Dear Snarky – What Should I do About a Mother Who Cheated to Get Her Kid a Citizenship Award?

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

I know it’s summer but I’m still angry about something that happened the last day of school. My son is in elementary school and every year they have an awards ceremony. This year the same girl got almost every award including a citizenship award that you have to be nominated for by a school employee and a student.

Well come to find out the school nurse and the kid that did the nominating BOTH have family members that work for the winning kid’s dad. The mother of the student that wrote the nomination letter even said she was approached by the kid’s mom and was more told than asked to have her child write a nomination letter for this girl. She, of course, made her kid do it because she didn’t want any work repercussions.

I want to write my own letter to the school and point out the hypocrisy of their awards ceremony that they let a mom micromanage so her kid wins everything. My husband says to just let it go. What do you think? Shouldn’t I take a stand?

Signed, Still Angry

Dear Angry,

I’ve got to agree with your husband on this one. Move on sister and enjoy what’s left of your summer. This battle is not worth your time. The hyper controlling, manipulating, so her kid gets everything mom is a dime a dozen these days. You might as well be playing Whac-A-Mole. Once you take down one, another pops up.

In fact, by the time your kid gets into high school any award that is not validated by a third-party and is in no way connected to the school are the only ones anyone pays any attention to. For example, a National Merit Award based on scores for a test taken outside the school and tabulated by strangers in state far, far, away – that’s one you’ll be impressed by.

Yes, it’s sad this is the way things are now, but until parents quit placing their own self-worth and validation on the back of their kids I fear nothing is going to change anytime soon.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky “21st Century Advice With An Attitude” please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or leave me a private message on my Snarky Facebook page.

 

5 Awards You Wish Your School Gave 2013 Edition

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Are you still recovering from the 3rd grade awards program at your kid’s school? Did the certificate for child “most likely to burst into a glitter ball” (real award – not making this up) cause you to slide right off your sticky folding chair and slither to the linoleum cafeteria floor in a weary heap? Well, buck up sister because I’ve got one more list of awards for you and these you just might like.

Selfie Mom This award is for all the moms who are on Instagram and see it as another way for them to continue their death grip on the fountain of youth by appearing cool. Oh sure, get all mad at me and insist you’re only on Instagram to stalk your child. I’ll totally buy that theory if you have never, not once, posted a “selfie” while making a “duck face.” Any uterus housing life form over the age of 18 that litters the digital atmosphere with pictures of herself pursing her lips in a duckish pout should be sentenced to 24 hours of sitting in the bleachers in a unairconditioned middle school gym listening to a continual loop of the sixth grade band playing selected songs from The Lord of the Rings. Remember dear mothers parenting is all about being selfless.

Room Mom from Hell Before I get into the specifics of this award let me share with you some advice that I hope you embrace and hold dear your child’s entire educational career. At the beginning of every new school year set yourself up with a Gmail account that is used solely for the purpose of communicating with your kid’s Room Mom. This keeps your personal email account free from being contaminated by the wants, needs, pleas and threats from the Room Mom. Now, some years you may have a delightful room mom experience, but there’s always the chance you could get the Room Mom from Hell. This mom uses email like a titanium battering ram ceaselessly sending out requests for money and “decent” volunteers. Thanks to Emily from Plano, Texas for sharing this email missive from her son’s second grade Room Mom.

“Parents when I sent out the request for volunteers for the last day of school party I meant I needed decent volunteers. Not you work moms who show up late, talk on your phone and then say you can’t help with anything because your White House Black Market suit might get dirty and you have a meeting you have to rush back to. Also, and I can’t believe I have to still say this in e-v-e-r-y email, but NO siblings are allowed. If you can’t afford a babysitter then DO NOT come. A lot of you have asked about the teacher’s gift and I’m standing by my decision that every family should contribute $50. WTH is all I have to say to those of you that have complained about the cost. Cut back on your Starbucks for a week and then get back to me. If you don’t want to contribute that’s fine but don’t expect your kid’s name to be on the card.”

All I can say is “Charmed, I’m sure.” I will add she did address some points that a lot of us may have once or twice muttered under our breath but good manners and kindness would prevent us from ever sending out our sentiments in a group email. Let’s all hope this Class Mom from Hell decides to not seek a second term and instead directs her hostilities towards another target like, say, the IRS.

Dadattitude This award is for the dad that one day decides he’s going to grace a PTA meeting with this presence and show the women folk how it’s done. He arrives at the meeting eager to share his business brilliance and makes lengthy comments about every item on the agenda. He glories in telling everyone assembled how “they’ve been doing it wrong” and goes into a 15 minute lecture on best business practices including non-profit OMB Circular A-133 Audits. To this dad I say please, for the love of God, sit down and shut up. Before you storm into a PTA meeting to inundate us with the wonder that is you I suggest you do three things. 1) Log some actual hands on volunteer time at the school. I recommend a tour of duty at the Fall Carnival and the Book Fair. 2) Contribute something besides your mouth to the PTA coffers and by that I mean would it kill your family to buy a roll of gift wrap? 3) Until I see you have mastered the school drop off lane and are not continually and flagrantly using your white Toyota Highlander to violate every safety and being a courteous human being rule on the books I will be most hesitant to listen to a word you say.

TMI Award We have become a nation of eager oversharers. Is it Facebooks fault? Are all conversations geared towards status updates? Or maybe we should blame Twitter. Are we now always trying to impress someone in short bursts of brag? Whatever the culprit I urge all of us to keep a little mystery in our lives especially the board members of the PTA at a suburban Maryland elementary school. These, I’m sure, dedicated volunteers, enjoyed using the school’s newsletter to share every aspect of their family life. Let’s take a lookie loo at Jennifer’s “Meet the PTA Executive Board” spotlight.

“Serving on  this board with so many talented women has truly been one of the highlights of my mom life. Although nothing could compare with giving birth to my twins Avery and Addison this past year. Who knew you could walk around with your cervix dilated to 5 centimeters and still run the Artworks Auction! Sorry for all of you who heard me yell, “OMG I think my mucus plug dropped out!” I’m so glad when my water broke it was in the gym and not the cafeteria. The kids all still tease me about peeing my pants.  LOL!”

To Jennifer and all the oversharers out there may I suggest that less is more.

Spanx Mom Every year I give an award for the worst mom outfit of the school year. This year it goes to the Spanx Mom. You can find this woman encased in Spanx at every school event. For the class parties it was the Slim Cognito Shape Suit. The school carnival found her in the Shaping Compression Knee Pant and for Field Day it’s the Body Booster Short. She looked liked a can of Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls right after you hit the tube in it’s sweet spot and all the doughy goodness does a peek a boo. To this mom I say be free. Let it all hang out and flap in the wind. No school function is worthy of Spanx. Give yourself the gift of a spandex/lycra/elastane/nylon free day. Rejoice in not caring that your booty looks lifted and your back fat smoothed. No fourth grade class cares that your secondary layer of stomach flab has, due to the magic of science and miracle fibers, been compressed into your back bone. You are strong. You are invincible. You are mom and you are Spanx free!

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new Spring/Summer  Snarky line of clothing and accessories. Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.) Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Awards You Wish Your School Gave Nominations

Iaward-symbol-mdt’s that time of year again when I’m in hot pursuit of Awards You Wish You School Gave nominations for the 2012-2013 school year. Share them here in the comment section, on Facebook or email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. Here’s a look at last year’s winners.

Awards You Wish Your School Gave 2011-2012

No school year is complete without the end of year award ceremonies. Chances are very soon you’ll find yourself with your butt affixed to sticky bleachers or a rusty folding chair clapping for a child who has just received accolades for “Best Cafeteria Manners on Sub Sandwich Friday.”  As you clap your silently praying, with a zealousness you haven’t displayed since last year’s mammogram when the radiologist tech told you she “saw something” and needed to take another x-ray,” that the lunch lady, who has the honor of handing out the award, will not see fit to take the microphone and give a speech about the importance of cafeteria courtesy. Not that you don’t appreciate the lunch lady, you truly do. It’s just that the award ceremony has hit the 126 minute mark and counting and both your butt checks went numb about 114 minutes into the ceremony. Because I believe our current educational and parenting philosophies are centered on the foundation of “there’s no such thing as too much praise.” I have started my very own series of awards. So without any further ado I present to you the Snarky in the Suburbs Awards You Wish Your School Gave.

The Pulling A Putin Award goes to the PTA, PTO, PT Whatever, President that can’t seem to deal with the jarring reality of not being Commander-in-Chief of her child’s school Parent/Teacher group. This person will go so far as to rewrite bylaws to ensure she stays in her position of power. If all else fails and she’s forced to surrender her sacred notebook she somehow manages to ensure that her BFF is the new President for the next year therefore establishing a puppet government where she’s still pulling all the strings. You can bet your cookie dough fundraiser that as soon as her besty’s term is up this gal is tan, rested and ready for another term as President. This award also comes with a doctor referral to seek immediate help at the nearest mental health facility. Anyone who would want to serve consecutive terms as a PTA president qualifies for a competency hearing.

Potty Mouth Parking Pin Head Award is presented to an elementary school secretary in East Texas who not only breaks the law every morning by not yielding the right of way. She also consistently exceeds the speed limit and insists on crossing 2 drop off lanes to get to, where else, but the closest parking space to the front entrance to the school. While she is doing this she ups the ante by flipping the bird to parents who roll down their window and shout, “slow down” or “be careful.” The person who nominated this paragon of stupidity enclosed an email sent to the school principal about the “problem.” The principal’s response expressed no concern for student safety, but instead chose to focus on that the email had “hurt his secretary’s feelings.” For that the principal receives a Commendation for Stupidity in the form of a pink slip.

Disappearing Volunteer Award is conferred on all those moms who sign up for everything and do nothing.  You can see them on back-to-school night scribbling their name on every volunteer sheet. For some reason these moms gravitate to volunteering for the school fundraisers. They like to boast about their connections, name-dropping like a fool, sharing their over-the-top ideas, and flexing their fundraising prowess like a stripper working a greased pole at 1-buck Beer Night. What usually happens is these moms after getting past the initial meet and greet meeting stage and entering the “you have to produce some results” arena become incognito. Blaming work or family they ride off into the sunset leaving some committee member to clean up their mess.

The Passive Aggressive Parent Award is bestowed on those special few who fancy themselves super sweeties. They see themselves as just outrageously nice people who really, really care about the school and therefore believe that entitles them to send out the most vicious emails in the history of self-expression. Apparently they think it’s okay to write anything they want as long as one paragraph ends with the word Hugs with a smiley face icon or a “I don’t mean to upset you, but I just knew you would want to know” even better is the  “I didn’t mean to throw you under the bus, but…” To all these parents your P.A.P. award is engraved with the following: “For Being a Huge Ass Hat – We Knew You Would Want to Know.”

Possip gets the Annoying Word Award. Legions of parents are now urging us to possip (spreading positive talk) instead of gossip. The problem is that people are confused about what defines gossip.  Gossip is not a group of people sharing factual data about what went down in a PTA meeting that puts you in a bad light. That’s called the truth. Deal with it. You can’t possip your way out of being an idiot.

The Take a Chill Pill Award is granted to on all those anal retentive mothers who see a class party as a way to stake their claim on maternal greatness. Honorable mentioned to the mom who 10 minutes before a party handed out 2 pages of single spaced instructions to the other mother volunteers on how to run a tissue paper snowball relay race (Like it’s that hard it requires two pages of instructions?!) Second runner award goes to the mother who chooses to have the class party catered and then presented each mother with their “share of the bill.”

Parent Who Does Their Child’s School Project Award goes to the dad in my section of the burbs who built his child a life-size mastodon tusk.  The children (not the parents) were supposed to construct small models of a tusk with either clay, Styrofoam or paper mache. This dad went all and built a 14-foot tusk. You should have seen him at school drop off. The tusk was so big it was hanging out of the bed of a pick up truck. When the dad parked and grabbed that faux pre-historic projectile he couldn’t have been more proud. You would have thought he was hoisting his penis instead of paper mache. He stopped traffic in the drop off zone and was all smiles bringing that big boy into the building.  Sadly, the dad must have experienced a little shrinkage when the teacher told him; “There was no room in her class for a tusk of such majestic proportions.” Oops.

Worst Mom Outfit of the 2011-12 School Year  I’ll give you a hint. What can multi-task as a Swiffer 360 duster, nightgown, pool cover up and is still considered, by some, as a fashion statement? If you guessed maxi dress then congratulations you are a winner. Now let’s take that maxi dress and pair it with some Ugg sheep shearling lined flip-flops, add in an immense bejeweled cross that, in effect, acts a decorative garland for your cleavage then you have a mom outfit that says, “help me.”

Let’s begin our fashion autopsy with the maxi dress. At first look, I’m all, “Hell yeah, the maxi dress rocks.”  The cankle camo alone it provides has me ready to slip one on, but, the thing that stops me is the voluminous nature of the dress that would render me looking like I’m an unfurled sail on the S.S. Fatty. Another problem, the neckline. The maxi dress says Stripper on the top and Little House on the Prairie on the bottom. The dress, in an effort, to make up for Laura Ingalls Wilder of it all, features acute boobage.  I have a rule that if a top is in a nipple adjacent or wardrobe malfunction zone than I’ll pass. I’m pretty sure, no make that I’m positive, no one wants to see my sun freckled (soon on their way to age spot status) shiny stretch marked upper to middle boob territory.  To draw even more attention to the Mammary Mountain Range some moms feel inclined to nestle a cross that is bigger than their left breast into their cleavage zone. The cross and it’s chain drape decoratively across the chest as if their boobs are now a fireplace mantel being gussied up for Christmas. I know the cross for centuries has been displayed in some kind of decorative manner, but I really don’t think the religious symbol for Christianity was ever intended to be used as an ornamental showcase for a woman’s twin peaks.

Now let’s add in the Ugg Flip Flops to this mess. Right off, I’ve got to point out that flip-flops with a maxi dress constitutes a tripping hazard. More often than not that maxi dress is hitting the floor and I’ve seen more than one case of mom almost eating pavement due to the dress getting trapped in the back of the flip-flop zone.  As for the Uggs they’re making their second appearance. Last year the Ugg boots made it to the worst dressed list and this year it’s the flip-flops because nothing says I’m a dumb ass like paying upwards of $100 for a pair of flip-flops that are “lined” in fur.  Just what your feet crave in the 96 degree summer heat as they walk across a black asphalt parking lot that could fry an egg – a blanket.

The Worst Hot Mom Accessory this year is the mini bar narrowly beating out the Do It Yourself Vajazzle Kit. Shout outs to the Cali mom who travels on field trips with her own bedazzled portable min bar to “deal with the stress on the bus.” Classy.

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For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new Spring/Summer  Snarky line of clothing and accessories. Hurry because special pricing on all items ends soon.

Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.  Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.