Edumacation

Published on September 4th, 2014 | by Richard Black

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Enrolling My Daughter in School, Filling Out Forms and the Ensuing Visit from Child Services

UF_pen_writing_090414For those of you who are new to the site my daughter has recently been enrolled in a new preschool and I couldn’t be happier. Actually that’s a lie. I could always be happier. I think that’s part of the human condition for anyone who isn’t baked out of his mind but that’s another story.

As most of you may know enrolling a child in any sort of academic program involves quite a bit of paperwork. For the most part Laura, my wife, handles these sorts of things and not because I can’t or choose not to. Laura and I approach many things differently and, wheres she views paperwork as a means of conveying important information I occasionally the act of filling out forms as an opportunity for entertainment. I won’t lie it’s caused some problems in the past and as a side note apparently no one in the IRS possesses anything remotely like a sense of humor. In order to avoid similar issues in the future my lovely wife has mandated that she be in charge of when it comes to anything that requires more than a signature on my part.

Unfortunately Laura has been quite busy at work recently and the onus of filling out a few reams of paperwork has fallen upon…well me. It might sound strange but I enjoy filling out paperwork. I find that it grounds me. Call it an analog version of Lumosity. It’s nice to know that I still remember my own social security number, address and phone number from time to time despite a few decades of dedicated drinking.

So I found myself filling out the forms for the new school that Darcy will be attending and came to a series of questions about my daughter’s home life; what time she goes to bed, her favorite pastimes, whether she has “chores” to perform around the home and if she’s capable of reciting The Iliad while dressing during a hurricane. Despite my predilection for jackassery I answered each question to the best of my ability. I didn’t want to but I did.

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I’ve been wearing this mask to help Darcy fall asleep at night but it’s just not working

Over the past few years I’ve come to find these sorts of questions to be increasingly irritating and perhaps even harmful to my mental well being. They always seem to be phrased in a passive/aggressive manner guaranteed to make the average parent feel like a negligent monster. I know why the school is curious about my daughter’s habits and such but I feel as if my answers will be immediately sent to the local DCS office if I slip up and let loose with the fact that Darcy can’t read at an eighth grade level at the age of four or solve quadratic equations while playing a ukulele and running a five minute mile backwards.

Like most parents of a four year old I’m generally happy when Darcy manages to dress herself, puts her dirty dishes in the sink or has a bowel movement in the toilet. It’s a good day when she manages all three and I’m generally pretty comfortable about the progress she’s made despite but you be the judge.

As far as my daughter’s pastimes are concerned I generally like to have Darcy watch a minimum of eight hours of television a day. I know most pediatricians recommend more but I like to give her some time to practice juggling meat cleavers. It’s with no small amount of pride that I can say that she’s getting pretty good.  The first few weeks were difficult but she stuck with it (Daddy is so proud of you sweeite and I promise that in a few years you won’t even miss those fingertips).

Her chores generally begin at 4:00 if she’s not too hungover. After lighting the stove and heating water for our bath she feeds the chickens and slops the hogs. Once the horses have been properly milked Darcy empties our chamber pots and hauls a five gallon bucket filled to the brim with scalding hot water up three flights of stairs some twenty or so times for my morning bath. A lot of people say a four year old can’t carry forty gallons of water but they’s lyin’.

Bedtimes are admittedly something of a trial. I try to get my daughter to bed by midnight at the latest but it’s not easy after she’s had the recommended daily allowance of Mountain Dew. I always hear about how children this age need to drink more caffeine and I try to get her to consume the recommended four gallons of coffee but it isn’t easy. In order to put her mind at rest I’ve been reading Steven King’s short stories to her at bedtime so that she can feel prepared for the next vampire onslaught or in the event a piece of machinery from the local sawmill runs rampant among our town. It’s not working all that well so far but I intend to persevere.

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“By the time they are six eighty percent of all children should be able to smoke an entire box of cigarettes.” Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A Surgeon General

My hopes for Darcy with the school’s curriculum are relatively simple. Other than the usual things, counting to ten and reeling off the ABC’s I’d like my daughter to know how to smoke before the year is out. The brand of cigarettes doesn’t matter but, from what I’ve read, eight out of ten children in kindergarten can put away a pack of smokes every day and I do not want my daughter to be behind the rest of the class when it comes to this important emotional, intellectual and social gauge.

As far as other “helpful” tidbits about my daughter are concerned the first thing that comes to mind is that she’s a nasty drunk.  Darcy has never been able to hold her liquor but she likes her bourbon, usually poured over a bowl of Ritalin and Cheerios. This diet makes her a bit surly and incontinent which is why I have packed her lunchbox with a hash brownie, a generous supply of diapers and an epi pen in the event she passes out during class.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions although be aware that I haven’t been able to pay my phone bill for several months and expect service to be cut off shortly. It’s probably best that you send me a notarized letter regarding your concerns by messenger. I’ve recently been evicted from my home but you can find me at finer strip clubs just about everywhere. Until the next time I remain

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