Scorecard: Daddy vs. Back-to-School

0:1 We didn’t start breakfast or moving until 45 minutes before we needed to be out the door…like…actually walking briskly to school, not just posing for pictures. 1 point: B2S

0:2 Ellison orders “toast, cereal, eggs, yogurt” for breakfast. When I place in front of him pampered eggs and golden toast, he cries because there’s no damn cereal. B2S gets one point.

0:3 Dog shits on the floor by the door.

1:3 No fight over what to wear. Ellison chooses one of my two optioned shirts. Score one for daddy.

1:4 Colton melts down when he realizes he has to stay at home.

0:4 I offer an iPad to muzzle him ( I lose a point)

0:5 I scramble, frantically, with 3 minutes to spare (before we will need to officially RUN on the first day of school) to find the fucking vintage chalkboard (weighing 10 pounds) to write our stupid facebook picture first-day stats.

0:6 Colton has been running around…naked. (I’m leaving him to my partner to manage.) He comes to me with poop in his hand. I find his poop on his scooter. B2S: one point


0:7 I start cursing audibly for my children.

1:7 I FIND the damn chalkboard.

2:7 Scribble on chalkboard and get outside to take picture. One for me.

3:7 For the first time in weeks, Ellison doesn’t mind posing for a picture. I score.

4:7 Snap the adorable picture of Ellison holding an umbrella (it’s sprinkling) AND the heavy-ass chalkboard. Another point for the hero of my story.

5:7 Start wogging to school. For fear of being late, hoist Ellison onto my shoulders. His umbrella repeatedly pokes me in the forehead. Still, I get a point.

4:8 It’s 99% humidity. I sweat profusely. I lose a point.

5:8 Ellison back on ground. We’ve gained time. Dozens of other parents are hurrying along with us. Daddy: 1 point

5:10 Ellison’s Hungry Little Caterpillar umbrella snags a locked bike’s handle bar, completely inverts and loses 2/3 of its little metal attachments, immediately becoming a violent weapon capable of poking out six toddler eyes at once. Back2school: 2 points

4:11 Rather than immediately helping rectify aforementioned umbrella incident, I whip out my phone to document hilarious incident, but he yanks already busted umbrella, dislodges it from bike, rips the plastic ‘brelly, pokes a passerby in the chest, and screams for help from daddy who’s laughing and trying to take pictures. I lose one point, B2S gains 1.


6:11 On-time arrival (thanks, in part, logjam arrival of hundreds of children and parents with umbrellas). 2 points, me.

7:11 Second parent/child to stand in line for admittance to classroom.

8:11 Tear-free arrival (or for the entire morning) of back-to-school.

6:12 Daddy realizes he completely forgot the homework assignment: to bring a change of clothes to stash in Ellison’s cubby. Daddy fails. I lose 2 points, back-to-school gains 1 point.

7:12 Daddy pride that Ellison sits at crayon activity table and immediately writes his name in crayon.

5:12 Daddy sees that every letter is beautifully written…backwards. Daddy loses two points for laughing and mentally preparing himself (already) for thousands of dollars of dyslexia tutoring. Daddy loses two points for selling his 3-year-old short.

4:12 While watching Ellison in first day of school and snapping pictures, inadvertently deletes aforementioned “1st day” facebook bragging pic. Daddy loses a point.

3:11 One measly hour of school (trying to transition these wusses into school) goes without incident, nay: IS COMPLETELY ANTI-CLIMACTIC. B2S loses a point.

Final score for back-to-school day, Daddy: 3, B2S hype: 11.

Whatever. My kid was fed and clothed and didn’t cry.

Addendum: Daddy finds stupid vintage chalkboard, again, pulls it out for Colton’s FIRST EVER day of school, plus Ellison’s first FULL day. But Colton has to share the glory of his first day. Points gained for “organization” balanced by points lost for short-changing second-born son.



  1. This column reminds me that the best moments raising children are almost never the
    Hallmark moments such as “1st Day of School” or Christmas morning….they’re always the little moments that sneak up on you unannounced and, if you are paying attention, they are beyond priceless. The more the hype, the less the authenticity….(which is what this
    column was all about). Very funny.


  2. I think you shorted yourself four points.
    0:2: You get 2 points for the eggs and toast, and for not giving in to all four things.
    0:7 You get a point for building their vocabulary.
    4:11 You get a point for laughing.


    • I’ll refer back to you for checking my score card from now on, Christine! Miss you. And your 7/11 time signature piano concertos. Hi to the fam!


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