Kindergarten Parental Failure

They’re baaaaaack!  Back in school, that is.

My daughter started pre-school and my son is the Big Man on Campus — aka off to Kindergarten.

It all went swimmingly.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  It went mostly OK, which is the bar I have set when it comes to transitions in this family.

Mostly OK =  the new swimmingly.

It’s not that my kids had any separation drama or emotional meltdowns.  Nothing like that.  It was more like total indifference.

I was basically doing cartwheels to drum up enthusiasm.  This was met with cynicism {I guess because I’m not the cartwheel type} and a tepid, if not incredulous, response.


Me:  Are you ready for your new pre-school?!!? It’s going to be great!!

Daughter (3):  Meh.  What do they have for snack time?  Because I don’t want pretzels.


Me:  And you — Kindergarten!!  That’s for big kids!!  So, so exciting, right?

Son (5):  Uh, which thermos can I bring?


Why this indifference?  Maybe because they’ve grown up so much in the last year.  Have a look for yourselves {last year’s photos on the left}.




The difference is so noticeable to me.  Even beyond the explosion of my daughter’s hair, which sprung into Nick-Nolte-mugshot-psychosis-mode while on our March trip to Florida, and never went back.  I fully expect this phenomenon to appear in a medical journal one day.


But here they were, too cool for school.  Not impressed.  At ages three and five.


While I have asked my kids to ham it up in blog photos to illustrate a point now and then, I swear these are genuine smirky moments.  It’s clear that someone in my family must be making this face frequently.  Someone central in the life and upbringing of my children.  Where oh where could this have come from?  Why, I have no earthly idea.  I’m the one doing cartwheels around here.

Speaking of cartwheels, maybe — instead of picking up my scowl — they took McKayla Maroney’s silver medal letdown very seriously.  I mean, we did watch a lot of Olympic coverage.


But all of this academic blasé aside, I do have one major concern about what is expected of me as a Kindergarten parent.  Not the PTA stuff or the class parties, or even the creative ways to make my son’s snack appear wholesome.

It has to do with a wooden apple that was given to my son on his first day.  It’s very cute and has his name on it. How sweet, I thought.

Until I read the note that accompanied it.


I’m sorry.  What?

You want me to keep this wooden apple in a place that I’ll remember?  UNTIL 2025?


Is this a joke?

Those who took their math homework as seriously as I did will also realize that 2025 is 13 years from now.  Do the fine educators of my town understand, in the course of a single day, how many times I lose my car keys?  Or my mind?  And I value those things a lot.

And, if I think this through, this assignment also means that everyone in town — year after year — somehow produces this magic wooden Kindergarten apple in time for high school graduation.  That’s a lot of fucking peer pressure.  I mean, I can’t be the mom whose kid doesn’t have his apple.  That mom.  

I’m so going to be that mom.  You know how I know?

Because I’m trying to remember what I still have in my possession from 13 years ago.  Given that it was 1999, maybe a floppy disk about how to restore your data after the inevitable and apocalyptic Y2K meltdown.  Or perhaps a Backstreet Boys CD.  That’s about it.

I do know that, about four months ago, I finally found the keys to my apartment in Manhattan that cost me my security deposit back in 2002.

And I know that “Have you seen…” is a daily Top 5 phrase in my house.

So, as much as I truly love a sentimental artifact — especially if it relates to my kids — I just know that the odds are dramatically against me rolling into that 2025 high school graduation with the apple in hand.

Hence, Kindergarten is not off to a great start.  It’s stressing me the hell out.

But things will get better.  Once I get a safety deposit box for the apple.  And then another one for the key.  And one more for the note to remind me where the apple and key are located.

If I can find my car keys to drive over and retrieve it in time for graduation.



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  1. Steve says:

    Wait. You expect him to be all excited and stuff when he’s using LAST YEAR’S backpack. Get a grip, woman.

    • fordeville says:

      Ha — I couldn’t figure out what you meant until I looked closely at the year-to-year photo. It does look like the same backpack! BUT, let me assure you, this was one thing I did not mess up. Thomas the Train is *so* last year. Dude, it’s Spiderman this year. {Both just happen to be blue & red packs.}

  2. Alexandra says:


    I’ve had it , HAD IT, with the normals trying to tell the rest of us how to do it.

    Stick to what works for you, normals, and leave the rest of us alone.

    (your children ARE AS ADORABLE AS CAN BE. Oh my gaaa! The frill peeking out on your girl’s skirt….killing me)

  3. Jen T. says:

    You know, perhaps you’ve gotten better–after all, you DID still have summer hotel keys in your wallet recently.

    I would go with putting the apple in his pajama drawer. For some reason, things seem to stay there FOREVER, as illustrated recently by Ryan coming downstairs in a pair of PJs that fit him when he was about 4. Not sure how they survived the purging when we moved in June.

    • fordeville says:

      Yeah but if someone had asked me to hold onto those hotel keys — well, then, they never would have resurfaced. But I think you’re onto something with the pajama drawer. It’s like The Twilight Zone in there.

  4. Teri says:

    I suggest putting the apple in his room. If he’s anything like my 15 y/o he will keep it for the rest of his life. I don’t actually think 15 has ever thrown ANYTHING away, EVER. Normally when I go in to their rooms to ‘clean’ (read: Hefty trash bag, toss everything) they don’t notice until they’re looking for that one thing, they wanted. You know, that stuffed snake they won at the carnival in 2003. Cuz they NEED that.


    • fordeville says:

      OK, that’s two votes for some part of his bedroom.
      Note to self: Next to the carnival prizes, in the underwear drawer. I’m on it.

  5. Mom of Three girls says:

    Seriously…LOVE reading what you write. Make me smile, laugh and think “got that right sister!”

  6. Anna says:

    Can you please do some investigative journalism and go to the high school and ask those moms where the f*ck they kept the apples for over a decade?

    If you told me that the apple thing was a Soviet-era Cold War plot to distract suburban mothers, well… I would believe it.

    Along those lines, I totally think your husband should be in charge of the apple. Let him worry about it for the next 13 years – gahhhh the pressure!

  7. Meredith says:

    Seriously?! Are they insane? How in the world would I keep something like that safe for so many years. My only option would be to get a safety deposit box, but then I would probably just lose the combination to that. If they give my son an apple, I’m just screwed. Best of luck–with the apple and thinking of ways to may the snacks seem healthy 😉

    • fordeville says:

      And the best part was that it was just this casual note in the backpack — you know, just hold onto this for 13 years, would you?

  8. Sounds like some of the ridiculous shit that goes on in my town. My town & this apple incident of yours reminds me of that commercial where this couple comes to welcome their new neighbors and tell them to bundle their services & when the new people refuse they smile and say, “We ALL bundle.”

    Love the smirks. They are too cool for school. And love the reference to the Y2K meltdown (and of course the Back Street Boys).

    Only 13 more yrs to go!

  9. ok, this made me laugh out loud!! Thank you for that! I say give it to your son and if he can remember where it is in 13 years, he can wear it (and I am completely sure that his 18 year old self will be just thrilled to wear a wood apple with his name on it on his cap and gown).

    • fordeville says:

      Thanks Paula. And you’re totally right — all this parental stress and, fast forward to graduation night: “Mom, I am not wearing that ridiculous apple.”

  10. Omigosh good luck with the apple! I’m hyperventilating for you over that one.

    Love the smirks. LOVE! Found you on finding the funny. 🙂

  11. Anna says:

    LOVE THIS!!! You’re totally going to lose that apple! 🙂

    You were one of the most-clicked links at last week’s #findingthefunny. We’re featuring you on Wednesday, and I pinned this to our Finding the Funny Pinterest board. Thanks for linking up!

  12. Angie says:

    Totally LOVE this…as a mom of a senior, let me reassure you of 2 things: that child will NOT be at all interested in wearing that apple AND will you even remember there was an apple?!? (even with a security box and all). I don’t remember much from 13 years ago (except that I had a child). 😉 of course, two weeks after graduation you may wake from a sound sleep in a total panic remembering said apple.

    Found you on pinterest and love your blog! Cute kiddos, too!

    • fordeville says:

      Thanks Angie! You’re totally right — after panic and insanity, my son will be all, “Get that apple away from me — where did you get that?”

  13. Mommy Shorts says:

    No way in hell I would remember where I put that apple. I can’t even find my phone when it is in my own hand.

  14. I loooooove those smirks. My son’s reaction when he got off the bus after the first day of kindergarten was a disappointed, “Well, they haven’t taught me how to read yet,” so I’m with you on the unimpressed children. 🙂

  15. I suggest collecting all of the class apples, putting them in a Rubbermaid container and swinging by the teacher’s house. Explain to her that you all took a vote and decided that the “safe” place you selected was in this box beneath her bed. Then ask her to call you in 13 years to come pick them up. Hand her your phone number. Promise it won’t change. Then go home and change it.

    Stopping by from Finding the Funny.

  16. Erin S says:

    Remember something 13 years later! Most parents cannot remember when snack day is. I can barely remember where my house keys are most mornings. You should take a picture of the apple and tell your child that the tooth fairy/Santa/Elf on Shelf took it.

    • fordeville says:

      Good idea, Erin. And then I can also use the photo to make an exact replica of said apple in a panic on the night before high school graduation.


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