Cause for Alarm ... Clock

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On this week's momversation we're talking about mourning morning routines which reminded me of this post, which reminded me it's been a month since I posted on Babble which reminded me that I am totally overwhelmed, yet again and flaking on everything in my life. Hi, are we friends? Have I flaked on you in the last month? Week? Hour? If so, I'm sorry and it will probably happen again. A hundred thousand times before tomorrow.

Tangent: Having a child in kindergarten is a lot more work than having a child in preschool. The amount of paperwork I'm dealing with on a daily basis is overwhelming and somehow, no matter how careful I think I'm being I always end up losing 9/10ths of everything.

1. I had pick-up time wrong on the first day of school.
2. I lost my donation forms before I even got to read them. (In order for our school to run at full potential, parents must donate $1500.00 per child per year minimum. Is that an LAUSD thing? I don't know. All I know is that I got my TB test so that I can volunteer every other week in the class and that public schools are really actually more like co-op schools these days. At least, around here. Which is totally cool and I'm happy to volunteer, donate money, bean bag chairs, snack for the week, whatever is needed of me. It's just... work! A lot of work. And yes, I'm extremely lucky to have the time and ability to donate and support my kid's school. I recognize this is a luxury, don't yell. But it's also work, man. It is.)
3. Last night was "Back to School" night and after arriving twenty minutes late, (everyone else was on time. I have no idea how this is possible. I'm not the only one with a husband who works late and a sister who lost track of time in the candle/homemade lotion store in Silverlake and arrived at my house at 5:30 instead of 5:00, I can assure you. Who are these magic parents and why can't they be less magical!?) I made the mistake of trying to exchange numbers with parents for play dates and didn't get a single parent's name right. Kids? Yes. I love kids names because they're awesome-weird and easy to remember. Anyway. So I got everyone's name wrong and then I was sitting in Archer's tiny chair in my jeans and I didn't realize how low they were in the back until suddenly I felt a breeze and realized I was flashing the entire middle and back row of parents (also seated in tiny chairs) my green satin thong with the peep-hole circle what was supposed to be sexy in 2003. So, I fixed my pants and made a face like, "don't mind me! Ha ha. I'm new here," which would have been fine if we weren't all new here, AKA there's no excuse for the whole class now knowing about my Gemini-sign tramp stamp that I got when I was sixteen c/o my boyfriend's friend who needed a lower back to practice on in his basement.

"I mean, how could I say no? It was free and he needed practice!"

Parents do not like this story. They are very disappointed in my poor decision making.

I digress...

I'll admit with confidence that I think I'm a good mother. Fantastic with kids, specifically my own. But I'm a shit "mom". I suck at being a "parent" amidst other parents. It's like I freeze and become someone else, insecure and neurotic and ridiculous. I get everything wrong. Clearly everyone hates me and I have no friends and then I must cry. I've written about this before, haven't I. Like ten times? You're right. I know. Just forget I said anything.

Anyway, all this school stuff is clearly for a different post at a different time. And I will title that post "Class Dismissed" because I become tactless in school settings and also because I'm good with wordplay.

I digress. Again. This post was supposed to be an update on sleep training, specifically how I'm surviving on less sleep, which, if this post so far has taught us anything, it's that I'm not really surviving much at all.

I blame it on the rain. Yeah, yeah. Because rain turns sleepiness into exhaustion very quickly. Especially when you've lived in Southern California all your life and don't understand what the rain is from the sky, so wet.

Anyway. What? Where? Here's where I'm at:

I've been pretty good about being asleep by midnight and out of bed at 7:00 7:30. I am able to dress myself (thank you, thank you) and get kids out the door by 7:50 because Hal covers for me I am fucking awesome like that. Other than that there has been no significant change in lifestyle. My kid has yet to be late for school and I have yet to make a fool out of myself in front of him so for all he knows, I'm normal. Ish.

The only pressing issue that needs resolving is this: I need to buy myself an alarm clock. I have yet to use one, instead relying on Hal which is a bad idea because he becomes the villain every morning instead of a little box that beeps. You know how when you hear the "beep! beep! beep!" sound in movies it reminds you of your 6th grade alarm clock? (It does me, anyway.) That's kind of what happens whenever I hear Hal say, "Bec! Bec! Bec!" I get all anxious and then I realize he's calling my name to come cuddle with him on the couch and hate everything that's on television right now besides Mad Men.

Also, here is a video we taped live which is a new Momversation experiment. (There have been many a Momversation experiment lately because Momversation is going through its teen years. ED: Two years is like "fifteen" years in video years. Years.)

This vid was particularly fun for us because we got to communicate with each other instead of talking to ourselves for ten minutes and say ridiculous things for nine of them. At least, I do that. Clearly there's nothing Alice can say that isn't charming, witty and wise. And now I will talk about Alice. Alice is amazing. She's one of my absolute favorite people in the United States. I'm at work on an epic acrostic poem all about Alice, currently at work on letter "i"....

Anyway. How is your day shaping up? Is it raining where you live? Any tips for time-saving in the morning? Have you ever been late to a Back to School night? Does your school call it "Back to School" or does it prefer "Back 2 School"? Does your underwear ever show? Have you seen The Social Network? Is it the best movie you've ever seen? Is Facebook on its way out, you think? What will the new Facebook be? Who REALLY killed JFK? Wait, where are you going?



Anonymous | 12:38 PM

Yeah, for underpants hanging out. Mine do it all the time! It doesn't help that I have a long waist and big chest so my shirts are never long enough to cover the top of my pants anyway. That is why I was so happy when tunics came into style. It is hard to be a mother and wearing shirts that expose your midriff especially when you don't want them to.

Good Luck with all this school stuff! I am a year behind.

Agnes | 12:38 PM

The more I read your blog, the more I like you. I have no doubt the other parents look at you and see a beautiful looking young woman with cool clothes and even better hair and trust me they are jealous. They don't know about your insecurities and trust me again, everybody has them. Just keep being yourself, you're pretty great.

Unknown | 12:44 PM

Haha! Ok, for the underwear showing- there's a reason I wear long shirts and avoid bending in front of others. Golf is going to be a challenge this weekend. It's because I have a big back end, so no matter what the pants I buy just don't fit right.

Savers for the morning (because, like you, I consider it mourning). I set the coffee maker up the night before (it has a timer). I get out the breakfast goodies and set them out (takes less time in the am). I also prepare as much of lunch as possible. If something isn't refrigerated, it goes in the lunch bag at night. If it's refrigerated, I put it all together on the middle shelf where I can grab and go real quick. I also started showering at night. My hubs totally digs the morning mohawk I usually have goin' on.

danielle (elleinadspir) | 12:44 PM

This post made me laugh. My son has been getting up at 6:45 like clockwork for most his life (3 1/2 years). Earlier when he was younger, never later. Now he is in preschool and we need to be there at 8:15 (so we need to leave by 8) and now all of the sudden he wants to cuddle and lie around and get up at 7:15 and play and blah blah blah...and so I spend 45 min each morning in a panic wondering how the hell everyone else gets their kids up and dresses....and I end up in gym clothes because there just is no time. Ugh!!!! And yes my underwear hangs out. And I feel like such a newbie around the other school parents. And I think all schools need more funds...even the private ones seem to always need more. And LA Unified..I remember from when I lived there, they for sure need more. It's great that you are giving so much of your time as well as donations. I'm JFK answer...sorry....

L.A. Stylist Mom | 12:49 PM

a)I am still in my pajamas b)Yes, because I live where you live...obvy c)Not only was I not late to 'Back To School Night' I peaced out on it altogether when I realized that if I was going to pay a sitter, I was going to do it so J and I could have an impromptu date night d)I am so out the loop I cannot even tell you if it's 'Two' or '2' e)My underwear regularly show and I know this because I am lucky enough to have friends that call me out on it - every time f)What was next...? Um...oh.

Kay | 12:50 PM

Hello from a teacher who would love to have you as a parent to work with.

I think I am really good at making school a fun, exciting, creative and happy place for the kids in my class. I work really hard at what I do and I love my job and the children and I think they love me to.

What I'm not good at .... remembering to check book bags for replies to letters everyday, getting the children out at precisely 3.30pm on the dot, making sure that they always have aprons on when they paint - cue shrieks from some parents at little Johnny having paint on his sleeve - and filing my paperwork in an orderly and tidy fashion.

So, it comes as a relief when I get to work with parents who get it. And you get it!

jessica | 12:50 PM

Thank you for being so honest- your blog is one of two that I read that isn't completely full of shit!

I always freeze in social situations. I try to be "cool" and I fail miserably. I am suddenly very clumsy. I have this terrible fake laugh, and I laugh at everything. I say the most ridiculously stupid things, I pronounce even the simplest words wrong, and I can't remember anyone's names. It's amazing what a moron I turn into around people that I don't know. I hate it! (someday I'll grow out of it, right?!?)

L.A. Stylist Mom | 12:51 PM

..and yes, I did in fact type 'out the loop.' Case. In. Point. X


You guys are the best. And Kay? You sound awesome. Thank you for that. There is nothing I respect more than a great teacher. Keep doing what you do, girl. Paint should be on every sleeve. It should be a rule, damnit!

Rebecca | 12:58 PM

Oh honey, I feel for you! I don't even have kids and right now I feel overwhelmed and crazy and like why can't all the things to do just do themselves. Do you have ADD? I say that with love. I do. It seems like everyone right now is overwhelmed. You're not alone!


I have reverse ADD. I will spend six hours on something and forget where the fuck I am. Is there a pill for that? Or, perhaps, a Daydreamers Anonymous?

Connie | 1:10 PM

*My day is good! thanks for asking!
*It is not raining here: I live near Chicago, and it is a delicious 75 degrees and sunny today.
*I don't have any babies (yet), but my mom is an elementary school teacher, and trust me: better that you are late than not showing at all! Because going to parents nights shows that you care, shows that you are invested in your babe and that you are ready and raring to be a teammate to the teacher with regards to his learning experience. My mom LOVES getting to meet the parents that come to the parent nights-it's the ones that blow her off that make her suspicious. :)
*My underwear doesn't show often, but I am a lousy height (5'7"), so it's hard to find pants that are the perfect length-so I am perpetually shows her ankles and socks. And not in that cute, cuffed pants way. In that dorky, "my pants are too short" way. And that (in addition to my social awkwardness), force me to have trouble in public.
*I have not seen The Social Network. I think it came out 10 years too soon. I think Facebook is slowly dying off. Though, I have yet to see any new social networking system that is superior.
*you are lovely inside and out. People don't know what they're missing. Give 'em time. They'll catch on.

Erin | 1:33 PM

First, I just love you guys. Second, I really dig the live format. Third, my hat's off to all of you. It takes no fewer than 20 minutes to trick and cajole my 2-year-old into getting dressed, no matter the time of day. Luckily we rarely have anywhere to be at a specific time.

Or maybe that just means we have no friends, because I'm the mom with the perpetually naked kid.

Andygirl | 1:37 PM

honey, first let me say: we all love you! better? I hardly ever comment, but I read faithfully and enjoy every post.

I am a former Los Angelean (by way of Hollywood) who just moved to Portland, Oregon *for the rain*. soooo I doubt I'll be much help there. I love the rain.

I'm not a morning person and I've just accepted that I also need a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night to function. if I have less, I get forgetful. so I like natural sleep aids to help me get lots of lost of sleep.

but I'm also not a mom so this is where you kick me in the face for having a cushy life.

candace | 1:37 PM

My undies hang out all the time, it is the curse of low rise jeans and just having kid #2 in less than two years belly!

No, not raining her but I live in New York and rainy, dreary days are sort of the norm.

I don't work but am a graduate student and I'm overwhelmed whenever I'm supposed to do something that goes against the normal schedule. Add anything to my already crazy ass schedule and I lose my shit and all the paperwork that goes with it. I'm new to this whole 2 kids thing (like just had #2 3 weeks ago new) but I'm super concerned about how I will deal once I'm back schooling.

I think you sound normal but what the hell does that mean. What I'm trying to say is don't be so hard on yourself because trying to balance life is fucking hard.

Christina | 1:43 PM

The first time my best friend (who resides in NYC) witnessed our bedtime and morning routine he said with all seriousness as I bounded back in through the front door at 8:30am, " run that shit with military precision!" And I do, I have to. I'm a single mom with two boys (ages 2 and 6) who go to different places in the morning (one to daycare and the other to school).

During preschool I was late 10 times, never meeting the teachers eyes as we scrambled in the back door, my poor son nervously asking, "Mama are we late? Are we late?!?!" There were mornings I was a hideous, screaming monster who ruined his day even before the clock struck 7:30, so when Kindergarten dawned so did our new routines. They are in the bath by 7:30pm, dressed, bedtime storied, and in bed by 8:30pm. Then I make lunch for my eldest and put it in the fridge, set up the coffee maker, lay out ALL of their clothes (I'm talkin' a diaper for the little one, shoes, socks, belt, evverrrrything!), make sure the backpack is ready to go for the morn and try to get to bed by a decent hour. If I'm in bed by 11:30 I consider myself a winner at life but since I usually see 2am, I set 3 alarms on my iPhone (5:45, 6:00, 6:10).

We're 6 weeks into the new year with zero morning freak outs. Although, the second day of school he was 1 minute late because no where in the orientation paperwork and at no time during the new parent meeting did ANYONE mention that school starts at 7:50. WTF?!?! What school starts at 7:50?!!? Apparently the one my son goes too.

And as far as the underoos, I'm in the same boat. If it's not my tattoos that are offending the private school parents it's usually my buttcrack.

melissa | 2:27 PM

No matter what I do, underwear hang out... and not always pretty ones either (sorry for tmi but you asked)...

As for morning routine, I am an early riser, but not a morning person. Especially if I haven't had a cup of tea (or SOMETHING hot). Hubby needs a forklift to get his ass out of bed. Apparently I have retained that title. Typically Sarah is not a late riser, so we don't wake her until she wakes herself. I get her milk/breakfast ready while Hubs changes her. I shower while he feeds her... Dress her while he showers... pack her snack/write notes to teachers or therapists and get her ready for the bus. It generally goes more quickly/slowly depending on when she wakes up.

I agree with Agnes by the way... I think you're pretty great... you're probably the mom I'd want to be friends with if I saw you at Back to School night. Just sayin'

Speaking of which, at my daughter's school they laid out the flyer for back to school night in such a way that I wound up going to the wrong classroom -- before going to the right one (and getting teased for it) ... embarrassed much?

jessica | 2:50 PM

I LOVE THIS POST!! everyone else says your beautiful, thoughtful posts "speak" to them but this one, THIS ONE,spoke, no, SCREAMED! at me! first, i want to know why are you in my house watching me? second, that was very clever the way you made me sing two songs within two sentences because blame it on the rain that was falling, falling...and it never rains in southern california...and they tell me....are now stuck in my head. I've combined them and now will sing them for the rest of the night.

i would say get stuff ready at night to make mornings easier but that would take forethought and for a procrastinator, such as myself, that will NEVER happen. actually, it will happen for the first 3 days of school and then i'll say gee! this is WAY better than rushing in the morning! i'm gonna do this ALL THE TIME!! and then Teen Mom comes on and i can't leave the room because Amber is yelling at Gary and OMG someone should take her kid away from her!!

The alarm clock- i get it. i am pavlov's dog. smells, sounds, tv show themes, all take me back to a time or place. i have my cell phone alarm set to play jack johnson's banana pancakes to wake me up. for someone reason i don't want to kill jack. and since jack doesn't actually live with me, i won't hear him singing later in the day and want to strangle him because he reminds me of the morning.

good luck. i love you. and alice! yes! she looks like someone i wouldn't be friends with because i'm judgemental like that and she looks like a stuck up yuppie who would be appalled by the fact that i don't ever iron my daughter's clothes but she is, in fact, cooler than i could ever hope to be. so kisses to both of you.

Leslie | 3:41 PM

I absolutely adore your blog! You are freakin' hilarious! I'm sorry you're having an insecure moment right now, but I totally agree with Agnes. So what you're underwear & tat popped up with you unaware. The other parents aren't remembering that part about you. Promise! You're a stylish, funny, & beautiful young mom, and that's what their noticing. As far as waking up in the am... I'm trying meditation/yoga because I just don't know what else to do myself. So far I've just fallen back asleep. So, yeah... good luck with all that! If you find something that works please be sure to blog about it so we know what to try. :)

Natalie Payant | 4:18 PM

After watching Momversation yesterday, I chuckled at the idea of getting my son dressed the night before. I thought, 'people actually do that?' Now I know the universe was trying to tell me something!
See, my son is a pain in the ass to dress in the morning. But you may have solved my dilemma. I will let you know how it goes, because this morning I swore it was the last a.m battle with him.

KateFitz | 4:18 PM

I love this post. Mostly because i started crying in the bathroom at Ikea this afternoon worrying about my kids first birthday party this weekend. Will anyone come? Will I have enough/right food? Will my decorations/everything be cute enough? Am I the worst mother that ever was because I wish it would rain to get me out of it?

Jess | 4:48 PM

Um, hi? Me? I feel like that too?

I'm 32. I was a TEACHER. I get the school thing. I have 3 kids. I should have it together. I've been doing the school thing for a long time. But.

Monday I didn't bring my kids to school because we were tired, and wanted to sleep in. I just didn't feel like getting dressed. So we watched movies and did puzzles and ate popcorn. And then I lied to the school and pretended my kids had a stomach bug.

I have a 7 month old. So volunteering? Not really going to happen. I'm the mom who forgets to send back the signed papers. I have an IQ of 159 and I can't even remember to send my kid money for ice cream. I went to back to school night in a shirt that was too loosely low cut, and accidentally flashed the 200-year old assistant principal. I think he may have had a heart attack the next day.

I'm an amazing mother. But the parent? The pta person? Yeah. Not so much.

Amy | 4:54 PM

This post compels me to tell you I love you.

Laura | 5:28 PM

I about peed my pants when I realized that the minimum donation was $1500, not $150 like I originally read. I will promptly stop complaining about having to take snacks for 20 kids once a month.

And it's not so bad being late for back to school night. I was late for my daughter's kindergarten graduation last year. Yeah. I'm an awesome mom.

I'm looking forward to others' suggestions on time-saving tips for the morning. I usually drag myself out of bed 15 minutes before my daughter has to leave for school.

Unknown | 5:29 PM

OMG I'm so bad with other parents. I'm a librarian (a childrens/young adult librarian at that) so I've got them. But the parents. Could be nobody in my own little nerd herd has spawned....or it could be that I call accidentally getting preggo & birthing what claims to be human life spawing. Gets me call kinda bad looks from other parents.

Or it could be that I'm in an area full of trophy wives that are 10 years older than me, and I don't fit in because I don't have a BMW or a SUV.

Morning savers...home espresso machine, an annoyingly loud alarm clock across the room and pushy cats that want me to get up to feed them. Saves my ass many days a week.

Anonymous | 5:44 PM

Underwear are nothing but trouble- commando all the way!
Getting my 5 1/2 year old daughter ready for senior kindergarden has become mostly her responsibility (out of necessity believe me I tried everything else). She usually wakes up first anyway. I set out her clothes the night before and also have her lunchbag packed and in the fridge. She must dress herself, brush her teeth, eat the superquick breakfast I make for her (toast/cereal/granola bar on really bad days), and get on her outdoor shoes and coat, endure a quick hair brushing at the door and carry her own bookbag to the car with a MINIMUM of fuss and/or nagging to earn a token each day. She can buy 30 minutes of TV time with one token or save them and get a toy from the dollar store with 5 tokens. It took about 2 weeks to get this working smoothly, and I still often have to remind her about something as I run around getting showered/dressed/fed myself (single mom)but its WAY worth it.
Another tip that has saved my ass many times is if there is something I must NOT forget to pack for the day (lunchbags, forms, cheque for school fees :-)etc) I put my car keys on it/them. I can't leave without my car keys...Good luck

alexis maia | 5:49 PM

I love you Rebecca. Seriously, I wish you were my sister or at least neighbor and we could sit in our backyards, watch the kids play and share our embarrassing secrets with each other.

I'm 29 and my little girl just turned 1. It's not like I'm a teenager, but I have that same feeling you described at the school in front of other parents--nervousness and fear that they all think I'm a kid too. I know I'm a great mother, but when most of the other parents are 5-10 years older than me... I guess I see them as "adults" and I'm... not? It's weird. I also hate small talk with strangers. While she's scrambling around on the play structure at the park, I'm analyzing myself and my interactions with the other mothers. Do they think I'm the babysitter? What intelligent/witty comment can I make without offending them? Ugh.

Love your writing style. I think you're awesome. :*

Mrs. Q. | 5:51 PM

Wait. You dressed Archer the night before and he slept in his clothes? That's kinda brilliant!!

I hate mornings. And I tend to end up yelling "hurry" and "late" more times than I wish. Which I'm pretty sure makes everyone miserable. I sure hope the non-morning thing isn't transferable, because then I will be so guilty.

It's my first year in public school world and I've already signed up to volunteer in my son's kindergarten class, joined three PTO committees, volunteered for the bake sale and did the fundraiser thing. But I GASPED at the amount you are (required?) to commit to the school. Wow.

Sarah | 6:37 PM

I love Alice too .. she looks like someone I'd love to be friends with!!

Yes, I've been late for - we call it 'Soir de lancement' - you will be the perfect 'mom' for Fable, twice is a charm! Don't be so hard on yourself. Imagine doing all that paperwork, but in french, but your written french is not all that fantastic .. and you're on year 5 of filling in paper after paper after paper .. dont' get me going, thank God I only have one child in school!

I don't wear thongs, but my sister does and she flashed my step-son when we were visiting her in NYC once when he was 9 - he's 19 now and he'll never forget, and neither will I ... oy....

Barb | 6:58 PM

My toddler dropped a giant tub of salsa in Costco today. It shattered (of course) and salsa went everywhere. That's the kind of awesome "mom" day I'm having. I feel ya, sister.

Cat . . . | 8:23 PM

Couldn't figure out how to comment on your 68/100 post but I wanted to say that if you like songs sung in forests, this is the gold standard.

Anne | 8:24 PM

lol! I kind of think that it is easier for thongs to poke out the back than regular underwear though. I wear regular underwear almost always and I make sure I pull down the cheek part towards my thighs while I pull my pants up to ensure they don't get pushed up towards the top and show when I bend over. This works pretty well. If I *have* to wear a thong I try not to pull them up too much and make sure I bend over after I put on my pants and look at myself in the mirror and test it out. I still can't get over the thing rubbing my butthole all day though.

Cave Momma | 8:43 PM

Honey, I will totally still be your friend (and I'm in LA even! Well, LB but whatever). Shit like that always happens to me and I never feel like I really "fit" with other moms. Like I'm not mom-ish enough. And my kids are still toddlers so I have tons of time before I have to start looking foolish in school (again).

As for mornings.. well, I can't help you there. I suck right now getting up early but when I have an appointment, I am pretty much super mom in that department. And yes, get an alarm clock. And set 2 alarms for within 30 minutes of each other, it should help. It's mind over matter darlin'. You can DO IT!

Haley | 8:45 PM

I'll never forget the day I was volunteering in a first grade class as part of a college course, reading a book, and a tiny little girl leaned over and said "your panties are showing." Of course, it was laundry day and since I had no one to impress I was wearing my most fabulous granny panties, but ever since then I've pulled up before sitting down!

Tips for getting out of the door in an easy-breezy manner: get as many things ready the night before that you can (lunches, snacks, clothes picked out, etc). I am not a morning person, and I do these things for myself!

I suck at social situations. Never know the right thing to say and then spend several hours there after second guessing myself. Don't worry about the other parents!

Gabi | 9:46 PM

I met Hal & Archer a few months ago in Hollywood (you weren't there). I never comment but enjoy your site a lot. We have very similar sleep patterns. I'm asleep by about 12:30 (HOW do people get to bed earlier when they've got all that other "life" stuff going on? when do they get husband time?) and up at 6:30 because I have to be out the door by 7:15. My boy Sebastian sleeps in his clothes, too; that was a life-saver for us. And I almost cried when I read that you feel like a neurotic, nervous mess around other parents, too. I feel relatively pulled together in my own home, but when I'm at school functions, I want to shoot myself. Glad it's not just me. I used to live in LA (now live in Claremont) and miss the city so very much...
Take care.

Gabi | 9:48 PM

P.S. I forgot to pick up my son today (it was early pick-up day). The secretary called me one-half hour after the fact. *That* was the kind of day it was for me.


Yup, Gabi! I did the same thing on the first day of school. It was early pick-up and I didn't know. I was hysterical in the car all the way to school knowing I was picking him up 45 minutes late. But when I got there? He was totally having fun and didn't even care that I was late. Maybe because there were ten other parents who forgot that day as well. Which made me feel almost normal. Hugs to you.


P.S. You guys are the awesome-est. Thank you for being my people.

ikke ikke | 12:13 AM

i love your tired, sleep deprived post the most. i can relate!

April | 3:12 AM

I can assure you that ALL those other parents have felt the exact same way at some point. You are just the only one with the balls to admit it :) Hang in there, it's your first rodeo. You'll get the hang of it.

Dana | 5:50 AM

I too found the transition from preschool to kindergarten totally overwhelming. And I"m the most anal, ridiculously organized person you'll meet. The uniform pieces, the papers, the waking, brushing teeth, remembering half days and out-of-uniform days. It threw me for the biggest fucking loop and I couldn't figure out why. My favorite day was the one where everything went right all morning - up on time, lunch packed, teeth brushed, hair combed, socks found. High fives all around. Then later in the day: KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK! at the door. A fourth-grade stranger stood there with my daughter. I totally forgot it was a half day and wasn't at the bus stop to pick her up. I ran out to the sidewalk and the bus was stopped at the corner. The bus driver waved and smiled! I sent her a thank-you card the next day. Point of the story: I'm pretty sure the other parents are struggling like you. And there are always other people out there willing to help. Also, it was light years easier this year! So you have that to look forward to.

jennifer | 6:11 AM

homeschooling solves this issue and several others :)
of course, it raises others . . .

yasmara | 7:22 AM

1) do EVERYTHING the night before. My kids pick out their clothes for the next day, I get their bags organized, empty out their lunches from that day & make sure everything is ready for the next day's lunch, etc.

2) Set up your phone as your alarm clock. Mine lets me pick the days the alarm goes off so I don't have to worry about it on the weekends.

Hang in there! A new routine is a transition for everyone involved, not just the kids.

MorningWorm | 7:42 AM

great blog, it's a fun read (love the tramp stamp justification). i always have problems waking up in the morning too and snooze makes me run late when i finally do get out of bed. it got so bad i had to make my own iPhone app to prevent that. it's called Morning Worm and it wakes you up to a puzzle or game that you need to complete in order to turn off the alarm. it's been working wonders for me :) you should try it out and maybe some of your readers would find it useful too. here's a link: or see to read more. happy mornings!

mommymae | 7:48 AM

my girls are in third grade & while it seems everything might be under control for them, just last wednesday i got a call from our neighbor asking if i forgot it was early release. i was hanging at the store, minding my business & totally forgot. it wasn't on my radar that morning even, as i was forgetting their lunch until 5 minutes before they left. they had a book project due and we stayed up late with imovie getting it done so they could turn in something they could be proud of. we all have our things we aren't good at and because of the way you parent your kids - that you are so in tune with what they each need - your underpants won't matter a damn bit.

Chelsea | 8:01 AM

you always crack me up.

meredyth | 8:15 AM

As far as alarm clocks go: I got a radio alarm clock, which is awesome except when I occasionally sleep through it and the stories on NPR become fodder for dreams. Actually, that's kinda awesome too.
Only problem? My boyfriend has a buzzer AND uses the snooze. It is the worst thing in the world to wake up every 6 minutes in the morning to either 1. an obnoxious beeping that causes me to shove the boyfriend so he'll turn it off. Or, 2. A boyfriend that crawls over you to hit the button.

Adrianne | 8:37 AM

Fuck. I'm toast when I have kids! I can barely get my own self showered, dressed and ready to go in the morning. What am I going to do when I have to do all of those things for another human being who doesn't give a shit about being on time?! I think I might have to make some adjustments to my 3 snooze rountine:(

Mar | 8:57 AM

This post made me laugh! I think everyone feels overwhelmed all the time, but because they dont have blogs, we just dont know about it...
I wish there was a button to stop time so you can catch up

Jenny | 9:09 AM

This post is HILARIOUS! I always feel like I'm the worst mom at the open house things - usually because I'm the last to arrive, after it's already started. There are MANY moms out here that feel your pain. Good luck with all the school stuff.

Anonymous | 9:30 AM

You have to be careful. When you think other people are judging you so much...sometimes that can transform itself into your judging them. Not giving them a chance to make room for who you are. Not allowing any of them to befriend you or admire what you have to offer. Sometimes people aren't looking at your tattoo saying, "She's not one of us." They're looking at your tattoo wondering if theirs is hanging out too and having vivid memories of the night they got it. And you'll never know if all you see are sweater sets and people who get their paperwork organized before they lose it.

Gennie | 9:47 AM

How's my day going? This morning I was standing on the sidewalk outside the GAP when they opened so that I could buy a bra. I discovered this morning, when I got out of the shower at the gym (which is at work, 45 minutes away from my home) that the only bra I had with me was the sports bra I had just sweat all over. I had everything else I needed to get dressed for work . . . just no bra. So . . . yeah . . . not so much do I have it all together today.

Janelle Halverson | 10:04 AM

Oh how I loved this post! Your writing is awesome and what a riot- this is so my life. I'm the mom who tries to stay on top of it but somehow still ends up looking like the goofy step-kid at all school functions. The odd part is my daughter attends the same school I attended for 13 (yup - Kindergarten thru grade 12) YEARS! You would think after all of that and then the "growing" up I've done I would cease to be awkward!
As far as tips-communal calendar helps us a lot! I am almost always the one in charge of putting the stuff on there but it is posted right next to the table so when we sit for breakfast or supper we ALL see what is up for the next few days. Lunch packing the night before and laying clothes out the night before helps also. Some of it is just going to be insane - don't feel bad. I would recommend you get an alarm clock and set it about five minutes ahead of time. My bedroom clock is set that way and when it goes off in my sleep stupor I forget it is fast so I am MUCH more likely to hop right up instead of hitting the snooze!
I love all of your asides especially the tattooing stuff - what a riot!!

Deanna | 12:24 PM

Why don't you just use the alarm clock on your cell phone? That's what I use. And never, ever, under any circumstance figure out how to use the snooze. If you HAVE to get up when the clock goes off, it seems to make life easier.

Amanda | 12:29 PM

Oh my, I am SO going to be there with you in spirit when my kid starts school. My underwear is always somehow hanging out, I am NOT a morning person, I hate paperwork and am terminally disorganized, and I can't remember the last time I wasn't late for something. We should be friends. I met you once at the B & N in Encinitas, and we even have somewhat matching stars on our wrists! Fun! ;)

Anyway, you are definitely not alone in the mother = good, "mom" = suckage department. Put me in a group of moms and I somehow always end up feeling like the answer to the question "Which of these do not belong?" I think you kick ass, though.

Amanda | 12:30 PM

Ok...this one is just because I forgot to sub to the comments...because I am disorganized and spacey like that. Woot!

alexclark | 12:38 PM

My sister took her daughter to first grade back to school night, and in the middle of a room of 6 and 7 year olds, my niece exclaimed to her younger sister: "Santa Claus isn't REAL, duuuuuuh."

I'm pretty sure my sister was almost burned at the stake for that.

Anonymous | 12:59 PM

OMG I fucking love you! You are me. I am you.

Like Agnes said, I'm sure that Archer's not the only one who thinks you're normal(ish).

Keep working at it. By the time your children are finished school you'll have the routine cased!

Mama Bee | 1:19 PM

I have to get myself to school and a kid to daycare in the AM. I get up a full 15 minutes earlier than I need to and I have everything packed up (lunches, notices, spare pants, etc.) in a spot by the door (a bench works or an end table or hooks and a shelf). Lunches have to be made the night before, notices in backpacks the night before. Outfits laid out in the place you get dress (hung in the bathroom or whatever) and in the living room by the kid's play area (for me). Get your kid fed something while then you get ready. Leave dressing the kid til the last minute. If they are still hungry, bring a bite for the car. And, put socks in sneakers for the morning!

My Name Is Jonas | 1:25 PM

Oh man I feel you lady, I feel you. I can't make Mom friends. I'm the same age as you and it seems all the other Mom's are the "we have lots of money and had our kids late in life and have nannies and SUV" types. They seem so together and I'm all "Huh? There's puke in my hair? Whatev's." At swimming lessons with my 7 month old I showed up in a bikini on the first day, which brought out the haterade big time. For the community centre Halloween party for my toddler last year the wee man dressed up as a Parrot and I rocked a wicked Pirate costume... only to show up and be the ONLY parent who dressed up. But you know what? My kids and I have fun, and lucky them for not having a boring stuffy no-fun Mum. We have to stay authentic... we're not 'that kind' of Mom. Thank god.

Jess | 1:34 PM

When did donations become compulsory? And If they're going to charge a grand+ per kid per year, the least they could do is get some grownup-sized chairs! The tiny chairs are cute but where is one supposed to put the rest of their ass?

lindaroo | 6:49 PM

I despise alarm clocks. Either they jar me awake and I tart the day cranky-pants style, or I hit snooze and steal from time needed in the morning, and again I am a morningmonster. Now I have a Zen alarm clock that gently wakens and I'm much sweeter in the mornings. Okay, maybe the meter doesn't go all the way up to "sweet," but I definitely greet the day with kindness instead of irritation. Check it out.

Is This Really Me? | 7:56 PM

I can't believe how big your kids have grown. They are adorable.

Our morning routine is pretty easy. Whit and I try to sleep in as long as possible. When Atticus was in Kindergarten, he had to be at school at 7:40. It was awful.

1st grade and now 2nd grade are infinitely better, because he doesn't have to be there until 9:15.

I swear, when we found that out, we heard the choir of angels sing.

We get Atticus up at 7:30 now and he takes a shower every other day. While he is showering we make lunches for both boys (saves time later) and when he gets out he has breakfast.

Sometimes, and only sometimes, if we tell him the night before, he'll get up, shower and get dressed all by himself. He'll then play with Lego's until we get up.

It's lovely.

Catherine D. | 8:53 PM

very practical comment here... for the alarm clock if you don't want that "BEEP! BEEP BEEP!" thing EVERY morning, there's this program i use on my laptop ( that works with itunes so you can make a playlist of songs that will wake you up but yet won't drive you crazy first thing in the morning. unfortunately i think the program only works with MAC but you can probably find something similar for pcs.

Bonnie | 9:17 PM

I'm a mess every single morning. The kids barely make it into their seats by the time the bell rings at school. At our school, everyone is late. It drives the principal nuts but she is starting to accept it. We've noticed that she writes the start times of meetings 15 minutes earlier than neccessary sometimes, just because she knows we all show up ten to fifteen minutes late. It's a neighborhood school in the extremely laid-back, anything-goes section of Vancouver called Commercial Drive. The parents all saunter in late, then stand around the schoolyard chatting with coffees before going on with our day.
So yes, I feel like a shit MOM each day, but yes, I am also a KICK-ASS MOTHER (who just last night set an alarm clock for the first time in about a decade...)

Anonymous | 1:31 PM

I completely feel your pain regarding not fitting in with the always on time, always prepared, more co-op'y' parents because I feel THE EXACT SAME WAY.
My son started 1st grade this fall and I dread these co-op meetings and such even more now that I now how nervous and anxious and inadequate they tend to make me feel. I rock at being a mom, and my awesome mom friends dig me, but these "magical parents" you obviously have at your school too, seem to have it all a little too together for my taste. I'm not "that" mom.

Annie | 2:04 PM

I just found this blog and you are so great! I agree with some of the others... you are so beautiful, have such a fun sense of style and clearly a glowing spirit, I am sure the other parents are taking one look that that tattoo and thong and wishing to get invited to the next party YOU throw. Anyways, it was such a delight to stumble upon this blog. I'm gonna go check out some more now. Annie.

Anonymous | 9:02 AM

Thank you, thank you for being you and being so honest - your blogs help me not feel so alone. I moved to Minneapolis MN from LA and everyone here seems to be 'devoted, organized, supermom' and they all have at least 3 kids!! I don't know how they do it. I will have a kindergartner next year and a 1 year old. This year I have been late almost every morning so far getting my son to Pre-K. I'm not the only one, but I still feel awful about it.

I do have one small trick and that is Colgate Wisp disposable toothbrushes. I keep them in the car and so when we forget to brush teeth, (myself included) we can brush on the way to school. It's not ideal and they aren't that cheap, but better than not brushing at all. (and they are great for coffee stains or that piece of something stuck in between teeth that you can't get out)

nitza | 5:24 PM

Definitely pick out the clothes the night before! Then in the morning get them downstairs ASAP. Once there they can chill for half an hour eating breakfast. By that time they are awake. Of course I constantly had to yell "Eat!" during that half hour as I also made the school lunches. Then I do not let them go back upstairs, NO. If they go they don't come back down so I keep a second set of tooth brushes in the downstairs bathroom. They go potty and I steal as many clothes off of them as I can while they are trapped on the toilet. Then teeth are brushed. The rest of the dressing happens right in the kitchen. It does help that it is two girls, no boys. Then grab bags and out the door. When they get in the car they can have their vitamin. The bottle is kept in the car and I can then think for a few moments when I start driving since they have something in their mouths.

Tayd | 4:57 PM

I get an epic fail for my kids' Back to School night this year. (It's called "Meet the Teacher Night" for them.) First of all, I had to juggle both of theirs, so would need to split my time between classrooms. Then I completely blanked on a pediatrician's appointment for my daughter, tried to get in early, but still ended up not leaving the doctor's office until we were supposed to show up for the Meet the Teacher Night. So, I arrived, frantic and sweaty, nearly forty-five minutes late, just as the teacher walked out the door, and the PTA started their spiel. Left my daughter's classroom early (had to squeeze past put-together parents who glared their "but you just got here" thoughts), jogged upstairs to find my son's classroom door being closed for the night when I was three steps away. And, in the midst of all that, we missed pick up for our CSA share. I berated myself the entire way home. And the next day -- er, week.

And, oh, it just started thunderstorming. Love it.

Jenaistar | 8:04 PM

Alright, I am 29 and have a step daughter that is 11. Put this into perspective. I am going to freaking 6th Grade Back to School night and I want to stab a pencil in my eye because I am having flashbacks of middle school and all I want to do is tell the kids to RUN FOR THEIR LIVES because middle school for me was embarrassing, uncool, awkward, hell.
I'm wearing black boots and skinny jeans and a Lucero T-Shirt and I feel like I should have worn a cream pants suit so someone would take me seriously. And, we just moved to the area from Florida so we know all of zero people. Basically, it sucked and I wanted to hide.

Your tramp stamp low rise jean incident made me feel much better. Gracias!!

Isabel of Bedlam | 10:45 PM

Hi Rebecca,

This is one of my favorite posts of yours--it's really funny!

I know you've mentioned before the weird "personality change" that comes over you around other parents, and I wanted to tell you I had the exact same thing going on, but at work, up until a few years ago. I think something shifted in me and I just stopped caring what people thought about me--I mean, I still care to a certain degree, but I don't CARE-care...

I think this will pass for you soon too. Not to be condescending, but I think I'm a little older than you and hitting my late-30's has really made a big difference. In the words of Wanda Sykes, "I don't give a fuck!"

Hee hee!

Keep on rockin girl!

AcrossTheWater | 3:14 AM

I'm one of those mothers who is often on time. It is a rebellion from my childhood, where I was late for everything.

However, it mostly takes a herculean effort to get anywhere on time, and often involves a fair measure of being a bad parent and/or wife (bribing, threatening, yelling, blaming). So when someone else comes late, I don't get all sour face and judgy, I am generally both sympathetic and also think "aren't I impressive that I made it on time today!"

So when I am late, I try to think about how I just made someone else's day because now they can feel like they accomplished something special.