Say It With Tape

You know how your kids’ teachers and/or camp counselors send home notes to remind you about things?

And then, you know how you never really saw the note?  Because you, uh, threw it out.  Or plain forgot to read it.  Or both.

So then you didn’t know about Pajama Day. Not the one where you wear pajamas to the camp drop-off.  The other one.  And then you suck because your kid is the only one not wearing last night’s pajamas to school/camp.

Or you didn’t know to send in 37 paper towel cardboard rolls to assist with this week’s craft.  The ones that you should have been collecting for seven months in anticipation of this very moment. Naturally.

Well, fear not.  These slips no longer happen to us! Because our summer camp has taken parental notification to a whole new level.

They tape all reminders directly onto the children.


Here, you see the different iterations of today’s reminders on my children to bring in $2 for Italian Ice Day tomorrow.

I’ve been thinking about this system.  And, if I’m being honest, I’m torn.

On the one hand, I’m pissed because it calls my bluff.  Now, I can never say “Oh I didn’t see that reminder.” Because it would be akin to “Uh, yeah, I didn’t look at my kid all afternoon.” 

Then, I feel a little insulted.  Like I can’t be trusted to heed repeated reminders in the camp newsletter about the two damn dollars every Thursday for Italian Ice Day.  But, OK, maybe I forgot that once.

Yet, I also have moments of gratitude.  As in, “Finally, this camp — to which I feel like I’m paying a mortgage — is doing something to make my life easier.”  That is, until the clothes inevitably go through the washing machine and dryer with masking tape on them.

However, the more I think about it, there are some real opportunities to apply the Tape Notification System to my daily life.  By using this messaging vehicle, I can channel my true Inner Nag without yelling and repeating myself.

Here are some options I am considering.  {I’ve taken the liberty of adding captions since I know that my handwriting can veer toward the serial killer end of the spectrum at times.  And notice that I’m using blue painting tape.  Because it really adds a certain je ne sais quoi.}


For My Kids:  The smallest resident of Fordeville has agreed to model the Tape Reminders, after being plied with extra Teddy Grahams.  Although you can see she is not entirely sold on this gig.

YES — You must wash your hands.


Pick it up. Whatever it is — just pick it up.


I’m leaving. GET. IN. THE. CAR.


OK, so they can’t read yet — there is that caveat.  But I’m thinking long-term strategy here.


For My Husband:  You know who can read?  The man I married.  And while I did not subject him to the humiliation of modeling this system in person, I swiped one of his favorite shirts to act as his stunt double.

Garbage Day. Repeat: Garbage Day. Take. Out. The Trash.

Please pick up milk. Not donuts. MILK.


I need a bigger piece of tape for this one, but I’m also working on: “Did you walk the dog before you left for work?  Because if he craps in the house, I will kill you.”


For the Dog:  Speaking of Señor, we can’t leave him out.  Like my children, he is also not an adept reader, per se.  And I didn’t put the tape directly on him due to our previous legal battles.  But he deserves to be a part of the system too.

NO BACON. Just no.



For the Mom in the String Bikini at Parent/Child Swim Lessons:  Just because.  {Note:  I do not own similar apparel for the purposes of replicating her bathing suit.  And I couldn’t find any adhesive dental floss, so excuse the inauthentic staging.}

FYI: We all hate you.


I’m working on my swim class rage issue.  But in the meantime, this might be a good way to vent.

Also under consideration:  Special Edition Tape Notifications for my General Contractor.


All in all, I think it’s a good system.  Less yelling.  More communication.  Written evidence of said communication.  I mean, you can call this whole thing over the top, but my kids will never miss another Pajama Day, damn it.

Everybody wins.  Except, maybe the dads in the parent/child swim class hoping to get more views of String Bikini Mom.



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  1. Jenn says:

    Jeremy and I just had a short debate about this. I think it is genius. He thinks it is awful. I think he only thinks it is awful because we have somehow settled on a system where it is my job to read and take heed of all school notes while he pretends the school never sends home notes.

    • fordeville says:

      I love that he is in Note Denial. Like we magically know all the random stuff that needs to be sent in at all times.

  2. sparkling74 says:

    That camp is genius! Sometimes I think if I just taped the things I want people to know on myself so they can just read it over and over again and save me the energy of repeating myself ad nauseum!

    • fordeville says:

      You raise a good point, and I considered using it that way. But I felt there may be too much profanity involved. Maybe that’s Tape Notification System 2.0.

  3. Christie says:

    Hilarious, Kim…and practical, too. But hey, why stop at family? I’m thinking you hit the road with blue tape & sharpie to provide “gentle reminders” to Idiots at Large. Someone’s parking skills in question? Adhere subtle sticky news to their windshield like “Remember, those #$@% white lines aren’t just there for suggestion.” You see where I’m going with this, right? Or maybe I’m the only one with low tolerance for the inconsiderate…

  4. Pam says:

    Kim, you crack me up. But I agree it is a genius system. I might start using it in my everyday life.

  5. Greg says:

    Kim are you prepared for your family to start taping notes on you? That can’t be far off…. I know that this would slowly devolve into chaos/rude sexual jokes in my house in no time…

    • fordeville says:

      I agree this is a slippery slope. Things like “Stop blogging about us!”
      That’s why I hid all the tape.

  6. Erin and I understand your swim lesson rage. Her pool makes me want to wear a burka.

    And get this. My kid’s elementary school sent them home with typed labels stuck to them. It was almost like spam. The Russian emailers, not the meat. Ellen

    • fordeville says:

      Labels? Wow. I guess that’s a less ghetto version of the masking tape.
      Your tax dollar at work, my friend 🙂

  7. I read this post on my phone a few days ago without the benefit of the photos. Oh. My. God. I’ve just had a re-snorting session.

    I hate the idea of the school putting reminder labels on the kids. That’s just wrong on so many levels. But your sticky reminders made me howl. “FYI: We all hate you.” 🙂

    Your little models are beautiful.

    • fordeville says:

      Margaret — you’re back!
      Glad you got to re-snort. And super-glad you appreciate the note to String Bikini Mom.

  8. Meredith says:

    Joining in the hating on string bikini mom! And honestly, loving on the tape system. Anything short of this and it just isn’t happening–bring on the tape!

  9. Becky says:

    I remember reading this last year. Think I love it even more 2nd time around. xo

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