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20 Feb

How To Lose Your Confidence As A Parent In Twenty Minutes Or Less

Today’s lesson: if you are not, always and every day, prepared for the demands that your child’s school or daycare might make upon you, you will – I guarantee you – be made to feel like the most worthless, incompetent parent that ever bore or received spawn.

Last week, it was Valentine’s Day. “She needs to bring Valentines to school tomorrow,” Her Bad Father (who usually does most of the daycare pick-ups and so is more usually the recipient of this kind of information) informed me on the eve of Valentine’s Day. “36 of them. Signed with her name but not addressed to anyone.”

Which meant, of course, a late-night dash to the nearest all-hours last-minute things store, whereupon hideous Valentines imprinted with licensed characters were purchased and brought home to be forged in her name.

And then, later that night: “Also, she needs to wear something red to school tomorrow.”

Which, fine. Nothing that two cups of espresso and a little pre-dawn laundry cycle couldn’t take care of.

And then, yesterday: “She needs to bring a family picture to school tomorrow. It’s Family Picture Day.”


We do not have any current family pictures. That is, rather, we have upwards of 10,000 pictures featuring Wonderbaby and one or the other of us and/or friends and/or extended family members, but these are all a) entirely digital, b) tending toward individual portraiture and/or group portraiture that excludes one of the more significant members of the family (it is almost always me taking the picture, and so from the evidence of our digital photo archives one would presume that Wonderbaby does not have a mother), and c) representative of situations that tend more or less to the embarassing (Wonderbaby bewigged, Wonderbaby naked and bewigged, me naked and bewigged, etc, etc.)

So, we had nothing. No family picture for Wonderbaby to take to school and share with her friends. We were facing – I was facing – the prospect of sending my child, at age two, into the deeply disappointing experience of being the lone child in the group who doesn’t have anything for show ‘n’ tell, or no cupcakes to contribute to the bake sale, or whatever, because her mother sucks ASS.

So I sent her to school with this:

Was that wrong?