November 08, 2010

Redefining My Role as a Parent

Asst. Principal Lamar Bone
As the mother of a teenager, I'm not doing so much "mommy stuff" anymore. The Boy can feed  and dress himself, he can think of all manner of things to do for entertainment. He sure doesn't need me like he used to. 

So I've had to re-think this whole mom thing. I finally figured out my role here. 

You remember the Assistant Principal - walking around, looking important, but knowing he was the second in command (remember, I went to school when only men had those administrative jobs).

I AM the Assistant Principal here at the Cleaver compound. It's a boring, thankless tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

I assure attendance is maintained. The Boy gets on that school bus on time. 

I roam the house turning off dripping faucets, picking up stray socks the cat has dragged around, throwing away food packages that can't find their way to the trash, and dirty dishes that haven't visited the dishwasher.

I turn off lights, close doors.

I admonish and nag remind.

"Sit up straight."

"Don't slam the door."

"Don't plop on the furniture."

"Turn down that headset, I can hear what you're listening to."

"Feed the cat."

"Unload the dishwasher."

"Take your meds." 

Most of the time, I say 'please' first. That rarely guarantees compliance. It seems that being a hardass gets The Boy's attention more often. 

I give reminders about bad language and manners. 

I utter vague threats about punishments I don't deliver.

I ensure that the trash and recyclables go to the curb on the designated day.

I make appointments, I sign papers, I mail stuff. I refer to the school calendar, and mutter about how many half days these kids have. 

'Professional development', my ass. The teachers just want to hang out together.

I take great pains to prepare meals that the Department of Agriculture would be happy to serve.

When I am alone in my home/office, I do meaningless tasks and paperwork. I wait for phone calls where I can speak with authority to unseen callers.

I am the lame duck administrator, longing for real power and authority.

Give me a kid I can bully mold into a fine human being.

I really must insist that I get a clipboard and a rubber stamper with my signature...I'm sure that those will make all the difference.

I feel more powerful already.


  1. I LOVED this! You just described my life perfectly - except, for me, the biggest time filler/stealer is the 'driving the kids everywhere' gig. I feel less and less important the older they get.

  2. How true this is! You forgot the whistle. My Asst Principle always had a whistle.

  3. Well, the assistant principal is a necessary role.

    Gosh, I was just feeling some of this and my kids are only 3rd grade and kindergarten. But they need me less this year.

  4. Well, those all sound like very important duties to have. I think you should forego the rubber stamp and just ask for a raise!

  5. Usually the assistant does most of the work anyway right?

  6. I really have to get back to this blogging thing. I really miss your wit and the humorous reality checks you deliver. I'm pretty sure we're living the same life, but you make it sound almost okay. :-)

    I hope all is well with you and your family.

  7. OMG, you just made me realize that once i'm no longer wiping butts and noses and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I'm not going to have anything to do!

  8. I, for one, would love to be promoted to this position. I didn't see butt wiping anywhere on the list!


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