It is PARP Reading Month(s) at my child’s school. Until one minute ago I had no idea what PARP stood for. According to Google, it means “Parents As Reading Partners.” Basically, the idea is to encourage parents to read with their kids. We do that everynight, but I have to play along. The children are supposed to bring in a slip of paper, about the size of a credit card, everyday indicating how many minutes they read the previous night. The school sends home a booklet of these ‘reading slips.’ It is up to the parent to cut them out and place in their folder each morning.
The note that came with the PARP packet might as well have said, “Here is something you will forget on a daily basis. You will spend 20 minutes looking for scissors to cut out each slip. Then, you will scribble your initials on the paper. Your child will criticize your handwriting. After a few weeks you will forget about this program altogether because you have responsibilities that actual matter in life. You will lose the packet. Your child will nag you in the afternoon about forgetting the slip of paper. At that point, you will email your child’s teacher asking for a replacement accepting the fact that she probably thinks you are a terrible parent. Have fun!”
I forget from time to time. Last week, I forgot to pack my son a juice box. He took me on a guilt trip. He had to drink water after eating his peanut butter sandwich. Gasp. There are children in this world that don’t have the ability to buy peanut butter by the gallon young man! I have forgotten field trips and money for book fairs. I missed “Pajama Day” last week at my daughter’s school. She told her teacher she was wearing her ‘fancy pajamas.’ She had on a sweater. She told a friend she didn’t have any clean pajamas. Translation: my mom is lazy and we live in filth. I don’t have an excuse. I just forgot. I am happy if I manage to get my children to school on time, fed and clothed. Their homework is done. We read every night. What more do you damn people want from me? Nobody said anything in the ‘Parenting for Dummies’ book about small slips of paper. “But you can win a bike Mommy,” said my daughter. That’s right. The school takes all of these PARP slips, throws them in a box and draws one to win a prize. One. They choose one child in the entire school. I can’t wait for that day to come. I am sure my daughter is going to be a-okay losing the drawing. Perhaps, I will forget to send her to school that day.