By Jennifer LOS ANGELES MOMS BLOG
My son started kindergarten last week. And I’m that mom.
Not in a good way. Not the mom you secretly envy. Not the mom you want to be friends with. I’m not that mom that always looks put together but never overdone; is well organized with forms completed and ready to be turned in, carefully tucked in an outside pocket to be grabbed when requested by the teach; smiling, happy child, with clean clothes eagerly skipping in to kindergarten, etc.
No. I’m that mom. The slightly crazy one. The one whose eye you don’t want to catch. I’m the difficult, always has to do things differently, disorganized, harried-looking, perpetually late mom. The bad mom.
It started with the very first day. My daughter still goes to day care, so my husband took my son to kindergarten orientation and I met up with them after dropping off my daughter. Which meant I walked in late, which was planned between my husband and me, but late to everybody else. And all eyes turned to me. Sneaking in. Late. First day of school and I’m that late mom.
We were given a list of items “requested” to stock the kindergarten room — from Kleenex to antibacterial soaps to cleaning supplies. Budget cuts. I started mumbling that I didn’t want most of the products around my son.
From my husband, forcefully under his breath, “Do NOT make a big deal out of this. Do not embarrass our son.”
So I approached the teacher after the orientation was done and just explained that I used different, greener products at home, particularly no antibacterial soaps, and would she mind if I substituted with greener options? Thankfully, she is a kindred spirit and was grateful. But a couple of other moms overheard, and seem puzzled about my concern over antibacterial soaps. One of them asked me. I explained that triclosan, used in most antibacterial products, was persistent in the environment, found in 80 percent of our lakes and streams and interrupted the development of tadpoles into frogs. Also that triclosan was now found in breast milk and that it promoted super bugs and that antibacterial products proved no more effective than soap so I chose not to use them. She looked at me at little askance. So, I was that mom — the crazy crunchy green mom.
I then came back for my son’s pickup by the YMCA van to make sure it went smoothly. Nope. The van showed up half an hour after school let out, leaving my 5-year-old unsupervised out front of the school (if I hadn’t been there). I got lectured by both the teacher and the school’s principal that he had to be supervised at all times by an adult until the van showed up. THIS. COULD. NOT. HAPPEN. AGAIN.
So I was that mom. The one that works and needs child care. The one that is obviously not concerned about her child’s safety.
Went to YMCA to take care of issue, solved it.
Next morning, arrive with son. We were told to bring a towel for quiet time and books in a large Ziploc bag. Every single other child has Ziploc giant bag. My child? Reusable tote. Receive funny looks from other parents. Yes, that mom, the one that MUST do things differently. Child also has jelly smeared on face that I didn’t see and down front of shirt. That mom — the one too busy to notice her child is NOT CLEAN. Child throw huge crying fit when I try to leave. Again, that mom.
Later that day, showed up late after assuring principal I would be there to confirm YMCA employee on hand to supervise children after school until van arrived. So, yes, that mom — the late one.
Last day of the week, in the morning, talking to other parents of kids in my son’s class, I’m the only mom picking up the trash littering the front of the school.
Yep, I’m that mom.
This is an original post from the Los Angeles Moms Blog (http://www.lamomsblog.com/). You can read more from Jennifer at her blog The Smart Mama (http://www.thesmartmama.com/bg), because, of course, smart mamas (yes, those moms) do it all naturally.