Getting to Organized

Friday is the school carnival at my daughter’s school.  When my son was little he never attended a public elementary school and therefore never had a school carnival to attend.  Since I have fond memories of my childhood school carnivals I couldn’t wait to go when Isabelle started Kindergarten.  She loves it as much as I did and we now go every year.  She is in 3rd grade which means this will be the 4th school carnival we have attended.  Therefore the pre-ticket buying process should not be a surprise, I know how it works, we have done this before.  They send home a form for you to buy tickets, you send in a check and then the night of the carnival they put a little string backpack in your kids locker with their tickets in it and you pick it up when you come for the carnival.  Brilliant, nobody forgets their tickets and we all pre-pay to get the free string backpack with the school name on it.  (As if we need another string backpack).

I have the carnival on my calendar, I know it is coming, it is not a surprise.  I got the flyer asking for donations earlier in the year and I did see the flyer come home recently asking for volunteers. Since I started a new job a couple months ago I am in a season of giving myself permission not to sign up for things even if they really, really act like they are desperate for help. While I saw the volunteer sign up form, I did not see the sign up form to purchase the tickets.

I did see the email from the teacher today telling us that the carnival committee had dropped off all the string backpacks to her and she would be putting them in our children’s lockers after school on Friday.  One of those backpacks does not have Isabelle’s name on it. This leads me to have to send an email to the committee person letting them know that I am an incompetent parent who doesn’t know how to read the flyers that come home from school in my child’s backpack and therefore did not buy a ticket yet for the carnival but really want to and how can I buy tickets now?  Sadly, experience tells me that she will inform me it is not a big deal and I can buy tickets at the door on Friday night.  I say experience because this happened last year too.

When I had this realization I started composing an email to the committee person which went something like this:

“Hi, I am Isabelle’s mom.  I saw that backpacks have been brought to class today and totally missed signing up early for the tickets.  I went back to work a couple years ago and somehow haven’t gotten myself re-organized since then! ha ha.  –OK it has actually been almost 3 years but somehow a couple doesn’t sound quite as pathetic.  I try to remind myself that I was a homemaker for 17 years and it took me a few years to get organized when I started out there too.  Right now my goal is to get re-organized by the time my daughter starts middle school! ha ha.  Anyway, can still get a ticket and backpack for the carnival before Friday?”

And then I realized rather than being funny it just sounded like a sad cry for help and decided to buy a ticket at the door.

I don’t know about you but when stuff like this happens I tend to be harder on myself than is probably necessary.  The truth is buying a ticket at the door isn’t a big deal, and they will probably be giving away the extra backpacks they ordered with the tickets anyway.  But when something like this happens it reminds me of all the areas of my life I am not organized.  It reminds me how often I don’t go through Isabelle’s backpack after school but simply say, “go do your homework” while falling into a post work coma on the couch and hoping she does it and is learning something.  It reminds me that I am almost out of clean underwear and haven’t dusted in a month.  A couple weeks ago a friend called to see if Isabelle wanted to go to horse camp this summer with her daughter.  Although I hadn’t signed up for anything yet I had looked into a few camps and was starting to make summer plans so I felt like I was ahead of the game.  However, when we went to sign up we discovered there was already a waiting list for every camp this summer!  In FEBRUARY!  And once again I am behind the mommy ball.

The good news is that I had a recent triumph over menu organization thanks to my more experienced homemaker to working mom friend Jen over at The Pile I’m Standing In.  And nothing has been growing in my toilets or sinks in quite a long time.  And Isabelle eats breakfast and brushes her teeth practically every single day.   Plus, turns out, not everything is as popular as horse camp so I did get Isabelle signed up for a few camps.  And got the early bird discount on a couple.  Yeah me.

So while I still miss sign up sheets that come home from school and don’t know the names of most of the kids in Isabelle’s class, and deviating from our daily schedule to have coffee with a friend is totally overwhelming, it is slowly coming together.

Getting there one day at a time.