The Time I Forgot My Kindergartner At School

by Lindsay Flanagan
Originally Published: 
A kindergartner drawing during her class

I knew it was going to be close getting the kid to school today. We had to drop her Dad off at the airport and get back before 12:35. I dropped her off at 12:32. I was really proud.

I spent the next two hours straightening up the house, puttering around and, quite honestly, just enjoying the silence, punctuated with the soft cooing sounds of Baby. My phone rang at 2:35. I looked at the caller and didn’t recognize the number, so I let it ring. I enjoy letting my phone ring because “Anastasia” by A Silent Film is my ringtone. I danced, sang to Baby, and went back to cleaning.

10 minutes later the phone rang again. It was the same number. I had a sudden thought that it could be Kid’s school, calling me to come and get her because she was sick. She hadn’t felt well yesterday, but she was doing better…


“Hi, is this Lindsay?”


“Hi, this is Terri from Elementary School. I have Kid here. She’s waiting to be picked up. Today is a common day, so school was out at 2:15.”

My heart dropped. “Oh, no! I’m on my way!”

I hung up, got Baby in her car seat, and cursed the cars that were in my way as I frantically drove to the school. I envisioned Kid sitting in the office on a hard chair, her head drooping, swinging her feet back and forth, completely heartbroken that Mama had forgotten her at school.

Reached the school. Slung Baby onto my hip. Walked/jogged into the office, and…

Kid was there, helping the office ladies clean, looking like she was having the time of her life.

After a momentary pause–and wondering why she wasn’t doing any of the things I’d envisioned–I went straight to her and hugged her.

“I am so sorry! I didn’t know! Are you okay?”

“Yep.” She finished wiping down a chair and pointed at the drawings she had done for the office ladies.

“She’s a very good artist,” Terri smiled at me. “Don’t worry. You’re not the only parent who forgot today was common day.”

“So…what is common day? I’m sorry, I’m new to this kid-being-in-school thing.”

“It’s an early out day because of parent-teacher conferences. The next one isn’t until February.”

Mental note: pick up Kid early in February during parent-teacher conferences.

“Oh. Did we get an email about it?”

“Yes, the principal sent an email the other day.”

Right…the one email I didn’t read. Why? Because the subject line was “Parent-Teacher Conferences,” and I had already been told in numerous emails and flyers that kindergarteners didn’t have parent-teacher conferences.


And then I noticed the Scarlet Letter. Well, really, it was a florescent yellow letter.

Pinned to Kid’s shirt.

Yeah, I knew today was October 8th.

Time my kid needs to come to school and be picked up, circled (as if I don’t know she’s a PM kid…they must really not trust me).

Wait…school started an hour earlier today? My successful mission of getting her to school on time this morning was actually a complete failure. #momfail

Yeah, this whole episode is a definite #momfail.

And the pinning to Kid’s shirt? Apparently, it isn’t humiliating enough to not know when your kid needs to be picked up from school and get a phone call – that you first ignored – telling you she’s in the office. Cleaning.

In all honesty, I know why it was pinned to her shirt. If the teachers put notes in her backpack, she’ll never remember to give it to me.

That’s why they send me emails.

At least the circling wasn’t done in red ink.

Related post: 6 Things I Learned as a Kindergarten Room Mom

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