Monday, August 13, 2007

Fabricated Milestones

Today was my son’s first day of 4-year-old preschool. He is
going to the same preschool that he attended last year with a different teacher
and a larger class. His day went well. He likes his teacher. He knew some kids
in the class and he got to eat some chocolate chip teddy grahams (the highlight
of his day).

I got right back into my non-summer routine:

  • Wake up at 6:00 a.m.

  • Shower

  • Make myself presentable

  • Wake kids up

  • Feed kids and myself

  • Dress kids

  • Drive to school

  • Pull into the circle drive and let the staff escort my child from the car to his classroom. I don’t even have to take off my seat belt.

I ran errands with my daughter until it was time to pick my
son up. We pulled in the circle drive and let the staff place him in my car.  I felt great about my day. I got to spend some
quality time with my daughter. My son was thrilled to be back in school and I
felt energized as a Mom. I bid a fond farewell to the summer doldrums that have
plagued us for the past few weeks.

This feeling of elation stayed with me until about 2:30 when
I received an email from a friend. Her son is in my son’s class this year and
her email was entitled, Pics of Cody’s First Day at School. I opened it
up to find four pictures of Cody in various positions in the preschool. There
was one of him just before he walked in the door and three more of him engaged
in some type of preschool-y activity inside of the room. The first picture was
even narrated at the bottom with the phrase, Cody standing outside his classroom.

Crap. What kind of Mom am I? I didn’t even walk my kid into
the building, let alone snap some pictures of him entering the classroom. Hell,
I didn’t even take one picture of him at home in his cute outfit, all ready for
his first day. I am terrible at documenting milestones. I suck at pictures. I
suck at baby books and scrapbooking and any type of mementos that preserve when
my kids lost their first tooth, took their first step, rolled over for the
first time. I filled out my daughter’s baby book at the end of her first year
and made just about everything up. Granted, it was in the ballpark of accuracy
but completely fabricated. What does this say about me?

I am really good at documenting the bizarre behavior of my
children and my own mediocre parenting skills. Does this count for anything?


  1. I did pretty well with Maggie, but haven't done such a good job of keeping up with Aleita's. The only things I seem to write down in there now are when things really amuse me with something they said or did that was really funny.
    Scrapbooking? HA! That's one cult whose pressure I have never felt tempted to join.

  2. LOL J! You are NOT a bad Mom! Trust me, I almost forgot my camera. Don't beat yourself up over it. Heck, if it makes you feel better I didn't get any pics of Austin this year, granted this was not his 1st day of school ever vs.Cody, but still, it was his 1st day as a 2nd grader! Let's just say Cody was lucky this morning ;)

  3. You're not a bad mom. Mom's seem to bear the burden of guilt. There's guilt if you're a SAHM, there's guilt if you go to work.
    You take tons of pictures of your first child and then there's guilt for not having as many of the 2nd and on. Of those pictures that are taken, we're made to feel guilty if they aren't hard copy photos and especially if they are sitting in a shoe box or God-forbid a regular magnetic pages photo album.
    If you do scrapbook regularly, you're made to feel guilty if our books don't use all one brand of products, specifically CM.
    The guilt never ends. Okay, I better stop because the word guilt is starting to sound funny.

  4. My kids are teens now, and I've still got photos of them sitting in shoeboxes awaiting album adoption. Are my kids going to hold that against me? Or that I've yet to create that precious scrapbook? (I do plan to, really!). At the end of the day, what they'll remember is that you love them and the knowledge that you're always there for them. Forget the guilt. Just make sure you kiss and hug them...daily.

  5. For Keli, if those little rug-rats can find a way to make you feel guilty, count on it happening, this is a proven theory, We raised 3 sons. For my darling daughter-in-law, Julianne, don't feel so bad honey, your not a bad mom, and, I remember helping you fill out Tater's 1st year book on her Birthday, we didn't make THAT much of it up. P.S., tell Cody's mom I would have never told her you would forget the camera if I had thought she would show off like that!!

  6. I do feel a little pressure to join the scrapbooking community. Maybe it's the SAHM demographic. I am often chastised however for my non-traditional scrapbooking tendencies.

  7. Candice-
    Thanks. I should have pulled up behind you and let you take pictures of Truman. At least I could have pawned them off as my own :)

  8. Yes, guilt and motherhood go hand in hand. So does pressure. It's ridiculous. God forbid we be a supportive community.
    A regular photo album?! Gasp!

  9. Keli-
    Album placement is a full-time job. So is guilt.

  10. Papa Dale-
    I'm going to start calling you Dr. Phil.