Thursday, June 12, 2014

The green dot of shame: working mommy chronicles

I am traumatized by the green dot. At my kids' school, if a child is late, he can't go straight to class. He has to go to the office and put a little green dot sticker on the front of his shirt. The dot stays there all day. My kids understand and they are totally accustomed to the dot. Of course. They just march into the office when we get there at 9:15, affix the green dot and proceed to class.

The problem is that when it's me who has to take the kids to school, they are late more than half the time (and by more than half the time, I mean that it's extremely unlikely they will be on time). Mornings around here are insane. I dress the kids, feed and water them, make sure they are clothed, check spelling homework, make lunch, adjust Kulani's braids, find shoes--not just one, mind you, I have to find two shoes for each kid. I also have to get dressed myself, shower, put on make up, and wipe tiny hand prints off the hem of my skirt. Oh, and btw, I am doing all this while my 2-year-old is tearing the house apart. In short, I rely on 20 things going perfectly right in the morning to get the kids to school on time. If any one of these things does not go as planned, we are ... late.

I see the green dot on my kids’ shirts when I pick them up from school. I see the green dot when I drop off the lunchboxes I forget to pack. And I see the dot in half the pictures of the yearbook the teacher sends home. It's a bright green dot. You can't miss it.

So a couple of months ago I figured out the dot was supposed to help the children understand the importance of not being tardy. Now I think of it as 'the green dot of shame'. I hate the green dot. It has gotten to the point where I will do anything to avoid the green dot. I rush around like a crazy woman in the morning thinking about nothing but how I am going to avoid the dot. A couple of weeks ago Julian said "You forgot to feed us breakfast!" I threw a box of Cheese-Itz at him and told him to get his shoes on (actually that was not my finest hour). But I can't bear to see my kids in those dots. I know they have been wearing them all day and I know everybody saw them. But most of all, I know the green dots are not my kids' fault. They are mine.

So yesterday was the last day of school and I am slowly recovering from the trauma and emotional distress of the green dot. Next year is going to be worse. I will have three kids in three different schools in three different cities. I do not know how I am going to pull this off but I have all summer to come up with a plan.

Related:  Moms Who Don't Fit the Profile

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