Sometimes, your child needs to bring in pictures of the family to gan or school. Here's a handy how-to guide:
1. Read notice taped to gan door that says, “We would love pictures of your family for Family Day!”
(Family Day, aka Yom HaMishpacha, is a holiday we made up cuz we gots nothin' on the calendar between Tu B'Shvat and Purim, and we need something to teach about since we've already covered winter, water, trees and citrus fruits.)
This is the easy part. This occurred on Sunday. “No problem,” I think breezily as I carry Nadav out of gan, ("Up on Meema!") “I’ll just go home and print a few pictures for him to bring tomorrow.” I mean, it’s so easy nowadays, no sifting through old picture albums and sending in actual prints that you know will never make it home dry and in one piece, and there will forever be a sad blank space in the album next to a caption that says, “Little Joey riding his new tricycle!” and if Joey is your oldest, no problem, you have entire albums, nay, storage rooms, dedicated to “Pictures of Joey on his tricycle.” But if poor Joey is your youngest, woe unto you, because not only do you have no other pictures of Joey on the bike, that picture was in fact the only evidence that he existed between “Our new baby!” and “Joey puts on tefilin!”
In any case, the Read the Notice stage generally lasts 3 days.
2. Read notice at gan and remember it when you get home.
This occurred on Tuesday. Yay! I think. I am definitely doing this picture thing today. I even sit down at the computer and open up Picasa. No problem. Mother of the Year, here I come. The trophy shelf is filling up.
But then, Something happens. It could be a fight, dinner, tantrum, the realization I haven’t seen Nadav in a few minutes, a homework question. (“Mommy, do you know [answer to some really obscure question in Shoftim, a book I have not cracked open since I donned my Bais Yaakov 3-piece uniform]?” Um, not off the top of my head, I can help you find it. [Look of intense disappointment that I do not have Tanach and its many commentators sitting on the top of my brain, waiting for Ariella to come pick at it. The top of my brain is reserved for "There are 3 children" and "I'm hungry." So I, too, must look inside the sefer, like a mere mortal.]
So this Something pushes the picture thing right out of my head. In fact, when I sit back down at the computer, lo these many hours later, I haven’t the faintest idea why Picasa is open. I close it and check Facebook.
3. Print the pictures!
This occured on Wednesday. Finally! I sit down while the kids are watching TV and choose those pictures, and I print the hell out of them. Oh yeah! I’ve got Nadav + siblings, Nadav + parents, Nadav +Zaidy, Nadav +Saba, Nadav + family. I am rocking Family Day!
4. Bring the pictures to gan.
The most difficult stage. Has not happened yet. I inevitably take a long detour into Leave Pictures Next to The Computer stage. During this detour, you must enter Guiltville. And there is no trophy shelf in Guiltville. You see, as I'm leaving gan, after drop off, I see the note AGAIN. I wring my hands and say, “Oh, I even printed them and then left them at home!” The gan mommy’s equivalent of the homework-eating dog.
The supersweet and warm ganenet says, “Oh no problem! Just bring them tomorrow! The kids love looking at the pictures of Ima and Abba!” which, to a non-mother, means, “No problem! Just bring them tomorrow!" but to a mom residing in Guiltville, what she really said was, “Nadav is so sad! He’s the only one without pictures! He sits in the corner crying, while all the well-loved children clutch pictures of their wonderful families that their attentive and caring mommies brought in! Please bring the pictures before you traumatize him for life!"
At this point, I am so guilt-ridden that I actually consider for a moment running back home and getting those damn pictures, but then I say to myself, buck up, it’s only like the 36,637th time you’ve screwed up and traumatized him for life.
So I don't return home, because anyway, I have so many things to do today, like blogging about this incident.
Tomorrow is Friday; I am hoping to complete stage #4 and undo whatever trauma has occurred, so he has a clean slate for the next time I screw up.
(If you could all text me in 5-minute increments tomorrow, starting at 7:00, reminding me to bring the pictures, I'd much appreciate it. Thanks.)