For the last week, I’ve been in my happy place. Over the years I’ve shared with you that dispensing unsolicited advice is my avocation, but being asked, nay begged, to disburse my wisdom is frankly almost unheard of.
Yet, now that I’m a school-age parent emeritus, I find that other mothers are seeking me out for counsel.
It’s heady stuff. Not often in my life has anyone sat in rapt attention waiting for me to pontificate. In the past when I was offering up (often unasked) input, my favorite place to do so was the grocery check-out line.
It’s perfect because the person you’ve engaged in conversation is basically trapped. But, alas, all the self check-out kiosks have really cut into my advice quotient. So, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
The main guidance I’ve been offering has been concerning high school homecoming. A few mothers have been worried because their sons have chosen not to participate. To this I say take a deep breath, exhale and then celebrate. You’ve dodged a bullet. Homecoming, like many rites of passage is not just overrated, but has been hijacked by social media.
What was once a date for a football game and then a dance in the gym is now no longer about the game or the dance. (Fun fact – most kids don’t even show up for the dance and if they do it’s for under 30 minutes.) Homecoming for all intents and purposes is a marathon photo op.
One of the happiest days in my life was this past April when after enduring almost two hours of prom pictures on a golf course with what seemed like 100 kids and twice that many parents, my husband gazed at me and uttered these sweet words: “You realize we never have to do this again. We’re now out of the kid paparazzi business.”
I was ecstatic. Because although I deeply love my children, I don’t need 1,000 photos of them in prom attire.
Another bit of solicited wisdom I’ve been doling out is about the school drop off line. The question has been should you, as a mother, ever leave the safety of your car and tell another mom that’s she’s totally screwing up the school drop off?
The school drop-off line is a combo IQ test and psychopath profile. Because any parent who is too brain cell challenged to grasp the concept of keeping the line moving should be pitied not admonished. This calls for a friendly, educational chat with perhaps a laminated hand-out she can keep in her car.
But the person who flagrantly violates the school drop-off procedure because they think their greatness transcends the rules should be dealt with. Oh, sure you can go to the principal and tattle-tale up a storm but, in my vast experience, the best way to deal with the school drop off diva, is the two C’s: confront and contain.
To make this maneuver effective you need backup or muscle, so bring your gal pals. Then, in a group, tell this mother that she’s messing up the morning mojo and that she needs to “correct her course.” It doesn’t always work, but at least she knows that all of you have your eyes on her.
I even, be still my heart, had one mom get back to me and report that she and two of her friends “confronted and contained” a mom at an elementary school. It filled me with joy until she told me that afterward the mom “gave all three of them the finger in the drop off line.”
Well, I’ve got some advice what to do to that woman, but frankly it’s not suitable for print.