Hello, this is your kid’s school calling. So, your kid said her daddy dropped her off today. I could still see him if I stepped outside, but I know it’s much more convenient for you to take this call. I did phone four times, which in the time of COVID I now see could be alarming. The thing is, though, your kid was let out three minutes too early. Can you let your husband know? It is so much easier for me to call you, so you can add this memo to his calendar or make a little note for his steering wheel with some hearts—whatever is easier for you! And you’re not asking, and it’s 2021, and Bill Gates did kindergarten drop-offs. But now he’s divorced and if Melinda was already late Monday through Wednesday, is a full week really so much more to ask? They’re only this little once. Thanks so much!

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Hi! Your kid’s school here again. Just confirming the snack choice for the Halloween party to check that it meets our guidelines. Oh, your husband is the volunteer? I do see that on the form, but thought that must be an error or a joke. I can just write your name in. No, I’m not saying a Y chromosome disqualifies him from hosting a game of Pin the Hat on the Scarecrow; it’s just the students will be confused by his lower-octave voice and lack of a purse. I see your mind is made up. What food will you screen for allergens, buy, design to look like a jack-o’-lantern, and send in with him?

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Greetings! So sorry to leave another voicemail about this, but you are just NOT answering today. I am the least judgmental person on this planet, but I just cannot see how a mother could leave her phone on silent. I did not forget your anecdote about Ruth Bader Ginsburg insisting the school alternated calls with Martin—and no, I didn’t call your husband—because we have an actual mom situation today. Thankfully your kid does not have vomiting or a broken femur or emotional trauma—which I have saved until the end of the message as a bit of fun—BUT all of the kid’s spelling sentences are about butts or farts, which might sound funny, but we do have some other children with very sensitive stomachs.

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Hi Mom! … Yes, ha, of course. I am not, in fact, the fruit of your loins or guardianship; it’s just that why would I use your human name that is noted on the form I’m referencing when “Mom” just rolls off the tongue like panna cotta and isn’t jarring or irritating? Politics aside, I see that your kid needs an updated dental form ASAP. So if you can fax that over or bring it to pick-up, that would be fantastic. I am asking you and not your husband because you are a master ace of paper and fluoride and knowing your kid’s birthdate and not because you’re female.

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School again! Let’s set that parent-teacher conference; it is so crucial to your kid’s development and success. We can do Thursday or Friday… what?! You absolutely cannot miss work on these days and your husband will go? Okay, wow, no need to go nuclear! We do not need to bother him. Your husband is working from home five minutes from campus? Surely he is doing real work with his muscles or man mind. We’ll Zoom during your lunch.

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Good afternoon! School here—just calling with an exciting opportunity regarding Career Day. Would you be willing to—Oh? I hear your enthusiasm, and I’m just tickled. The thing is, though, and—whoopsie doodle, I should have led with this—we’re almost set for presenters, but just as important if not more, we do very much need about two hundred of the tiny cute baby plastic water bottles delivered to the main office. Think it over! And one more teeny-tiny favor, could you please please see if your husband could speak at the 1:40 slot?