Lately I’ve been trying to convince my kids that if they want me to take an action on their behalf, they should leave me a note. Pen and paper are on hand at all times for said purpose.
If the third-grader finishes the jar of Nutella, and he expects there to be more at some point, he needs to put it on the shopping list.
If the fifth-grader needs to wear a “neon-themed outfit” for the ice cream social next week, he needs to give me a written heads-up. (Yes that is an actual request currently in my inbox. It’s a time-honored rite of passage: the neon-themed ice cream social.)
But I’m sure it will surprise no one to hear that the only child assiduously observing the dictum to Leave Mom a Note is the kindergartener who cannot exactly read or write yet.
(She’s working on it. I mean, I’m working on it. Third child: totally getting the same amount of hands-on reading and writing instruction from her mother as the first kid did! Obviously! No difference at all!)
Yesterday, there was something on the notepad. Since only one of my children acknowledges its presence, I had a hunch as to its authorship.
ME: Maggie, what’s this?
MAGGIE: It’s a message I left you.
ME: …what does it say?
MAGGIE: Go ahead and read it!
And so I do.
Maggie beams at me proudly.
MAGGIE: So can you do that?
ME: Do what?
MAGGIE: What it SAYS. On my NOTE.
I look at it again.
ME: …You can count to six hundred?
ME: You want to do gymnastics on Daddy’s yoga mat?
ME: You… want to lie down six hundred times?
Maggie’s face crumples in fury.
MAGGIE: (through hot, angry tears) Why can’t you EVER read ANYTHING I WRITE YOU!
ME: I’m sorry, honey, I–
MAGGIE: It says, “Six o’clock! Five Central!”
ME: It- what?
MAGGIE: Alice in Wonderland is on at six o’clock, five central! And you have to tape it!
ME: Oh, sure! Sure it says that! And this is you lying down watching it!
MAGGIE: It’s not ME… It’s Alice falling down the ho-ho-hole…
Worst mother ever. Final proof: I forgot to set the DVR.