Friday the Thirteenth Presents: Tardy

Remember that movie Freaky Friday
with Lindsay Lohan and Jodie Foster? That sort of soul swapping happened at midnight on this Friday the thirteenth of March. My blogging halo-ed spirit interchanged with pitchforked-ed Jana of The Meanest Mom fame (who is also up for a blogging award VOTE FOR HER here!) forcing me to post evilly things over there, while she angelically posts here. When do I get my braces off?

Warning! Don't read this post unless you think Candy Posters are as awesome as anything in on this planet. If you don't know what a Candy Poster is (or why I would capitalize such a noun) read on my friend:

by Jana Mean Mom Matthews

Getting my three kids to school on time is my Mount Everest. I have, however, significant motivation to do the impossible: her name is Lorraine.

Lorraine is the secretary at my daughter's elementary school. She wears sweater vests adorned with three-dimensional animals, but don't let her 1980s homemaker apparel fool you: Lorraine is as friendly as a jackal.

Roughly once every three weeks, Mount Vesuvius erupts at my house at 8:50am in the form of a missing shoe, a temper tantrum, or the unexplained need to change one's clothes for the third time in one hour. On these mornings, I park my car in the school's fire lane and drag four children into the front office to do penance before St. Lorraine.

"May I sign in my daughter please?" I ask politely after waiting at the counter for what feels like a century. My three oldest children have already written their names on seventeen visitor badges and have attached them to their shirts.

After Lorraine finishes her personal phone call/applying lipstick/rearranging her collection of angel figurines on her desk, she rises from her throne, heaves a loud sigh of disapproval, and hands me a tardy slip.

Even though my kindergartner is only 2.5 minutes late for school, I'm still required to publicly confess that I don't have my act together by filling out the form, signing it, and listing a reason for her lateness. By this point in the school year, I have exhausted all of the standard excuses. Plus, Lorraine is starting to question their validity.

"You were really 'out of town' for five minutes?" she asked in February.

Lorraine's growing suspicions that I have been less than forthright with her in the past have shamed me into telling the truth. While it used to take only a few seconds to fill out the tardy slip, now it takes me several minutes--and the front and back sides of the form--to describe my morning. Usually my epistles include the phrase "I'm going to count to five" followed at some point by “You’re not going to like this” and "against their will."

"This is all avoidable," smirked Lorraine on Tuesday, "If you could get out the door five minutes earlier."

I wanted to thank Lorraine profusely for coming up with a solution to my problem that I hadn't thought of myself, but I also didn't want to hold up the line. As I exited the building, I whispered words of encouragement to the handful of nervous mothers who were waiting for their turns to meet their maker.

When I got home, I decided to do something nice for Lorraine in appreciation of the sensitivity and compassion she routinely shows parents who mornings are plagued with natural disasters and children who like power struggles. I missed the nominations for this year's faculty and staff recognition awards, so I had to settle for a candy poster.

I hope Lorraine likes my gift. The fact that I took all of the candies out of their packages--leaving only their wrappers—makes me worry that she won’t.

to c jane on Jana's blog click here.

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