The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

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,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

3 comments on “It’s about frickin’ time.

  1. The NDM
    February 6, 2011

    Fantastic news… and about bloody time! xx

  2. laura lee
    February 6, 2011

    THIS, Iris… the pictures, the van, the necklace… OMG. I no longer can say the barbie bday cake is my favorite post of yours ever. It’s now a toss up. You rock on with that principal pal pendant. Please come over asap.

  3. MikeP
    February 7, 2011

    The pal of the Principal is a friend of …err…enemy of…no.

    Congratulations. I like the car windscreen message but how about sky-writing or one of those plane banners you see at the beach?

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This entry was posted on February 6, 2011 by in mother, practical and tagged , , .
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