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Mother of the Year Goes to.... Not Me

Every morning I go to the gym to exercise. I love it because I have a lot of friends there (it's my adult interaction for the day...hahah...but seriously...), endorphins are released, I feel powerful and strong....etc. Fast forward to about 10 minutes after I arrive home.

Kids are fighting over who grabbed the box of cereal first.

Tears are rolling down cheeks from, "Cameron looked at me in a mean way."

Fights are breaking out between who has to be the flippin' monkey in the middle...

You get the idea.

So pretty much all the good I do at 5:30 in the wee early morning hours gets completely undone. (Perhaps I should schedule my workouts to after the kids leave for school instead?)

Anyway, today was no different. The kids actually all got ready on their own really well without any fights. They had a good 20 minutes to kill before we had to leave for school. They decided to play a game (but not the blasted Monkey in the Middle game...No! No! I banned that game [and 'jinx&#…

I have a Confession...

I've got a confession.

I dont like the "parent" activities my kids' school asks us to come to. In fact, you might say I hate them.

"Moms and Muffins"

"Parents and Pastries"

"Dads and Doughnuts"

(What are they really trying to do here? Fatten us up?! They know sugar is my downfall)

But you get the idea. If you're a parent with a child in grade-school, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

When did it become a necessity for parents to attend school with their kids (other than parent-teacher conferences) to just "chill"?

Disclaimer: I'm not opposed to supporting my kids. Heck, I'm the first one to volunteer at class parties, chaperon on field trips, send in treats for my kids' birthdays, and donate to the classroom/teacher's needs.

But it is seriously like nails on a chalkboard when I hear, "Mom! You get to come to school with us!" (while waiving around a paper flier with all the deets).

As I try to mask my begrudging attitude, I scan over the flier.

"Yippee!" (not)

"I get to go with my kids to school!"

Let me rephrase: I get to wake 4 little bodies up in the wee early hours of the morning, thus starting everyone's (including my own) bad attitude. Then I get ride them (even more than I already do) to hurry up so we can get out the door on time.

Then I get to listen to everyone complain about how cold it is (12 degrees by the way), and how I should have warmed up the car.

Then I get to hear everyone beg and whine that they want to watch a show in the car.

And when we finally get to the school (which is about 15 minutes away), everyone complains about how far we have to walk to get to the freakin' classroom (that's located in a portable).

(And this is after two little girls fought over whose teacher's classroom we got to go to).

The teachers stare at us like we're homeless people begging for food. (Good ol' Oliver Twist comes to mind here, "Please sir....I want some more...")

We were informed we had to go into the school to get the  muffins, then make the trek back out to the portables.

Haul the kids back into the school, but not after trying every daggum door that was locked before realizing only the main doors were open.

Meanwhile the 4 year old is whining about how cold he is and how tired his legs are. And the older girls are complaining of how annoying little brother's "whistling" is.

Get into the school, only to see a line about a mile long. Am I at Walmart?

Seriously? All this for some freakin' muffins?

I asked my kids if they'd rather go to the cafeteria and get a good hearty breakfast instead. Tears welled up in my 9 year old perfectionist daughter's eyes.

"I guess we're staying in line."

Twenty minutes later we got our muffins.

Two little rinky-dink muffins the size of a quarter. Awesome! I'm sure this will hold my kids over til lunch..

And then for the pioneer trek back to the portables to spend a lovely five minutes (if that) with them before school starts.

When we get to the room, I'm fuming, and sweating profusely (it didn't help I was wearing a heavy snowboarding jacket and carrying an 18 month old).

We sat down, but no one talked. We were all grumpy. Silently scarfing away those muffins like we're mice eating crumbs on the floor.

As my one-year old demolished her muffin with her firsts, and muffin confetti flew through the air, I began thinking of all the reasons/excuses I could give to not come again next year (or any other year for that matter). I was certainly justified.

And then it hit me.

I dont go to these events for me. I go for THEM. I go because they remember me going. I go to show my support. To show them I LOVE them.

I saw SO many kids without parents there. And I dont know their personal circumstance, but I do know that my kids were excited to bring me, so the least I could do was pretend to enjoy it.

I'm not looking forward to the next parent event. (They're definitely no cake walk...Although I'm sure the PTA will come up with some clever parent activity to do with a cake next...). But I hope my kids know that despite my grumpy attitude, I love them. And I will ALWAYS be there for them--tired--dragging 4 kids--and covered in minuscule muffin crumbs and all.

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