Dear Parents,

Welcome to kindergarten! I’m so excited to partner with you this year. I have one tiny request: Follow this labor-intensive, alphabet-themed, detailed, daily schedule for the next several weeks. It will inspire a love of language in your little learner while driving you slowly insane. Let the fun begin!

A: Art Day. We’re making a mural, so send in a smock and an extra set of clothes. Your child will express his inner artist, and you’ll express your inner laundress as you spot clean yellow and blue paint (our school colors) out of your child’s clothes. Because let’s be real: he won’t use the smock even though you wrote his name on it and put it in his cubby.

B: Book Day. Send in a book for show and tell. What? You forgot to put the book in your sweetie’s backpack while getting dressed for work, making lunches, labeling water bottles, feeding the dog, writing the grocery list, and lugging your older child’s cello into the trunk? Take an early lunch break to bring in the book and quell the tantrum your kindergartener will surely have once she realizes you failed her.

C: Crazy Hair Day. Bust out the hair dye, wacky headbands, and glitter! The more glitter the better! Then take a picture to post on Facebook and show everyone how much fun you’re having! #CrazyHairDay #KindergartenGoals #ImBetterAtParentingThanYouAre Plan extra bath time tonight to wash out the craziness. But don’t even try to rinse away all the glitter. You will never be rid of the glitter. You’ll find glitter throughout your house — a sparkle on the floor here, a glimmer on the couch there — until the day you die.

D: Dad Day. Dads will volunteer in our reading room today. Just kidding — dads would never take off work for that. Women earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, so dads can afford not to feel guilty about their lack of involvement.

E: Estimation Day. Fill a plastic bottle with items of the same kind, such as pennies or paperclips. Students will estimate how many items the jar contains, so write down the number! As you and your child count the coins or whatever crap you jammed into the bottle, feel free to estimate how many years these activities will take off your lifespan.

F: Fucking School Supplies Day. We’re short on supplies despite the inordinately long list of extremely specific items requested of you during registration. Please go to Staples, Target, or WalMart — possibly all three — and pick up these necessities. Don’t bother looking online because they’re probably back ordered.

  • 1 box sharpened #2 pencils (I said sharpened!)
  • 1 box Crayola thick markers (washable; WHY would you buy regular?)
  • 4 dry erase markers (non-toxic, odorless; toxic markers will be sent home)
  • 1 pair scissors (blunt tip; under NO circumstances will I accept sharp tips)
  • 1 2-inch 3-ring binder (do not send in 1-inch or 4-ring!)
  • 3 double-pocket folders (with 3 holes; remember the 3-ring rule).
  • Fabric book covers (Google it)
  • Infinite packs of tissues, wipes, paper towels (select-a-size), and hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs because…winter is coming

G: Glue Day. Make another run to Target and purchase liquid glue… along with baking soda and saline solution so we can make slime. You can never have enough slime in your house!

H: Hat Day. Have your darling wear her favorite hat! Forgot the hat? Don’t worry! By the time you realize it and spend half your workday retrieving the hat, your child’s friend will have already shared hers! I’m sure there’s no chance lice is going around.

I: Insane Day. Have you gone insane yet? Just wait. We’re not even halfway through the freaking alphabet.

J: Joke Day. Think this is a joke? Nope. You are definitely expected to plan this ABC bullshit every damn day as you field clients’ calls, get dinner on the table, quiz your middle schooler on Spanish vocabulary, sign up for Scouts, and find a sitter so you can attend back-to-school night. And seriously: help your child prepare a joke to tell the class.

K: Knock Knock Day. Since you probably didn’t have time to find a joke yesterday, here’s another chance! How about this:

Knock Knock.
Who’s There?
Orange who?
Orange you going to scream if you’re asked to do one more inane task for the class?

The kids will love that one.

L: Lice Check Day. You guessed it! Someone in your child’s class has pediculosis (that’s the fancy word for fucking head lice!). Check for small silvery eggs in your child’s hair. Warning: glitter can look freakishly similar to lice. When in doubt, take the day off work to rush to the Lice Lady. Pay $300 for her to sign off on your little one’s locks.

M: Mom Day. It’s “Take Your Mom to School” Day! You don’t have anything else to do, right? Snap a selfie during circle time and post it on Facebook to prove to yourself that your life is valid. #MommyGoesToSchool #CircleTimeRocks #QualityTimeAtKindergarten

N: Nature Day. Send your kindergartner in with items found outside. We’ll be “in the field” today collecting more precious gems! Don’t be alarmed if your child’s backpack is too heavy to carry. That’s because your enthusiastic explorer collected 57 rocks and couldn’t part with any of them. Enjoy the dirty rock display on your mantel for the next three months.

O: One Hundred Day (prep). Yes, you get to do another “100 Days of School” project. Since you phoned that shit in last year, take time now to get a jump on this year’s iteration! Enjoy pinning 100 safety pins onto a t-shirt or ironing 100 stars onto a cape! Post a pic of your masterpiece on Facebook to make sure everyone knows you’re crafty and loving life! #100DaysTheSequel #ThisOldThing #MomSkills

P: Pajama Day. No, not for you. You can’t stay in your pajamas all day with your head under the covers crying. You can’t call up the parenting gods and request a personal day to binge-watch The Real Housewives. You can’t lock your bedroom door and assume your husband will instinctively take over. No, it’s time to get up and bring your sweetheart to school in her PJs! She’s earned a comfy respite.

Q: Question Day. Send your child in with a question for the class while you silently question your choices in life. Also question if that whistling sound the toilet is making means you have to call a plumber.

R: Remember Day. Remember that work deadline you have? Of course you don’t! You’re too busy coordinating your cutie’s rainbow outfit for Rainbow Day.

S: Surprise Day. Surprise! There’s no after-school childcare today because of a rescheduled district-wide conference. Good luck finding back-up babysitting.

T: Treat Day. Share a favorite family treat with the class. It should be nut-free, dye-free, gluten-free, and lactose-free. To get approval, email a picture of the ingredients label to the school nurse. Discover the item is made in a facility that processes food dye, and send your kiddo in with a delicious rice cake!

U: Unbelievable Day. It may seem unbelievable but there is yet another reason you need to take off work to come here! I haven’t quite figured out what you’ll do — it may involve reading a book to the class or helping with math games — but don’t miss it or your child will never know you love him!

V: Vaccine Form Day. That’s right! Even though you submitted your child’s vaccination records last year, you’re required to re-submit all health forms, insurance information, and emergency numbers. And you can’t photocopy the documents you sent in last time. It’s imperative you leave work early, go to your pediatrician, and pay the $10 fee for the exact same forms and doctor signature. Many thanks!

W: Whine/Wine Day. One will likely follow the other.

X: Extra Help Day. Help decorate our classroom! I could do it myself but it’s important to show our children we all do our part. And by “we all,” I mean “moms.” So set a good example and make sure the kids internalize that moms should be there helping them—and everyone else!—every step of the way, without a day to herself ever.

Y: Year Kick-Off Day. Skip work and come to our back-to-school party! Check the sign-up sheet to see what you can bring for the festivities! Preferably rice cakes. And don’t be the only Mommy absent or your sweetie will be scarred for life.

Z: Zzzzz Day. You still there? Look alive! Your boss has probably fired you by now for missing so much work, so I’ll count on you for the Parents Care Committee, fundraiser planning, and our in-class study of hermit crabs! When you feel like crying, please do so in the privacy of your car, ideally not in the school parking lot. Thanks! We couldn’t do it without you!