Do I Know Where My Children Are?

I spend lots of time trying to make people believe that I am a competent adult and responsible parent. It’s hard work, but I am determined to fool at least some of them. My kids aren’t making it easy.

Every day, I fill out permission slips and absence notes and request forms and hand them back to the child who needs them, ready to go back to school. Every day I get calls from the school office asking for permission, absence excuses and requested information. My children apparently suffer from a condition that does not allow them to return a form to it’s place of origin.

It’s not just the high school children who have this problem. My college age son is unable to even request the correct form to get scholarship money sent to the right place. He is “too busy.” I managed to navigate the web and find the phone number for the correct school office for him and e-mailed an address for sending out the form, so that all he needs to do is make a phone call. No word yet as to whether he found time to do that.

I’m not the only parent with this problem. One dad I know told me that when his daughter was a Senior, he bought a steno pad, signed every page, took it to the office at school and told the secretary to simply write in whatever she needed. He told the secretary that if she thought it was okay for the kid to go, he trusted her judgment. He got a lot more work done after that, since he didn’t have to answer the phone every day.

I think my older daughter only appears at school long enough to get permission to leave again. Today she started off going to the local university for a college fair. She went from the fair to a quiz bowl match, and from there to a Kiwanis luncheon. She says she might get to school in time for her art class last period.

The younger one is already practicing to get out of school over the next two years by becoming an office assistant. She knows that as soon as she has her license, she will be able to run errands for teachers, seriously cutting down on time spent in class.

I pay tuition for these children to attend this school. I should be allowed to pay by the hour.

I believe the school must be subliminally transferring knowledge to them all over the city. They must be learning something sometime, since they do exceptionally well on standardized tests. They’re getting A’s in their classes. It’s hard to argue that they aren’t getting a good education. But I wonder, after graduation, if they’ll recognize their teachers!

3 Responses to “Do I Know Where My Children Are?”

  1. James Vanfossen says:

    Well, now Rene, I’ve got sort of the same problem. . . except I don’t even have an air of competency. My kid’s teachers look at me and see a man wearing birkenstocks (in the dead of winter), and a boonie hat. . . bloodshot eyes and a grey, scraggly beard. . . I can read their thoughts . . . Jerry Garcia’s younger brother. They tend to not expect that much of me. Sometimes it’s best to wear your cobwebs on your sleeve.

  2. admin says:

    Good point! Dads get a pass most of the time anyway. When they come in to school, we go out of our way to make things easy for them, because they’re dads, after all. You can just scratch your head and look puzzled and some mom will take care of it for you.
    Maybe I should buy some birkenstocks?

  3. James Vanfossen says:

    I’d go for the boonie hat. . . or the beard.

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