Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Indian Corn

On Friday, my son brought me a note when I picked him up from preschool. The note said, “We are decorating our room for the autumn, please
bring in some Indian corn on Monday.” I made a quick mental note to remember to pick up some Indian corn from
the store and rushed to get some grocery shopping done.

Monday morning came and I dropped him off at school as
usual. I went walking, ran some
errands, and wrote my blog for the day. Then I packed my daughter in the car to pick my son up at school. While waiting in the long line of minivans
and SUVs, I decided to sort through the papers in the passenger seat. They tend to pile up on me as the week goes
on. There it was: the orange note,
staring at me, reminding me of my inadequacies as a Mother. My heart sank when I realized that I had
forgotten the Indian corn. It had
completely slipped my mind.

I was probably the twelfth parent in line that day. I obsessed as I waited about my son’s
non-contribution to the classroom’s autumn decorations. Was he the only kid who did not bring a
decoration? What did his teacher
think? Did he feel left out? Did the decorations look barren and
incomplete without the beloved autumn staple, Indian corn? What had I done? My son’s teacher smiled and put him into the van. We exchanged greetings and the door was
shut. I pulled forward about 20 feet
before strapping my son into his car seat (this is how we are instructed to
handle pick-up in order to prevent delays). I jumped out of the car and started the arduous task of strapping my
energetic son into his car seat.

Here’s the conversation that took place:

Me: “Did you decorate your room for autumn today?”
Son: “Yes.”
Me: “Did everyone
bring a decoration?”

Son: “Yes. I didn’t though.”
Me: “Were you the
only one?”
Son. “Yes, but it’s
OK. I ate a cupcake.”

I was crushed.  I was hoping for at least one other forgetful Mom.  My
poor baby was the only student who’s Mom forgot to send his
decoration. Great. I’m the loser Mom of the preschool
scene. The next time they decorate
their room, I’m sure I’ll be assigned some inconsequential item like mistletoe
or a popcorn garland. Gone are the
glory days of Indian corn. I can no
longer be trusted. I doubt I’ll be
asked to bring a special snack again or be the classroom Mom.  What if I don’t show up?

I have GOT to make this right. So, today, I will be purchasing Indian corn. I’ll send it to school with him on Wednesday
along with a self-deprecating note apologizing for my forgetfulness. Maybe I’ll throw in a miniature pumpkin for
good measure. I will not be “that
Mom.” My son will not be the kid that
the teachers feel sorry for. I’ve got
my work cut out for me.


  1. Oh no!
    I am sure that T will not be "labeled" due to your mistake. I had a slip up like that with Austin and Valentines candy. I brow beat myself for weeks over forgetting that darn candy. Matter of fact I went into over compensation mode, when I got a note a couple of months later to send in 3 hard boiled eggs for the Easter egg dying party, I boiled and sent an entire dozen. I am sure you have suffered more than T. Those bad mommy moments are a hard pill to swallow!

  2. I found the only way I can remember things like that is to keep a pad of post-it notes in my car. As soon as I find something out like that that I need to do, I write it on the post it and stick it on my dash, right in front of my steering wheel (in front of the digital thing that tells me what gear I am in.) That way, I see it every time I get in the car so I will remember to do it. It feels like such an accomplishment when I can take it down and throw it away. (as we speak, I have one sitting in my car to remind me to pickup our dry cleaning after work!)

  3. Angie-
    It makes me feel better that other people have made the same mistakes. Clearly Austin turned out fine. He's better than fine actually. He's my future son-in-law :)

  4. Aunt Becky-
    Genius! Off to buy some post-it notes...

  5. Mary used to tie a string around her fingers, then we both would wonder why her fingers were turning blue, what were we talking about? Short term memory, definately the first thing to go.

  6. Aww! You're not a bad mom, we all forget things at times..I forgot plasticware last year for Austin's K-Graduation, bu thankfully enough we had plenty left in the classroom from previous gatherings. ((HUGS)) Don't beat yourself up, you're a great mama!

  7. How could you forgot!!!! He will forever go "remember when you forgot the indian corn"
    I am very bad about reading the notes then putting the pile of papers down and never getting to it again. They bring home like 23083048 papers a day so it is easy to forget about it. I would be willing to bet he was not the only one who forgot his decorations. I have a note on my fridge that has been there for a month reminding me to send a white tshirt to school with zach by oct. 17. I keep forgetting to get him one seeing as how once I walk away from the fridge I never think about the white shirt. I must buy sticky notes for the van my self. I have done that once or twice from work and put it in the van. It does work nice! If these are the type of things that scar our children then we are in big trouble! We need to start psychatric (sp) evaluations now!
    Have a great night and don't forget the corn!

  8. I like the post it note idea....I never thought to try that. I finally started keeping a roll of tape in the car and taped the notes over the radio. I will have to remember the post its when Alison starts pre-school.

  9. Papa Dale-
    String around the finger, huh? That's a little too old school for me. I've got too many balls in the air and would forget what the string was for. I think that I'll write things on my hand with a sharpee. That should be pretty effective, huh?

  10. Candice-
    Thanks! It is nice to hear that I'm not the only one who forgets things like this. The scary thing is that my son hasn't started "real" school yet. What's going to happen when he goes five days a week and I have to remember more?!

  11. Melinda-
    Yeah, I'm already saving for therapy for my kids. It's a done deal.

  12. Julianne,
    you are not "that mom" I think you are a awesome Mother! It wouldn't be human to never forget anything.

  13. Julianne,
    you are not "that mom" I think you are a awesome Mother! It wouldn't be human to never forget anything.

  14. Emalie-
    Thanks. Can I get you to speak to my son's preschool teacher for me? :)