I set out to read 101 children’s classics to my kids. I figured I had another fourteen years, and I could use picture books if I was falling behind. This goal seemed noble, wonderful, and quite reasonable.
But then I had to register my children for school. There were a gazillion forms and many documents I had to produce. We needed birth certificates to prove my children were born, vaccination records to show they didn’t have polio, and utility bills to show we weren’t trying to sneak in from Spanish Fork.
I admit that I’m not highly proficient when it comes to filling out forms and producing documents. The secretary always returns the form to me, saying I forgot to filling in this part or sign here or that my handwriting is completely illegible. Which is totally not true. I taught myself calligraphy in the eighth grade.
On Thursday, I tried to reason with a school secretary.
“Can’t we still at least let Eli choose his classes today?” His back to school night was that night, and it would be nice if he could meet his teachers.
“I cannot let him meet with the counselor until we have all of his vaccination records.”
“I just had his vaccination records yesterday. But I have them in this big folder with birth certificates and forms and utility bills and I have five kids and—“
“We can’t do anything until we have his vaccination records.”
“But I’m taking another son to the doctor tomorrow. I could get the vaccination records then. You would have it before school starts. Can’t he select his classes today?”
“I am sorry but we cannot process anything until we have those vaccination records.”
And then I started bawling. I told her about how tough our move was, but the secretary didn’t soften one bit, and that’s when I started to wonder if I was talking to a robot.
Whatever the case, this woman was one formidable gatekeeper.
As you can imagine, I’m not a huge fan of gatekeepers. I’m the kind of girl that looks for a place to climb the fence. Naturally, I don’t get along with librarians, secretaries, German airline ticketing agents, or anyone that asks for a form of I.D.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I find all of this stuff so draining. Am I the only one who finds it so? Trying to get our son registered for cross country was another ordeal. They required us to register online where they asked me what I had done on September 3, 1978.
OK, so it wasn’t that bad, but close. It was one of those deals when you get stuck on a page, and it won’t let you advance, and you have no idea why, and there is no one to call for help. Fortunately for me, I could call the captain, and he got it straightened out. He also has the scanning documents skill set, which this registration also required.
However, on Friday, the day before his race, we got an e-mail saying that because the scanned transcript wasn’t official, the application had not been approved.
“What?” captain asked. “The registration specifically said that the transcript did not have to be official.”
“Welcome to my world,” I said. So Ben did not get to run in his first meet, the meet that might have helped him get to know a few kids before school started.
Sorry about the whining. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I sometimes get frustrated because I have this vision of what I want to do, but I get so inundated with demands, requirements, deadlines that the things that I want to do always get put on the back burner.
I was so tired last night, that I asked Eli at 9:00 p.m. if he could put Deborah away. And no, I hadn’t read to her.
The kids busted up. It wasn’t that funny. Still, on the bright side, there was one wonderful secretary who got Eli’s vaccination records faxed over from the doctor’s office. They were faxed before I hung up the phone with her, and next time I see her, I am going to HUG her. We did finish Charlotte’s Web this week. We started Heidi, although it reads like a grown up book to me. I read many chapters of The Whipping Boy to one pouting son and started A Wrinkle in Time.
Maybe I’m doing better than I think.
What things drain you?