Dear Administrator at My Daughter's Elementary School (or AMDES, for short),
Tomorrow is Pajama Day. A day on which all the children in all the land are encouraged to wear pajamas to school.
I know, it seems like this shouldn't be a difficult assignment for any child of mine.
They go about with flyaway hair and chocolate crusted in the corners of their mouths. Their clothes are only mostly clean. And it's a big day when we find matching socks. This is not a house accustomed to big days. I am sure that you think the Conley girls MUST have Pajama Day in the bag. I mean, isn't every day ALMOST Pajama Day for us?
Well, let me let YOU in on a little secret. Those only slightly stained clothes? That flyaway hair? Those mouths crusted with chocolate?
That's what my children look like on the days I TRY.
Now please, Fair AMDES, imagine what they must look like -- at night, when no one sees them -- when I am NOT trying. Yes. You pulled back a bit in horror... I can see you are beginning to understand. Bedtime here is greeted with 3T nightgowns barely covering 6T legs. Sleep is surrendered to in mom's old workout T-shirts -- THE ONES TOO HOLEY TO WEAR TO THE GYM. (If I went to the gym.) And sometimes, if their clothes are stretchy enough and it is late enough, they just go to bed in the outfit they were wearing all day.
So tonight, five minutes before bedtime, when I finally remembered it was Pajama Day Eve, you can imagine my daughter's general mortification when I presented her with the options on hand. At one point, through hiccuping tears, she said, "Don't you know that all the other girls are showing up in REAL nightgowns? Like the ones in Sound of Music?"
Nightgowns. Like the ones in The Sound of Music.
Her unrealistic perception of her peers' sleeping attire aside, I could understand her concerns. I mean... I haven't taught my daughters much about What Not to Wear. But we have, at one point or another, covered the fact that neither the nightgown that barely covers your bum, nor that oversized, worn-out, hole-ridden T-shirt from your mom, is an acceptable going-out-into-the-world outfit. These lines in the sand are, admittedly, not much. But we are -- as evidenced by my daughter's Julie-Andrews-inspired breakdown -- pretty adamant about maintaining them.
AMDES, I'm just going to keep this simple and to the point.
I don't have time for this %%$.
I'm sure there are lots of moms who are ready for this kind of thing. Moms who leave mints on their children's pillows each day and only shop Pottery Barn Kids at whole price. You know. Good Moms.
I am swiftly discovering I am not a "Good Mom." And after just 1.5 years in the public school system, I am getting burned out on Hat/Pajama/Insert-Item-We-Don't-Have-a-Presentable-Version-of-Here Days.
So in the minutes before I rush off to Target to buy whatever godawful character nightgown is closest to the cash register, I've got say, Please. It's enough. It's too much, really. Look at me -- I'm exhausted.
Let's abolish Pajama Day and replace it with Hey, We're Kinda Dressed, Just 10 Minutes Late for School and Mom Only Had to Have Two Diet Cokes before 3 p.m. Day.
Because that's a day I can do every day.