, besides a rough start, this day found us going to visit an old neighbor in her new neighborhood and going to their Harvest Fair. This was a treat for Kiddo, who hung out and watched apple cider being made for about a half hour before we treated ourselves to some grilled corn. More of a 'golden haze' day in the park, and with over a week of no rain, there was plenty of pollen and junk in the air. Not that it would occur to us at the time. We spent the rest of the afternoon pleasantly, picked up the 4x4s and 2x4s needed for the playhouse from the dusty lumberyard and then went out for a snack. All was well,  until an hour before bedtime on Sunday night. 

That's when I heard the very beginning of the oncoming Parental Guilt Train, heading right toward us.

Sniff. Sniff sniff. SNIFF.

Kiddo's brilliant, well-intentioned parents looked at each other and a very stupid, 'uh-oh' conversation started something like this:

"Did you give him his Claritin this morning?"
"No, I thought you did. You gave it to him on Saturday, right?"

"Uhhhh, no. I thought you did."

Okay, so my kid has two rather disorganized parents. And to keep Kiddo on his scheduled Claritin dosage, we decided to wait until the morning to start him up again. Well-intentioned, sure, but probably stupid in retrospect. We could have gotten him back on track now and stretched a dose later in the week. But no. Tired and hot, our brains were not quite working correctly. 

And it hadn't occured to me that over the weekend, between the flying dead moss spores and 'golden haze' of summer, he'd been bombarded with pollen. Don't forget all the wood dust at Mr. Ply. Add that to the "Guilt" column, please. Poor, poor kid.

So this morning, it's Monday and Kiddo woke up, still sniffy, still wanting to go to school. He really wants to go, wants to play. Wants me to play with him before school. He manages to stay in good spirits,  we get him to school (taking his temp first, just to be sure it isn't a virus), and let the teachers know to call if they seem him glazing over. And this is where I have to keep it short, folks, because guilt is a great motivator. I've got a stack of laundry to fold, dishes to do, dinner to prep, so I can just be available for Kiddo this afternoon. 

Lesson in all of this:  Make sure there's a way to keep track of the important things. Like your kid's allergy medicine.  

I'm going off to make a chart right now, because if this guilt doesn't compel me to get Kiddo's medication straight for the future, I likely will win the Crap Parent of The Year Award. Or at least be nominated. I still think Tanning Mom has got that award category all locked up, but who knows what other stupid parenting move I'll make before the year is out?

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