Welcome Back to School, Please Sign Here
By Lynn Rebuck –
As a mom, I always dread the ton of homework that I get assigned on the first day of school. There is always a sizeable stack of forms for me to review, complete and sign.
There used to be fewer, less complicated forms when kids started back to school. Now I need a paralegal to help me fill them all out.
First I encounter numerous classroom contracts which my son and I need to sign in triplicate. Some need to be notarized.
We must stipulate to standards for classroom behavior, attendance and homework completion. I am sending my son to school this year with counter-offers.
Next I must complete the registration card requiring emergency contact information.
Designating someone to pick up your child when he or she becomes feverishly ill is always a tricky decision. It’s tough to get someone to commit for a second year of service once they’ve had to clean your child’s morning meal out of their minivan.
There is also the fairness and reciprocity rule to consider. If the individual you previously listed had to pick up your child multiple times, while her remarkably healthy children didn’t need you to come to the rescue the entire school year (they didn’t even have cavities), it would be inappropriate to ask her to commit to another year on-call.
Next in the stack is a media consent form that asks whether I authorize my son’s image to be photographed, his name to be published on the Internet or in the news media and for him to be interviewed by Anderson Cooper. Hmmm, I’m going to have to consult my son’s talent agent and publicist before I respond to that one.
By the time I get to the “radiological emergency” card I am overwhelmed with anxiety and ready to home school. Since we live within a 10-mile radius of a nuclear power plant, I must decide whether to authorize school personnel to give him an emergency dose of potassium iodide in the event of a nuclear emergency.
A more ominous card has evolved from the emergency contact card: the “catastrophic emergency” form. In the event of a total meltdown, no wait, that would fall under the nuclear emergency card…umm, in the event of a complete catastrophe, who do I want to pick up my child? My first choice would be the First Lady. Michelle Obama can pick him up with Air Force One. I hope she doesn’t mind. I’d be happy to reciprocate.
By the time I finished all of the forms I was suffering from severe writer’s cramp, had multiple paper cuts and my signature had degraded into a series of illegible curves and squiggles.
But if a school district photographer ever snaps a photo of my son as Michelle Obama rushes him onto Air Force One following a catastrophic “nuclear” chain reaction right after school personnel administer iodide to him in the wake of an incident at Three Mile Island, district officials need not worry—I signed the forms.
Lynn Rebuck is an award-winning Christian humor columnist, speaker and mother whose humor column appears weekly in print and online. She is currently looking for loopholes in the library book return policy. Read Lynn’s humor blog on her website, www.LynnRebuck.com, sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. That’s your homework. © 2010 Lynn Rebuck