Thursday, March 21, 2013

Face Time

Tonight's cocktail is, sadly, a glass of sparkling water with a wedge of lime. I am all out of vodka, and besides, mid-week drinking and fitting back into my spring clothes seem to be mutually exclusive goals.  Anyone want to do a guest cocktail?

I have a confession. I am unable to recall the names of many of the other parents at my kids' school, even when I know the children. I can often remember which kid belongs with whom, but when it comes to names, I'm lost. I've always been bad with names, and as I've gotten older, I'm getting worse. Basically, it's like this (seriously, go look).

The sad thing is, it happens to me even when the other parent (usually a mom) and I have had lovely conversations about children, pets, relationships, our mothers, childbirth, careers, or poop. I generally enjoy these conversations and leave them wanting to get to know the other person better. Especially if we are both amused by poop or something risque. But we hardly ever get that chance, because just enough time elapses between Scout meetings, soccer games, school performances, book fairs, and the like for me to forget the other person's name. Of course, I can remember everything else about our conversations, but not the name. Never the name.

This happened to me most recently at the kids' school "fun" fair. I was volunteering to help corral the hellspawn precious children through one of the quadriplegic factories bouncy mazes, standing at the end to screech at the top of my lungs gently remind them to go down the final slide feet first for the sweet love of God were they raised by cannibals?.

Periodically a parent would come in search of her rabid chimpanzee dear child to see if he was about to be disgorged from the e. coli petri dish superfun attraction, and would recognize me.

Other mom: "You're Tweak's mom, right?"

Me: (blinking) "Yes? Oh, wait - FEET FIRST! FEET FIRST!"

Other mom: "I'm Colin's mom? We met at Jacob's birthday party? We talked about -"

Me: "Oh, right! And you told me that your younger daughter Jenna's rabbit Sammy wouldn't stop humping her stuffed animals, and how awkward that was getting! Wait - FEET FIRST! SERIOUSLY!"

Other mom: "Yes, and you told me about how your son takes 20-minute poops in the morning and that's why he's always late for school!"

Me: "Yes! It's so good to see you! By the way, I don't know if you remember, but I'm Kathleen. I'm horrible with names myself, so ... NO! STOP! WAIT FOR THE BABY TO JUMP OFF! DON'T KILL THE BABY! ... OK, AND NOW GO FEET FIRST!"

Other mom: "Oh, I remember you, Kathleen! I'm [BLOCKED]! OK, here's Colin! I hope we see each other again soon!"

Me: "Me, too!"


  1. I totally feel your pain. Now imagine that you're a teacher, and that the parents in question are those of students you've taught for three years. Yeah.

  2. What a fun read. It brought me back when I oversaw children doing potentially dangerous things. I love how struck out what you really wanted to say.

  3. LOL...I agree with Jim. All these parents of kids I taught YEARS ago coming up to me at the mall and I can barely remember the kid let alone the parent.

    Penny at Green Moms and Kids

  4. Freakin' hate bouncy houses.You are absolutely right; they're good for nothing but broken bones, hurt feelings, and the liberal sharing of microorganisms. I avoid events that include them and I will never supervise one again. And for what it's worth, I don't even pretend anymore to be able to remember the parents of my kids' classmates, because let's face it: there's a jaw-dropping double standard for moms and dads. If you're a dad and you just show up at most things, you're given a ton of credit, and a lot of moms patting you on the back as though you were a Special Olympian and not a co-equal child wrangler. I figure, if people aren't going to treat me like a real parent, why should I have to bear the social responsibilities moms seem to feel they owe one another? I have my hands full with their kids!


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