The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: Principal Pal

The Parable of the Principal Pal Predicament – Part 2

When we last left our heroine…

Wait. I’m sorry, I just despise that word. I can never remember if it’s heroin or heroine and then I get nervous that people will think I’m leaving my smack lying around all willy nilly.

(Quick Google check and heroine-with-an-e it is. I know—I’ll create a pneumonic device to help me remember: the e is for extra excellent feeeeemale hero. Got it. Oh wait, is it pneumonic or mnemonic? Shit. And you wonder why I don’t write more often.)

Digression ending in 3-2-1…

Heroine. With an e. That would be me. Hiya!

If you’re just joining us, Continue reading

The thing about siblings…

This is the first year all three of my kids have extra-curricular activities and life seems to have gotten a bit more unmanageable all of a sudden.

Bucket Head taking Taekwondo

Tell you what though, as much as I sometimes envy my friends with only one child, there really is something special about the life-lessons and social skills kids with siblings have to endure get to experience.

Recently we had a very interesting situation dropped in our laps. Continue reading

It’s about frickin’ time.

Finally, after 4 years and 5 months of waiting, lamenting, begging, hand wringing, and bribing… my first-born child, Nature Boy, has won a Principal Pal Award.

Perhaps you’ve heard me mention this highly coveted Elementary School prize a time or two?

Well a few days ago, he bounded off the school bus, ran to me as fast as his little 11 year old legs could carry him, and shouted “Guess what?… I GOT THE PRINCIPAL PAL AWARD!!!!!”

I practically peed my pants I was so excited. I jumped up and down and hugged him and gave him noogies and told him it was about frickin’ time he finally had a teacher who recognized what a Prince he is, only I didn’t use those exact words, I hope. I was practically apoplectic, so who knows what the hell came flying out of my mouth.

Then I blurted, “Well, where is it?! GIMME MY CAR MAGNET!” Because even though I’m truly thrilled for him to finally be publicly recognized for his outstanding character, I really just have to have a Principal Pal magnet on my car or I will simply die of shame.

And that is when he pulled out of his pocket a wrinkly little snack-sized plastic baggie that contained a school pencil, a little slip of paper with instructions on where/when to report to have his picture taken with the Principal, and a bag tag.

A mother effing bag tag.

Sooooooo not fair.

I swear I am the only mother in this county who is not driving around with one or more of those damn magnets on my mini-van. It is like an invisible bumper sticker that says “My kids and I totally suck.”

But apparently they aren’t giving out magnets anymore. Lord only knows why. But a bag tag instead? Really? Are you kidding? That’s all I get? Because I just can’t see someone at the airport luggage carousel noticing the 2″ x 2″ plastic bag tag on my suitcase and saying, “Congratulations! You must be a truly remarkable mother to have such a wonderful child!” No. This just isn’t going to cut it.

No car magnet? Fine. I’ll just improvise:

"Finally, one of my kids is a PRINCIPAL PAL! They don't give out magnets anymore, so this will have to do."

What do you think? Will this suffice? Unlike a Principal Pal car magnet that lasts forever, this will be gone after a good rain. So I’m also wearing a necklace I made with the bag tag. Luckily, it goes with everything.

"Who is Mommy's yittle Principal Pal?"

"Mom. Seriously. I think they get the point."

Don’t worry, Nature Boy is LOVING all this attention. Later that night when I tucked him in I said, “Goodnight sweetheart. I love you and I’m so proud of you for being yourself. And I’m really happy that you have such a great teacher this year who sees you the way your Daddy and I see you.”

He just smiled and said “Thanks Mom. I love you too.”

Then I asked, “Can I call you P.P.?”

“No,” he replied, totally void of enthusiasm or humor.

“How about Principal P?”


“P. Pal?”


“Okay. Goodnight sweetie.”

“Goodnight Mom.”

The next day he sent me an email about something and sure as I’m sitting here, he signed it “Love, P.P.” I’m pretty sure I did a very animated full body fist pump when I read that. YES!

So Nature Boy has a new nickname. Feel free to use it.

And in the meantime, if you see me driving around the ‘burbs of Atlanta in my tricked out mini-van, or see me at the grocery store wearing my fabulous PP necklace, please do give me a knowing smile or nod or high five about my clearly awesome parenting, I mean, child. Because really, this is all about him. Not me.

with excessive pride and vindication,


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