Common Sense. It really should be, as the word suggests, common, right? Well let’s see. After almost 3 years of being a mother, I still refer to myself as ‘new’ mom- a rookie at the least. And for a new mom like myself, how can common sense possibly be applied to all parental situations? Okay let me explain, and you be the judge.
My two-year-old started school last October. As you can imagine, this was a joyous occasion and we, as proud parents, woke up bright and early to usher in what would be the beginning of, at the least, 21 years of financial bondage (kidding, not kidding), but really, we were so excited to witness her commence this journey. We really didn’t know what to expect, but what followed were a series of whats app and facebook groups to join, weekly emails and newsletters- shooo! Initially I personally welcomed the cute pics and access to information especially her initial weekly updates but after a while when the novelty faded it just became information overload- and for someone like me that easily loses interest, I guess I started speed reading through all the notices.
Enter my fumble:
Merely 2 weeks into her school career, it was time for school/class photos. I picked this up from the numerous media channels including my then eager hubby (emphasis on ‘then’ because, he has long retired from reading all the notices but rather relies on my weak summarized updates, he just doesn’t know about the weak part). (Eish what happened to us with all our great plans and our promises to be the most committed and present parents= life happened). Anyway, they kept flooding us with reminders about the photo day and really, in retrospect, with all the spam received, I really should have known that this was a key calendar occasion and one to be invested in. On the other hand, in my defense, at no point was there any discussion or hints at the dress code, perhaps this here was the common sense opportunity that flew past my head.
On the day, we prepped for school as usual. Ordinarily our Sunday ritual includes a wash, twist and style of her dreadlocks, but if I recall well, I had missed this particular session and for that reason, she was rocking her Bob Marleys in true rasta style. I personally love her hair natural and free but on this morning, Uncle Murphy decided to drop by deliver a massive dose of “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”- and at the least she looked disheveled. She also wore what would normally have been her play clothes, the ones that she could wear and freely trash with mulberry stains and paint and what not; on this day however, she just looked a hot mess. All this was realised in retrospect because, in the moment I didn’t even notice. We carried on as we always do; we sang all the way to school, we joked and giggled, chatted about the Outsurance Pointsman that blows me kisses daily and about the meaning of the 3 colours of the traffic lights. Until finally… we arrived at school.
Eh. I knew immediately that I had made a rookie mistake, a silly embarrassing oversight. I looked back at my cute little messy bundle of oblivious joy and caught myself before I swore OH CRAP! All the kiddo’s were dressed up in their “Sunday Best” with their hair combed/brushed/cut and/or tied back. Kempt! Tidy! Neat! Presentable! Heck- compared to my gym attire, even their parents looked extra sharp, you’d think it was their photo day. I quickly realized that there was nothing I could do beyond my feeble attempts at pulling her hair edges back and polishing her face with my trusted Vaseline. I glanced at my princess, so excited and eager, not a care in the world, and told myself that there was more to life than crying over spilt milk. So I picked her up and without making eye contact, handed her over to her teacher. And off I was! Apart from the odd sms from her teacher asking if I had planned to pack a spare set of clothes, (mxm- such shade and of course I didn’t Madame Teacher!), I pretty much forgot about my fumble…until I saw the photos weeks later. Hehe! Let’s just say, that I owe her big time and this year, I will GO ALL OUT! That’s a promise.