Friday, September 16, 2011

How to be a Good Parent

When registering my son for school, I was approached yet again to join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The entire point of the PTA is for people to have boring meetings that I will refuse to go to. People will continue to ask me to go to them, and I will continue to tell those people that I cannot go to their meeting because I have to go home and shoot heroin. This system works fine for me.

This shirt will definitely get you out of the next bake sale.

The PTA Membership person used to be the same woman who bugs me about buying yearbooks (I am really good at saying ‘NO’ to her). This year, the person in charge of PTA Membership is the same woman who consistently points out seemingly mundane things my son does and uses them as examples of how he is a genius. For example, when this person observed my son selecting a green cupcake, she told me that people who like green are really smart. Unfortunately, my son ruined the illusion by pointing out to all of us that his selection was based not on icing color, but the fact that this particular cupcake was chocolate. He is going to be a rocket surgeon for sure.

The point of my telling you all this to explain how much harder it is to say 'no' to person who thinks your kid is a genius than it is to say 'no' to the yearbook nagger. Why is this person always telling me my kid needs a yearbook for elementary school? I never had a yearbook in elementary school. Why would you ever have a need for one? Who needs to reminisce about that cute boy you had a crush on in kindergarten? Nobody. The kids can't even sign them. Their handwriting is terrible. Yearbooks are stupid until junior high.

As I approach the PTA membership table, I get ready to throw up my hands and yell, “Heroin Addict!” I find if I yell it loud enough, I can skip the Volunteer Registration table altogether. Before I even get a chance to declare drug addiction, the New PTA Membership Lady is telling me how lucky this school is to have my genius son back  this year. As the conversation goes on, it becomes increasingly harder to balk at the PTA registration form.

I decide, rather than yelling about narcotics, to express my concerns logically. At the end of the discussion, we hit a compromise. I would join the PTA by paying the $12.00 membership fee. The money would help the PTA do whatever they do for the benefit of the children. As part of this deal, I will in no way be directly involved in any PTA meetings or activities. It is like adopting those children in Africa you never have to see.

So, I got my card today: my very own PTA card with my name on it. As New PTA Membership Lady hands me the envelope, she says, “You are such a good parent.” Granted, I'm used to hearing this all the time, just not without the sarcasm.

All I can say is that if this card is all it takes to create the illusion of good parenting, I should have bought one a long time ago. I told my husband that if Child Protective Services ever shows up at the door, I am handing them my PTA card and all will be resolved. He told me I will probably be drunk and give them the AAA card. I hate it when he’s right.


  1. As long as you don't show them the NRA card when they show up...

  2. You need more than just these two choices:
    gouging my eyes out

    I want to be able to check something like:
    so funny I can't breathe properly

  3. My husband is diabetic and has to inject his insulin. It is so common in our lives that he'll often public..."I need to go shoot up" or "we should go home so I can shoot up" etc. We get a lot of weird looks!

    So my advice is, if you forget to wear your heroin t-shirt...find a diabetic and stick close to them. I'm sure it will have the same affect. Well...sort of....

  4. I've got all this still to come, as my daughter is not even one yet. But it's comforting to know I can rely on your expertise and experience in these matters. I think you should write a parenting book. You could call it "Parenting advice for people who haven't quite grown up". Or something a little bit catchier.

  5. First of all, any kid that chooses ANYTHING based it being chocolate automatically ranks in my book as a genius. And why is it that the people with an IQ roughly equal to their shoe size are always the ones to declare other parents' kids geniuses? I guess, this is not a situation in which the phrase, "It takes one to know one" necessarily applies.

    We don't have PTA cards here, so I guess I still have to live in fear of Child Protective Services, but at least our schools don't have yearbooks. So that's good, right?