For 26 weeks, I have hated Fridays.
Specifically Friday mornings at 7 a.m.
Just as Colt and I walk out the door, I remember. Shit. It’s Friday. Show-and-Tell Day.
The day when each child is supposed to bring an item from home to share with the class – that starts with the letter of the week.
I’m sure his teachers had the best of intentions when they assigned this exercise, but for half a year, it’s been the bane of my existence.
I always end up running frantically back inside the house, scanning the living room, yelling…
“F, F, F, I need something that starts with F!!!!!”
Like that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire, when Robin Williams is looking for…a face.
Rummaging through the toy bin, digging in the trash can.
How does NOTHING in this ENTIRE house start with F????!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some letters, take “B” for example, weren’t so bad.
Ball. Batman. Boat. Blanket. Plenty of options for “B”.
Not so much for “H”, “K”, or “Q”.
We forgot “M” all together, which apparently caused all sorts of shame and embarrassment for Colt.
This Made Mommy want to Murder someone.
I actually remembered show-and-tell the week of “U”, but then found out the kids weren’t allowed to bring umbrellas, (too dangerous?), thus squashing my only good idea.
(I suppose 16 umbrella-wielding pre-schoolers would be a bit terrifying.)
Colt suggested a pair of underpants!
That Friday, he proudly marched into class with his Ziploc bag of Power Rangers Underoos.
(So not bringing anything for “M” caused shame and embarrassment, but showing off undergarments for “U” was cause for celebration?)
4-year-olds are so weird.
I packed him a sweet little vase for “V.”
Colt exclaimed, “Wait Mommy!! I need a flower in my vase!”
“I caaaaaaan’t bring a vase to show-and-tell without a flower!”
I scoured the front yard and saw some pretty lavender flowers near our hydrangeas. I ran over, yanked a few and stuck them in the vase.
I thought I smelled Italian food on the way to school that morning, but I assumed it was my dirty car or morning breath.
Turns out the flowers I picked were society garlic flowers. Named so for their wicked odor.
Colt’s show-and-tell vase stunk up the classroom so bad, his teacher made him leave it outside.
My proudest moment was when I remembered to steal a Xerox ink cartridge box from work the Thursday before “X.”
(Take THAT you overly-prepared mother with your X-Ray Fish book and your X-Men fruit snacks.)
This past week was the letter Z. So it’s all over now.
And like every other phase in Colt’s life, that which seemed painfully annoying, now feels bittersweet and nostalgic.
He won’t be learning his letters for the first time ever again.
Soon he’ll be nailing them together, building words and sentences and paragraphs.
Soon he’ll be writing love letters, or texts, or sexts or whatever kids write these days.
“Showing” off and “telling” things his mother shouldn’t know about.
Soon he won’t be my baby anymore.
And that makes mommy S-A-D.