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I still can’t decide if missing my So-Called Baby’s first day of kindergarten has done me any favors or not.

And when I say, miss, I mean really miss, as in all of us, missing kindergarten–including the kindergartener. That was a serious wtf moment on my part.

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Is there anything worse than waltzing in a day late, becoming an instant winner for the Most Clueless Parent award?

No, there isn’t.

But, in the So-Called Mom spirit, I have discovered the bright side to screwing up (again). And that is: It’s far less painful to send your last baby off to school when you don’t have time to wallow in the loss. I was just getting ready to dip my toe in to test those wallowing waters, when I got the call from the school essentially shouting: Come on in, the water’s fine!

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And it is fine. I just feel a little short changed. I wanted the same experience as any other mom. I wanted to be able to weep like an idiot while pretending to not nurture the insecurity of my nervous, new-backpack-clinging kid. I wanted to tear him off of my leg in the classroom and leave so I could walk my trauma down the hall like it was a life sentence.

Instead, we skipped all that nonsense and shoehorned ourselves into a no-big-deal second day at school.

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Was it for the better? I’m leaning towards yes, but I don’t know if that’s just to make myself feel good about messing it up. Everything happens for a reason–so maybe this was to make the transition slightly more sane.

In any case, I need to step up my game so the teacher knows I’m not a flake (because I’m not). I signed up to volunteer in the classroom, and I really want to be one of those very present and very dependable moms at school. Of course I’ll make 20 color copies and staple packets for you. Of course I’ll read age-appropriate stories to them while you grade papers. Of course I’ll stand outside in the rain during recess for extra supervision. The fact that I forgot the first day of school doesn’t mean anything–a mere coincidence beyond my control. 

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Even if I become the New (and Improved) So-Called School Super Mom, it doesn’t take away the fact that I have never-before-seen free time on my hands. Besides cleaning the house like a psycho while the kids are gone, I think I’m going to make some intentional plans with my husband to get us both on the same page again. We’ll see if we remember each others names first and then go from there.

So-Called Mom