Mom, I left you a note

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?


Two strikes.

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!

Fresh sobbing.

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.


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Marinka March 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

I don’t know why you had trouble with that. It’s like you need her to draw you a picture or something.


Kizz March 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm

There are few worse feelings than guessing wrongly about something a kid is so sure about. I almost had to stop reading. So sorry.


Stephanie Precourt March 4, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Oh man. My kids are the SAME WAY. But I do love the notes. And that they can just text me. Helps a ton. 🙂


Natalie Blais Hjelsvold March 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm

OHHHH….Good job deciphering it! My son likes the play Charades for me to “guess” that he want’s Chicken Noodle Soup in his lunch with Brussel Sprouts for snack….I should YouTube that dance….


Nana Greene March 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Make sure you keep this one. She will love it when she grows up!


Mollie March 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm

I laughed so hard at this my coworkers had to inquire about what was going on. So amazing. I feel for you, though; no notes in my house, but I’ve had conversations like this a lot, with the rising frustration and annoyance when a very clear message is not getting through.


Natasha March 5, 2014 at 3:22 am

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Ann Imig March 5, 2014 at 3:40 am

I thought you were dead in a casket and your ghost was saying “boo.” Clearly I live with boys. Deranged little boys.


sellabitmum March 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

So obvious. Ha!


SueF March 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

I guessed, “do 600 push-ups!” But your punchline was priceless.


sharisim March 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I am seriously dying laughing at this post.


alexandra March 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

SO CLEAR, Amy!!!


aninchofgray March 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Love this! And the note idea.


Mollie March 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Yesterday the 2-yr-old was telling me all about a dog he and Daddy saw on their walk. I thought I was following his account pretty well, but then I tried to repeat a detail back — “A doggie biting a bench, how silly” — and I could tell from his knitted brow that I must have misheard. So I tried again — “Was the doggie biting a BRANCH?” (It goes without saying that he pronounces those words almost exactly the same.) He said, “Yes,” and then, shaking his head: “I think I will tell Daddy that Mommy said the doggie was biting a BENCH.” If only he could type he’d be blogging about it.


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