Kindergarten Registrationville Horror

(If you couldn’t sense the contextual fear in the title, please imagine it written in dripping corn syrup, a horror staple of the black and white film era.)

After a month of packet upon packet of never ending paperwork, imagine my surprise when I received a notice of official Kindergarten registration and not my acceptance to the C.I.A.

The meeting was to take place at 10:30 a.m. Well played, school. It is the perfect time between 3rd snack and lunch providing the stay-at-home parent enough time to possibly shower, clean the chocolate granola bar residue off of the children’s faces and, to show up only 5 minutes late instead of our usual tardiness ranging from 15 minutes to never-gonna- happen.

My son walked up right before we left with a bag filled with crayons, post-its, sharpies, a vintage tin can and 3 bags of fruit snacks. “I’m ready, mama!” Indeed you are. One water bottle short of an apocalypse preparedness kit, we headed out the door.

I should have known taking the younger siblings would not bode well, but, I was high on coffee grounds and wishful thinking. The signs were all there. The baby velcroing herself to her own sandal, the out of nowhere dump my son had to take as soon as I opened the van door to load them all in, the something particularly evil going on in the glint of the 3 year old’s eyes, but, I’m a mom and we don’t have the luxury of paying attention to the universe’s very clear signs that things will go devastatingly wrong. We know they will and we still load everyone in because sometimes, the prince finds your glass slipper and sometimes, your toddler does and then uses it to make a glass kite and then yells at you, as you pick up the pieces of the shattered shoe, because it didn’t fly.

Never having been to the school, I entered the back of the building. You know, the side with all of the locked doors. It was at this point the 3 year old realized I was completely out of my element. And, because she’s incredibly intelligent, she knew her time was now. The school was a stage and she was about to earn her academy award for her documentary film, “Three. You Thought Two Was Bad?”

I walked down the hall with the baby writhing out of my arms in the age-old move, The Backwards C. We entered the room, but, the 3 year old kept walking right past the room where everyone gathered and down the hall with her arms swinging saying, “I WON’T go in there!” I’ll go in here! (pointing to random classroom full of students)” as my son took full advantage of my lycra cotton blend to create a face drape with my skirt and as the baby noticed a room full of xylophone mallets and I noticed I was the only parent smart enough to bring siblings. Grrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeat.

There were forms and meetings with school counselors and school nurses and the early education director who smiled in between reminders to public offender #1 that she was not to: 1) Use xylophone mallets as fighting sticks 2) jump off of the stage 3) play drums 4) form a band with other hall roving kids called Truant Officer 5) ever be allowed back to the school.

Then, a teacher who I will call Angel Face stepped forward and the light shining from Angel Face McSavior-Pants was so bright as she said, “Do you mind if she plays a game on my iPad?” and when I was done weeping with gratitude, the toddler dropped the mallet and said, “You got Angry Birds?” and Angel Face said, “How about Doc McStuffins?” and then I knew we were safe. All of us and that Kindergarten registration would continue and that the Fire Alarm now needn’t be cloaked with 5 pounds of my under eye concealer cream.

One crisis averted, the baby took this as her cue to start practicing her trust falls off of the music room stage stairs. And just then, my husband, having received an incredibly vague text that said: This is a disaster. You need to be here., burst through the already open door and said, “I’m here! I’m taking them outside to the playground.” and I can honestly say that I have never ever been more attracted to this man in my life.

The moral of this story is, if you are going to register your kindergartner for school, it’s best to leave any people who think plastic tea cups are footwear at home.

We have two more years until her very own Kindergarten registration. Hopefully, time really does heal all wounds.

Does this tea cup shoe make my crazy look big?

Does this tea cup shoe make my crazy look big?

Move over Amityville.

Move over Amityville.


  1. I only have one child but I have to take him everywhere. Including hair appointments. And let me tell you, it’s NOT fun. It’s a disaster. And I have no one to walk through the door and save me. He also thinks plastic teacups are footwear, so I’m sure you can only imagine.

    • Bethany says:

      I can imagine. Livin’ the same dream, sister. One of my favorite mom moments was going to get my hair done with # 4 strapped to my chest in a pack. I was going to get my hair done, damn it. It was great until she started thrashing about during the cut. Of course. An even cut is overrated.

  2. Your friend Dawn says:

    I had nothing to do this morning but watch my little angel (he can’t move yet, so he’s my favorite), I could totally have come with you and been a witness to the craziness. See how I didn’t offer to babysit?

    • Bethany says:

      Oh, we never expect anyone to babysit for us. What are they, crazy? We like our friends too much to have them watch our children while they’re awake.

  3. My husband and I will do anything in our power to not go out in public with all three kids in tow, including manipulating grandparents and guilting each other with how much more sleep the other person got the night before.

    • Bethany says:

      We play that game too and our newest favorite game is, “Why don’t you take the baby…” Everyone loves that game.

  4. “…I have never been more attracted to this man in my life.” These are the moments that take marriages from, “you’re pretty nice and having you around to scare off burglars sure is convenient” straight up the charts to Fairy Tale.

    • Bethany says:

      White horse, optional. Seriously though, romance changes or dies and then is reborn in the form of shit young couples don’t even notice. Next time I see them making out on a park bench, I’ll shout out: DO YOU THINK THIS PERSON WILL SAVE YOU FROM YOUR OWN CHILDREN? It’s a good litmus test.

      • lol. i am going to have to remember that. we take it in turns, saving one another. i wouldn’t say two is easy, but there are no sufficient warnings for three. she’s been three less than 2mo. i am so freaking exhausted…

  5. On the bright side, September.

    • Bethany says:

      2 in full day, 1 in 2 day pre-school, 1 at home. I may have to take up clay pottery or start sleeping again.

  6. Wait… I’m starting to remember this from my kids…. Never mind- I drank it away. The horrors…

  7. All I can say is… you are not alone! I have tried to erase thenightmare of registering my second oldest for kindergarten, I made the mistake of bringing my 3 year old and 1 year old with me. I thought I was showing up prepared by bringing a Ziploc baggie of cheerios and paper for them to color on. Not so much… My older boys started wrestling in the hallway, then my 3 year old decided to run screaming into every classroom that had an open door. Good times! These are the things they should show kids in sex-ed. Best birth control ever!

    • Bethany says:

      We should absolutely start our own sex-ed program: “You’re not ready for this shit. Trust us!” and we’ll just have teenagers take our kids grocery shopping and through a car wash. Done and done.

      • Theresa says:

        OMG- that comment was almost funnier than the blog post. I’m pretty sure I’ve saved a couple teen girls an early pregnancy by paying them not enough money to babysit my 2 toddlers who are 12.5 months apart. Their mothers should thank me

  8. Patty McKinnon says:

    Possibly the funniest post on kindergarten registration I have ever read. You are so brave.

  9. amanda bombard says:

    “Three. You Thought Two Was Bad?”

    My God. Im crying. My two year old us currently perfecting the art of the “trust fall” induced parental hert attack. He’s fast approaching the guiness record for daily attempts on a parents life, aka: near-death by toddler. The two should meet. Maybe they’ll balance eachother out. Ha. And maybe i should start chasing my wine with a little cuervo.

    • Bethany says:

      Amanda, the terrifying thing about the trust falls is that they seem to learn absolutely nothing from the consequences of hitting the floor, table, chair, counter, etc. etc. etc.

      I’m starting to think my child actually thinks her bruises give her bad-ass baby gang street cred.

  10. With Child #1 my husband and I prided ourselves on his well-behaved public manners because we were full of energy and all sorts of ideals about parenting and nutrition. With Child #2, we never left the house without a stash of Dum Dum lollipops, shiny objects and the promise of a Happy Meal. My husband got a vasectomy within a month after Child #2 was born. I shudder to picture myself with THREE of them during kindergarten registration. You deserve your weight in wine.

    • Bethany says:

      I have actually probably had my weight in wine to drink since then. I’m like the Amelia Bedilia of cocktails. Oh, and high-fiver on the lollipops, and shiny stuff and the vasectomy.

  11. Oh im a grandmother now but you are bringing back such memories. I refuse to go out alone with my grandchildren so I am so pleased your post has reminded me again why I don’t. Great post btw

    • Bethany says:

      Thank you, Jan! If this can serve as a reminder/cautionary tale then my work here is a success. 🙂

  12. You know how, when you read something, and you laugh and laugh and laugh some more and then STOP. Because you realize that’ll be YOU in a year? Yeah. This post was kinda like that for me.


  13. Funny. I was just debating if I should cancel the sitter I got for our kindergarten orientation meeting next week and attempt to take the kids. Foolish. Thank you for the reality check.

  14. Oh, the joys of parenting. I love the humor that resonates in your writing. I am covered in spit up and up to my ears with screaming children so reading your blog brought a smile to my face. I thought that would never happen after the day I have had…and it’s only noon! Joy! It’s incredible how many hoops you have to jump through for public school. I am surprised they don’t require a blood/dna sample upon registration. Keep making moms like me smile, it really helps the day!

  15. Ugh, I’m so sorry the kids didn’t get the memo this was supposed to be one of those best behavior days. Thanks goodness your husband was able to save the day. Also: I hate all that paperwork.

  16. Your story sounds like a sitcom episode! Looking at the humor in situations like this is one of the best ways to stay positive. Thanks for sharing – you gave me a good laugh to start the day!

  17. Uugh… I do remember those days. *SHUDDER* Now my Current Legal Spouse works from home and I even get to grocery shop alone! I get down on my knees and thank the baby Jeebus for the gift of his home office. Your hubs sounds like a keeper, too. Great post! So funny!

  18. There are so many lines in this post I love that I could start quoting you now but I’ll try not to. I’m so glad you survived and hope the PTSD does not leave you frozen for the kindergarten registrations to come because each will have one less sibling to bring along, which, if you are sappy like me is equal parts relief and why are they growing up so fast?
    Love you!

  19. I hope Angelface is the kindergarten teacher! She seems so very nice!

  20. I am dying. Of laughter and of fear when I have to do this next year for my son. Thanks for paving the way and sharing your wisdom. Just hoping so hard I can find myself “high on coffee grounds and wishful thinking” too. That or loads of stashed booze is the only way I think I could get through.

  21. OH MY GOD I laughed so hard I almost spit my coffee out at my computer screen!

    I can totally relate to having a busy three year old…ours is giving us a run for our money!


  22. I have a year to go before Kindergarten, but since pre-school is for FREE in DC, we had the whole registration thing way earlier! Part of me felt like we were filling out college applications. And during the open house there were many kids there, the principal didn’t have a microphone so I had to do my best to read her lips over the din of kids destroying the gym stage behind her. I am pretty sure she was saying “SOS”.

  23. Shuddering. I can’t stop shuddering. Ellen

  24. Ha! Love the teacup picture!!

  25. Holy crap, this brought back memories. Memories that I thought I had stuffed waaaaaaay down. Taking all the kids? You are a BRAVE woman!!

  26. I took my 1 year old and 4 year old to the local school for enrolment last year. The 1 year old wasn’t too bad (amazing, right?). My normally shy and polite 4 year old had it set in his head I was dropping him off there for good. I don’t know why he thought this, we had so many pre discussions about what was going on. So whilst I sat with the principal and tried to come across as a good parent, my 4 year old started kicking me. And kicking the table. And throwing the principals stuff from the table onto the ground. And answering back badly. He told me later he was doing anything he could think of to not be kept there.

    It was such a nightmare. We then got a quick tour where he proceeded to fall over, get a bloody knee and the 1 year old started wailing too. And he dropped all the snack food all over the place (the exact place were the school was having a festival to celebrate 100 yrs the next day).

    i got home and cried. And kept him home for an extra year.

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