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Today is Mazzy’s first day of kindergarten. In olden days (that’s pre-facebook and instagram), the stress of making sure your child was clean, fed and deposited on the steps of the school on time was more than enough.

But now, our news feeds tell us differently.

Not only should we make our child look presentable, we must be able to capture our perfectly groomed offspring on camera.

Smiling.

While holding a sign.

What? You forgot to make a sign??? HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHAT YEAR IT IS OR WHERE YOUR CHILD IS GOING????!!!!!

We had an hour of school orientation yesterday and Mazzy’s first full day today, so I am still unclear which day I am supposed to document as her official “first day of kindergarten”. So I guess, that’s my first tip. If you have options, go with the first day, so if you screw it up royally, you can try again.

Second tip, buy a portable chalkboard since that appears to be the preferred signage material. Don’t assume they sell those at your local K-Mart, because I can tell you that they do not.ย I had to buy one of those erasable white boards instead. I hope this small detail doesn’t get me kicked out of the “Good Mom Club”.

Third tip, pick out an outfit ahead of time with no input from your child whatsoever. You are the parent. Your kid should be conditioned to wear whatever you tell them. (Says the mother who let Mazzy pick out her own clothes, including shoes that totally clashed with her shirt.)

Also, make sure your child tries on the outfit prior to the big day. You shouldn’t be ripping off tags the morning of, only to discover her chosen skirt is ten times too big and needs a safety pin in the back. I speak from experience. The experience of a mother who poked a hole in her index finger and still watched her daughter walk out the door wearing a skirt so long it would have been better suited to a married Orthodox Jewish woman.

My final tip is to TAKE A SHIT TON OF PHOTOS. This ensures at least one of them comes out okay. It goes something like this…

“Okay, Mazzy, hold this sign and smile!”

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“Smile at camera, please!”

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“You know what? This is a terrible background. We should really take this outside.”

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“Lower the sign!”

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“I said LOWER the sign!”

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“That’s higher! LOWER THE SIGN!!!!”

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“Okay, now look at me!”

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“AT ME!!!”

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“Remember to keep the sign down!!!”

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“And smile!”

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“Keep the sign straight!”

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“Okay. Now lower it!”

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“And smile!!!!!”

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“TOO MUCH SMILING!!!!”

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“Just forget about smiling altogether!”

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“Perfect.”

Now, you are ready for Instagram.

I mean, school.

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UPDATE: I just dropped Mazzy off. On the way out, I passed three women in yoga pants walking their newborn babies in matching strollers. It felt like the last scene of St. Elmo’s Fire when the gang looks into their old bar, sees the new college kids hanging out at their table and realizes the torch has been passed.

I’ve still got a lump in my throat. For real.

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