I just realized that I was supposed to have sent something to school with Sarah last week that I completely forgot about.  I mean, a total brain fart, have too much on my plate, Mommy goof.  And I totally missed the day she came home from school talking about the circus and painting her box that I was supposed to send the box!

Which means that her teachers had to search around for another box for my daughter, probably making Sarah the last one with a box, and then the dreaded, “It’s ok honey, Mommy just forgot!  We have one for you!” comment surely followed.

Gut. Knife. Twist.

This seems to be a pattern this year.  My inability to remember things, get things right, or get anything right.  Or even send my kids to school like I am supposed to.  Clean, nicely dressed, organized…  like a real mom.  Instead of a flurry of craziness dumping my kids for these teacher’s to accommodate.

I take good care of my kids.  I do.  They get bathed every day.  Teeth brushed, hair brushed, new outfits whenever I manage to find time to go shopping.  In fact, even when money is tight, they get new things over me.

But they take a lot of work to look perfect every day.  And despite my best efforts, they always seem to be just a little less than the other little kids going to school.  There seems to always be a stain I did not see on their shirt, or they want to wear the pants that are too short and because I don’t want the fight, I let them go, or they get to school and I realize that they have their shoes on the wrong feet.

And then there are the things I seem to have no control over.

Sarah has my hair.  I call it permanent bed head.  It is frizzy and hard to work with and – worst of all – hers is straight.  Unlike mine which has some natural curl to hide it’s craziness, there is no hiding her habit of twisting.   So, to me at least, she always looks like she has bed head.  Unless I condition it, blow dry it and style it every day, there is not much I can do about it.

Katie dresses herself.  She does a great job matching clothing and such, but sometimes, no matter what I say, she wants to wear that “favorite” shirt that has paint on the sleeve, or that spot on the front that I did not know it had until we are in the car and it is too late to turn back.

Almost every school day, I feel like am apologizing or explaining something about why MY kids don’t match up to their peers.  I should have a sign on my back saying “Notice: Inadequacies Ahead” so that everyone could be forewarned that these girls mother is going to be more work than her kids.  That everyone should just expect that my kids are going to look like…  well…  s*it, and I am going to forget something…  like a nap mat, or a water cup, or enough Pull Ups, or replacement clothes, or…. well…  you get the picture.

So here I sit, feeling awful because I forgot the box and emailing her teacher – who is amazing and wonderful – to tell her how sorry I am that she had to go out of her way – again – to cover for Sarah’s mother’s idiocy… and I could cry.

How did it come to this?  Where I have lost all ability to present my children in the best light possible?  To make it so that they are so high maintenance that they might already have a bad reputation?

I suppose it is time to start getting them up an hour and a half early instead of an hour and making sure they are perfectly coiffed and pressed and look as good as possible for preschool.  Because I don’t want them to suffer for my inability to go that extra mile.  I want them to have every advantage.

So I guess I am making some serious changes starting tomorrow.  With the first being to remove my cardboard sign saying “Notice: Inadequacies Ahead!”