I’m seeing red right now. Seriously, I am literally seeing red—as I am looking at my 5 year old’s grade for behavior in class last Thursday. She is usually a pink kind of student, which is just under purple as far as ranking in greatness. And I’m not going to lie, the sea of pinks and occasional purples often surprise me. I am happy she is a good student in class because at home she is an absolute terror! She’s not bad, just loud and outgoing and feisty—in other words, just like me when I am in extrovert mode. However, after a long day’s work I am usually in introvert mode and ill-equipped to handle a boisterous kindergarten student. Anyway, my baby may have a yellow day but she I KNOW she is not a red kind of girl.

 

Red is the worst. Red is for stop—as in stop allowing your child to be an asshole in class, stop with this nonsense, stop having babies because we don’t need any more bad children populating the earth and growing up to be the very thing wrong with the world. I can’t handle red, I need to know the reasoning for red and sure enough the reasoning was made clear in the note the teacher left next to the blaring harshness of the red circle “Left chaperone at home”. Of course! It all makes sense now. I, a single mom of two, was unable to attend the class field trip to the pumpkin patch so naturally my child should be penalized for that. After 9 to 5, homework, dinner, bath time, hair I need to add using vacation time to attend each and every field trip to my to do list.

 

The school system is set up for two parent households. Unfortunately, I am only one person. My parents chip in a lot—thank God—but ultimately it is up to me to buy an instrument, double check and help with 3 hours worth of homework, facilitate fundraisers, remember to put them in orange t-shirts for anti-bullying day, leave home early to make it to the school by 6pm so they can attend the school dance, remember to bring a tube of green glitter and a bottle of cooking oil for the class party and label their school jackets so they can find them when they lose them FOR THE FIFTIETH TIME! I don’t know why the school hates me, but they do. The system is set up so that there is no room for me to error or have a bad day. The one day I don’t do something completely and perfectly correct it is reflected on the grade of my child. I read the homework packet too late one evening. I didn’t realize she was supposed to decorate a new folder to turn in as a project. It was 9pm on a Sunday and I had $5 to my name to last me until payday later in the week—guess who did not turn in that project? Guess who got a zero?

 

When really, Mommy is a zero. And I really wish the school would stop punishing my children for it.