Phew, finally got the kids to bed. I can’t believe it’s the first day of school tomorrow! Do I pick him up tomorrow at 11:15 or 11:30? Or is it 11:45? Where the heck is that piece of paper with the school hours on it. (Rifles through stacks of paperwork on the end table, the kitchen counter and the shelf in the bathroom.) Where the hell is that paper?

Oh, here it is. Right, 11:25. Got it. Oh wait, what’s this? Oh crap. It’s a checklist of things I’m supposed to send on the first day. Holy hell, I completely forgot about this. And the cheque for the activity fees – that slipped my mind entirely. Okay, I can do this stuff. Don’t panic.

Chequebook…. chequebook… ah, leave it for now. What else? Oh right – labels. I ordered the labels for the shoes and the hats and the coat, they’re in here somewhere. (More rifling.) Here they are. I’ll let the iron heat up while I stick these stickers into his shoes.

Oh crap. This says I have to leave a pair of shoes at the school. I read this the other day, but I completely forgot about it. Honest to god, I’m so disorganized sometimes it’s a wonder I even graduated grade school myself. Okay, fair enough, it’s been a tiny bit of a hectic week this week, but really – it’s not like I haven’t seen this day coming!!

Okay, whatever. The boy needs to leave a pair of shoes at school. We only have one pair of shoes. Maybe I can cram his feet into the ones from last year, just for today? Hey, tomorrow there is a 40% chance of rain forecast. What if I send him in his rubber boots, and we’ll leave his regular Scooby runners at the school. That will work. Please god, let it rain tomorrow. Biblical proportions would be nice. Then we’ll just have to remember to run out to WalMart tomorrow so he’s not wearing his sandals for the rest of the week. Good plan. Except – will the kids mock him through high school because he showed up for his first day of kindergarten in rubber boots? That kind of label tends to stick for life… nah, forget it. They’re all four. He’ll be fine.

Next – iron-on labels. I’ve been meaning to get around to this for weeks, why am I doing it after bedtime the night before his first day? WHY? Ouch! Dammit, I just burned my finger trying to hold that tiny little label against the seam of the inside of his Thomas hat. Shake it off, no time for bactine right now. Hmmm, I wonder if maybe I should turn down the iron when I put the label on this polyvinyl coat? Nah, the instructions on the label say to use high heat, and I’m sure this fleece lining will insulate it. Oh CRAP! I just melted fleece AND polyvinyl all over the iron. What the heck am I going to use to iron my work clothes tomorrow? Note to self: add new iron to shopping list when going to WalMart for new shoes tomorrow.

Good enough on the labels. Okay, what’s next on the list? Oh, right. Donated supplies of a large box of ziploc bags, a box of kleenex and a family size hand sanitizer. I bought the ziploc bags last weekend, and the kleenex, but I forgot about the hand sanitizer. Shall I run out to the drugstore now? Should I attach an IOU and send it Tuesday? Am I now labelling my child not only as Rubber Boot Boy, but as the one whose mother isn’t a team player and didn’t send the hand sanitizer on the first day??

Whatever. Next week will have to do. Next? Right, change of clothes to leave at the school in case of accident. At least I thought to organize this on the weekend. Oh oh. It says I’m supposed to put them in a labelled ziploc bag. I only have sandwich-sized ziplocs left. Can I open the box I’m donating to the class and pilfer one? That seems wrong. Oh the angst. I’m the mother who has no taste in footwear, forgets the hand sanitizer AND steals ziploc bags from the children. Next week, I promise I’ll send a whole new unopened box in addition to the box-minus-one that I’m sending tomorrow. And a jumbo hand sanitizer.

And finally, the cheque. The cheque. Oh for the love of god, where is my chequebook? I can’t remember the last time I wrote a cheque for something. Can I send cash? Do they take debit? (sound of massive amounts of paperwork being displaced) Why can I find a chequebook for an account I closed in 1994, but not my current one? That’s just wrong.

Okay, here it is. I’m supposed to send $25. Will they like me better and forgive my first-day transgressions if I add an extra $5? Is it bad to bribe the teacher? Okay, $25 – done. An hour and a half later, we’re finally organized and ready for the first day of school.

Scratch that – Tristan is ready, but I don’t think I’m even close to ready…

(This is a favourite re-run from my blog Postcards from the Mothership.)

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