As much as I hate to admit it, summer is waning here in the lovely District of Columbia. As I cling to my flip-flops and sundresses and make frowny faces at boots and jackets, the kiddies — and, let’s be honest, us parents — are all wrapped up in the excitement of the back-to-school season. If they didn’t go last week, which I think is silly because of the long weekend, then tomorrow is probably the big day. It’s going to be all jitters and butterflies for a lot of households come morning.
Last week was Tween Girl’s first day of eighth grade. I’m proud to report that, even though it’s her last year of middle school, I made it through without melting into a sentimental heap of sobs. Even when it’s not a monumental year, I usually do the ugly cry for at least 10 minutes after I drop her off. But perhaps I was so distracted by other parents’ shenanigans that I couldn’t go through my emotional routine.
I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm begging other folks to think their actions through when they set the tone for their kids' brand spanking new school year. Here's just a taste of no-no's that I've seen myself, read about in the news, or heard about through the grapevine. Yikes.
1. Forgetting (or consciously deciding not) to wear a bra and smothering small children who are about as tall as your breasts are low.
2. Peddling your wares to other parents. The school grounds aren’t the marketplace for hustling Avon, adult toys, real estate. Give it some time — better yet, give your kids a break.
3. Wearing a plastic shower cap. That’s it. Wearing a plastic shower cap. It’s enough.
4. Rolling down the window and punting your kids’ forgotten lunch to them from the driver’s seat.
5. Catching the Holy Ghost while the gospel choir sings at the Back to School assembly.
6. Shaking the principal’s hand — and holding on to it.
7. Declaring your intention to run for PTA president and pinning one of your campaign buttons to the back of your competitor’s kid’s shirt.
8. Showing off pictures from your summer vacation.
9. Telling a teacher about the litany of medical woes little Bradford suffers from, down to the mystery rash he’s going to need ointment for.
10. Firing off a series of long, angry horn blasts aimed at the line of cars tangling up what would’ve been the swiftest little kid drop-off ever.
11. Following that up with a middle finger.
12. Cursing another mom out for rocking a couture purse made of real crocodile skin. Come up for air, PETA vigilante.
13. Smothering your little one (or, good heavens, your not-so-little-one) with kisses on the steps of their school and then scooting them off to be the hot topic of discussion among their peers.
14. Sporting your “F&$^% your censorship” T-shirt to take your fifth grader to Catholic school.
15. Ranting and raving about the upcoming school year’s fees to anybody who will listen — including teachers, administrators, and other parents. There is a forum for that, and first day of school? That ain’t it.
16. And of course, cry in front of everybody uncontrollably as you wave your baby into the start of another new year.
What are some of the more embarrassing stunts you’ve seen parents pull to mortify their kids? Or — moment of self-reflection — have you done something to shame your poor children that needs to be added to this list?
Image via mdanys/Flickr