I am a school teacher.  So, never have I had to get the kids up and off to school.  I always had to be there before them, since I teach at a different school than the one they attend.  In the past, I thought it sucked because I had to pay someone to get them up and off to school.  I was envious that my 1950’s sitcom fantasy of kissing them on the cheek, handing them their lunch, and putting them on the bus would never be a reality.

This year, for some lucky reason, my school got out two weeks before my kids’ school did.  So, I finally have the opportunity to walk a mile in June Cleaver’s shoes. (I’ll keep my sandals and my yoga pants, though, June can keep her heels, dress, and pearls.)  Breakfast and kisses it is for the next two weeks, and all problems will neatly solve themselves in half an hour.

Day one, I was so excited, I got up extra early, and I packed my son’s lunch.  I put his science extra credit and a few custom school supplies I picked up on the counter and made breakfast for him for the first time in his 13 years.  Then, I sent him off to school–it was just like a black and white Nick at Night sitcom, but without the segregationist undertones.

As I was getting breakfast cleaned up, I looked over at the counter, and that’s when I saw it – the lunch and the extra credit assignment staring at me.  Damn it!  How the hell could he forget that?  How could he screw up my picture-perfect stay at home mom attempt?

In hindsight, I should have said suck it up. Go hungry. Get that B in science and blow your chance at a scholarship.  But that’s not what June would have done, or any sane adult parent who has seen what college tuition is.  So, I broke my parenting rule of experiencing natural consequences for doing stupid things and decided to take the lunch and extra credit to the school. Bad idea.

I thought, “No worries, I got this.  I am off; I can run it in.”  That’s what all the other good moms do.  They bail their kids out instead of making them experience the sinking pit of despair kids get from making mistakes.  We are working on creating a generation of candy asses; I have to do my part to make sure America stays the land of safe spaces and snowflakes.  So, I loaded both of my younger kids in the car, dropped my youngest off at kindergarten, and set off to run the lunch and extra credit to the middle school.

Now, mind you, the secretary at his school makes Roseanne Barr’s Star Spangled Banner sound pleasant—she has no business around kids.  So obviously, a secretary who deals with tax paying parents is the perfect position for a cranky bitch.  It gives her a license to treat parents like shit, which is exactly what she was looking to do when I took the lunch and bonus in. She even has that “How dare you make me do my job?” look down to a T.

“I don’t know how I am going to get it to him; they are at an assembly,” was the passive aggressive comment I got when I explained the situation to her.

Now, when she barked at me in that bitchy voice on the phone during the school year, I was too busy at work to give a shit.  Now that I am home, and playing up the June Cleaver bit, I had no patience for her screwing with my sitcom fantasy. I had no problem going from June Clever to Walter (Wanda in my case) White.

“I can text him and let him know it’s here if you need me to.”

“There’s no texting in school.  You shouldn’t be adding to a problem we are trying to fix.” She snapped. I’d give her an A for effort, as in putting substantial effort into finding excuses so she wouldn’t have to do her job. Like 21st-century communication is such a threat to the educational process.  God forbid we teach kids to responsibly use the tools that have already become second nature to them. Do we really want a generation of Anthony Wiener’s?

But instead of debating the benefits of learning to use technology responsibly, I just said, “Well, if you don’t want to put the effort into finding him? That’s an option.”

Again, bark and a snap. “It’s not allowed, and I don’t know what you want me to do.”

And in true A Few Good Men fashion, I gave her my own, “You can’t handle the truth” monologue.

“Well, I guess I want you to do your job, instead of figuring out ways you don’t have to do it. I bet there is a line of people who would love a cushy government job with benefits and a pension.  Their only qualification would be knowing their ass from a hole in the ground.  Have a beautiful day.”

And while I like to think that I left her speechless, I actually busted out of there scared shitless she’d call security, so she didn’t have time to respond.

Then in true oppositional defiant fashion, I texted my son and told him he forgot his lunch and bonus, and I left it to the office. June Cleaver. Soccer-mom rebel.

As I watched the dots in that little gray bubble on my iPhone bounce across the screen as he responded, I was grinning ear to ear waiting for my, “Thanks, Mom. You saved the day. I was worried about not getting the extra credit and going hungry.  I love you, mom.”

But, that’s not what I got. His text popped my little stay at home mom fantasy. “I printed another copy of my extra credit in homeroom, and I had money to buy lunch here.”

Operation, Stay at Home Mom, epic failure.  No hugs, no thank you.   No, not my teenager.  My lack of coddling turned my teenager into an independent problem solver. The little bastard will probably even grow up into a well-adjusted adult with a family of his own. That will teach him.

How the hell am I going to compete with the moms at soccer practice this summer when they are doting over their boys with water bottles and Gatorade?  My kid will have his own looking at the other players like they are pussies.

My son has his shit together, and when I finally get the opportunity to dote over him and run to the rescue, he’s got it figured out. I love that ungrateful little twat.

Guess I can’t contribute to generation candy ass after all.  Well, at least for today. Then again, there are my other two kids to helicopter parent. Time to stock up on participation trophies.

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