Daycare knows all of my secrets by now.

 

They’ve seen me in my fancy work clothes and my why-did-she-leave-the-house-like-that clothes.

 

They know when we’ve woken up on time because we actually made it to drop-off before morning snack, or when we slept in or just couldn’t figure out how to make it out of the house before all of the other parents have surely been at work for an hour and a half already.

 

They probably figure out I when I miss laundry day when I send Lenny to school in the same (visibly dirty, but maybe not filthy?) pants as the day before.

 

Daycare probably has me pegged. I am the Hot Mess Mom.

 

Did anyone see this video that circulated Facebook awhile back?

Three moms, all with different personalities, but all waiting at school pick-up on time and aware of their and their kids’ schedules?  Then the Hot Mess Mom runs up late, disheveled, not remembering if it was her turn to bring the bagels. I am always forgetting the bagels.

 

I’ve seen the locker for Lenny’s daycare buddy, whose parents I’m convinced always have their lives together. In the locker I saw one Tupperware of neatly folded pants squarely stacked on top of a Tupperware of neatly folded shirts, to be used as back-up clothes if their child gets dirty or a trip to the potty goes awry. I know what’s-what because the bins are carefully labeled as are the clothes inside. And I know that because these are the same shirts and pants that Lenny has had to borrow in an emergency because I forget to restock the one back up outfit we keep in his locker. Now that Lenny is also potty training, we’ve since brought in a whole wardrobe of backups, but they are haphazardly tossed in a pile towards the back of the locker, fingers crossed that there’s enough of a back-up supply and that his teachers can find what they need. This Hot Mess Mom did not provide any clear method of organization for her kid’s clothes.

 

A week ago, we were instructed to bring in a family photo for use in an art project. The first reminder accidentally got thrown in the trash, and subsequently forgotten. The second reminder, which arrived home last night, I found this morning in the kitchen sink, for some reason. Needless to say, Hot Mess Mom had had not printed—yet alone thought about—the family photo that was due at daycare in an hour.  I rushed around this morning, first dropping Lenny off to daycare, then to the print counter at the pharmacy, and then back to daycare to drop off the photo, all the while thanking my lucky stars for the invention of one-hour photo.

 

I happened to see some of the other photos that the other parents provided. In stark contrast to my hurriedly requisitioned 5×7 candid iPhone snapshot, one parent had brought in a glossy 8×10 family portrait expertly captured by a professional photographer. It’s a beautiful photo; they’re a beautiful family. Maybe they have it all together. The type of family who coordinates outfits and schedules for family photo shoots. The type of family who remembers to pack their kid’s naptime bedding on a Monday morning. The type who remembers to make their daycare payment on time each week. Maybe that mom isn’t a Hot Mess Mom. And yet, as I look at our own family photo, I see a moment captured in time that is purely us. Not poised, not perfect, but…us. A happy little boy, a loving husband, a growing baby bump, and a Hot Mess Mom who loves them all fiercely.

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