A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The Sins of the Mother

Oh Lordy. The results are in for the first Principal Pal awards of the school year. And I just have one question: who do I have to bang to get a Principal Pal magnet on my car?


I’ll do it. Just point me in the direction of the person or committee or farm animal who decides this thing and it shall be done. And I’m pretty sure my husband will support me on this, if for no other reason than to get me to stop whining about it.

Honestly people. I swear, I may be driving the only mini van in my neighborhood without one or more of these hideous magnets plastered to the side of it celebrating my children’s excellence. Oh, the shame! Clearly, my kids and I totally suck.

For real, yo. Neither of my school age kids have ever, EVER gotten one of these awards and it is totally burning my biscuits.

My neighbor Tammy’s little boy wins one of these God damned awards EVERY FREAKING YEAR like clockwork. And you know what she says every month when I call her in tears to say that once more, I am destined to wander this lonely planet without a Principal Pal magnet on my car? She says, “Oh honey… you want one of mine?” I swear. And she is my best friend. Imagine what people who don’t like me say. Besides, if I just wanted the magnet, I would have stolen one (or four) of Tammy’s by now. That’s not the point.

The point is… I want what every parent wants. I want my kids to be excellent at something and for them (and me) to be recognized in a very public way for it. Is that so wrong? Oh, a full night of sleep and the ability to poop in private every once in a while wouldn’t hurt either, but let’s focus here.

Look, I totally get why my first grade wild child “Klepto” hasn’t ever received this award. She is a force of nature and not easily tolerated by those with weaker constitutions. In fact, for the second year in a row, Klepto has been assigned to a teacher who has recently been named “Teacher of the Year” at our school. This is no coincidence, people. But poor Klepto, she has no idea. She thinks she is just the most randomly lucky kid ever. Kinda cute, actually. Shhh…. nobody tell her, OK?

But Nature Boy? My 4th grade, first born? The kid is a saint. Seriously. Ask anyone. He is truly the kindest, gentlest, most empathetic person I’ve ever known, regardless of age. I have no earthly idea how this child could possibly attend this school since first grade and have never won this award even once. I’ll do the math for you. Three full years, with approximately 10 months of school in a year, plus one month so far this year… that is 31 times he has NOT been chosen. THIRTY ONE TIMES. The poor kid! But really, HIS POOR MAMA!!!

Look at it this way, if every class he’s been in so far had about 20 kids, and there are 10 awards given per class each year, that means he has had a 50% chance to win it sometime each year. Three years running now.

But no. Never.


Here’s a snippet of the email his teacher sent out today:

Congratulations to Amanda B. for her selection this year’s first Principal Pal! With such a great group, narrowing the choice down to one classmate is not easy! However, due to Ms. Amanda’s Allysonconsistent hard work, good citizenship, and generous nature, her peers were very happy to recognize her accomplishments. We’re proud of you, Amanda!

Damn. It. To. Hell.

I’m not proud of you Amanda. I’m jealous and bitter. I mean, what does Amanda have that my Nature Boy doesn’t?

Does Amanda’s mom volunteer more than I do? Probably.

Does Amanda’s family donate more money to the PTA? Most definitely.

Last week when the PTA newsletter contained an obscene typo indicating that children and parents should “Service one another,” (it was supposed to say “Serve one another”… BIG difference!) did Amanda’s mom slam the PTA and notify everyone in the free world about it with her Tweets and Facebook updates like I did? No. Probably not.

Oh dear. It’s my fault, isn’t it. I’m the reason my children suffer.

Have mercy on them, PTA. Judge not the child for the sins of the mother.

So, instead of continuing to torture myself, it looks like the best course of action for me is to just accept the things I cannot change. Gee, that sounds familiar… where have I heard that before?

And speaking of higher powers… you know who else never got chosen for Principal Pal?


So at least there’s that. Although, in his case, it probably wasn’t because of his crazy mother.

In closing, please pray for my children; they clearly need all the help they can get. And if you happen to have an “in” with the principal of their school, do me a favor and put in a good word for Nature Boy before I get arrested for petty burglary or lewd conduct… again.

Thank you kindly!


  1. Sally

    I feel your anger, my daughter, when in Kindergarten, wanted more than anything to be student of the month, but a little bitch Lindsy Labrador got it 3 times, to this day, (my daughter is almost 21 and a mother) we still can’t bring ourselves to say Lindsey’s name with out rolling our eyes. By the way, my daughter did finally get it, at the end of the school year. And Lindsey ended up getting pregnant in high school, so we celebrated!!

    • Iris

      Thanks Sally! Henceforth, I vow to always roll my eyes at the name Lindsey in your honor! Little bitch. Love it!

  2. Not Drowning Mother

    I may be struck down for this but let’s look at the facts about Mary, mother of Jesus.

    Everyone at Jesus’ school would have thought she was crazy. She said she had sex with God and she gave birth in a stable. Of course, when the Bible finally came out in hardcover and corroborated her story, everyone changed their opinion of her and they regretted never giving Jesus his PP magnet.

    Your time will come, Iris. Your time will come.

    • Iris

      I. LOVE. YOU.

  3. KC

    Y’know – the whole title “principal pal” is just a little bit icky isn’t it? What exactly are they implying? It’s kind of inappropriate for a grown man or woman to have little kids as “pals” don’t you think? Is this some kind of Michael Jackson Award?!? I think you should direct your efforts towards lobbying for a name change for the award – something like “Most Empathic Student” award or “Kindest Student” award. Alternatively, just start lobbying for a competitive award aimed directly at parents such as “Best Rude Candy Maker” award….The opportunities are endless.

    • Iris

      You are brilliant KC. It IS a little bit icky! I am clearly vying for the wrong kind of award here. Or as they say in certain circles… going to the hardware store for bread. What a waste of my time, talent, and treasure. Thanks hon!

  4. MM

    Stupid awards.

    Stupid Amanda. I’m imagining the kid in Addams Family Values ( Harmony from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the popular blonde from the wealthy family who delights in excluding the “different” kids at camp. Wednesday Addams was always the coolest, smartest kid anyway.

    But seriously – Principal Pal? Isn’t that like a nark or police informer?

    Funny funny funny. Thanks, Morticia – I mean Iris.

  5. blueheron

    well this is exactly why these awards are counter-productive. what is being rewarded here is compliance which looks a lot like complacency to me. Search around the NYTimes for last week or so on a new theory of education that promotes imaginative play as a way to teach children the “executive function” — ultimately makes them responsible for their own behavior, and in the long run makes them more responsible, self-motivated adults.
    These gold stars, extra prizes, being p’s pal etc mean that one has been sitting in one’s seat, raising one’s hand, SUCKING UP. if you think about it long enough you know how Nazi Germany got to the point of following all orders from above.

  6. Justin C.

    I am only in middle school but I know what you mean in every post you make and it makes me laugh, so thank you for haveing the best blog I know. My mom could probably relate to lots of this stuff. =)

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hi Justin. Thank you for the sweet comment. I appreciate you taking the time to say hello.

      This blog is intended for mature audiences (ages 18 and up). Maybe you should share it with your Mom and see if she approves of you being here. In the meantime, please be careful online! There are lots of creepy people out there with bad information and you definitely cannot believe everything you read!

      Mrs. Beard

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