Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Rite of Passage (for both mother and daughter)

It's official. I'm a total failure.

I've failed at a lot of things in my life. Not one to brag here, but I've got some pretty good failures on my curriculum vitae. I wouldn't call myself a champion or professional failure, but I've definitely walked the road of defeat.

Today I failed in the capacity as a mother. That's right. I'm a bad, bad, bad mom.

Today was my first-born child's first day of school. And not just the first day of the year. The first day of school in her whole life. In her entire 3.5 years of living she has never been to school until now. And can you believe it? I didn't take a picture of her in all her first-day glory before dropping her off.

No picture for the blog, for her scrapbook, for her memories. I failed her.

A successful mother would have planned ahead. A dedicated mother would have remembered last night that a certain little girl had smudged the lens of the camera with her grubby little fingertips and would have had the forethought to do a load of laundry so a clean microfiber cloth would have been handy to clean said lens.

A competent mother would have imbued such a sense of excitement in her daughter about her first day of school that the daughter would not have had an emotional breakdown right as it was time to get in the car, thus making the mother late.

A proper mother would have found some way to more effectively stem the tide of tears that ensued after explaining that it was against the rules to take any toys to preschool as she heartlessly removed them from the Hello Kitty backpack.

A decent mother would have made sure to capture the moment of departure appropriately, as is its due as a rite of passage, and immortalized it for all time on a pink and green paisley matted scrapbook page.

Alas, one more thing to add to my list of personal failings.

On the up side, I DID make the time and had the patience to paint my daughter's fingernails and toenails the colors of her choice while dressing her.
I DID remember the teacher's instructions to put the daughter's bathing suit under her clothes and pack a towel.
I DID remember to pay tuition on the first class of the month, thus qualifying for the $5 early-pay discount.
I DID remember to put the baby in the car before we left, rather than leaving him alone in his crib for the 20 minutes it would take me to return.
I even succeeded in sufficiently distracting my alternately writhing/screaming and wiggling/giggling daughter during the drive over with talk about farm animals so that her socks and shoes remained on her feet until arrival.


Maybe I can do this after all.

Does a picture after-the-fact still count? Even if it's blurry with finger smudges?


Lissa said...

Take a deep breath, and then take a picture when she gets home ;)

shelley said...

Just pretend you did it on purpose to get ahead of the game. Like when Jenny is 20 years old and technology and trends have both changed, and she and her friends say things like "remember when our moms all made pink and green paisley scrapbook pages? Yuck!" Or "Remember when our moms had to take photos of everything we ever did?"

For now, you could take a picture today with her backpack for the blog. Or you could take one on Thursday before school and call it "First week of school" instead of first day of school. Or you could take a picture of her holding up some art project she does this week. Or do a question and answer blog post to get her words about the first week of school.

And as far as the failure thing goes, knock it off. I don't need any competition in that area.