Let me tell you a little bit about the beginning of my week…
Mondays are the worst. My house is a mess from the weekend; we’re all tired and I most likely forgot to buy food for my daughter’s lunch. (She usually ends up with scattered leftovers and random fruit I find at the back of the refrigerator. Bad mom emoji.)
This particular morning was especially hectic because I was responsible for washing her class’s laundry; place-mats, work mats, towels, etc.– so I had to lug the clean linens AND all three kids into the school. I arrived only to realize that it was the first day of teacher appreciation week, which meant each child was supposed to bring a flower for their teacher. We watched hoards of children walk past us with beautiful bouquets of sunflowers, roses, and daisies. Some had ornate vases, others handmade bows that wrapped eloquently around their base.
There stood my child– arms empty, with a scowl.
My friend Sam had two gorgeous flowers that she had carefully wrapped in decorative paper. She looked at me with pity. But she is my safety net– and she performed like a pro.
There have to be flowers around here somewhere that you could grab for her, she said looking around the playground. She scrambled around the back of the building and came back with two small, but pretty orange blossoms that she’d found growing near the playground.
Thank you, I mouthed.
We laughed as we walked out. What a mommy fail, I quipped.
In the afternoon, I picked up my bouncing five-year-old. She climbed into the car and as she was buckling she said, I have something to show you! I found it in the bucket!
Expecting to see a permission slip or a school flyer, I glanced into the backseat to see her proudly holding up a pair of my goddamn underwear.
Oh my god. OH MY GOD! I screamed. Where did those come from?
With her angelic little voice, my sweet daughter explained that her teacher had been going through the laundry that I had brought back in for the class. I had folded the big mats but poured a mess of rags back into the basket. Upon discovering my undies mixed in, the teacher had tried to discreetly pull my daughter aside to return them.
She gave them to me and told me to put them in my lunch box! But I showed all of my friends. Well, maybe the whole class.
I looked closer at the underwear; they were clean (thank God for small miracles). On the spectrum of period panties to negligee, they rested somewhere in between– they were NOT pretty but they also didn’t have any holes. Let’s be honest– there are worse pairs that could have fallen into the basket. (All of us ladies have a stash of ugly granny panties and at least they weren’t those. I kind of wish they were a bit sexier, you know– I do have an image to maintain– but you can’t win them all.)
The next morning I made sure to thank her teacher. Mine as well face that awkwardness head-on.
Thanks for returning my undies, I told her.
I’m sorry. She said. I tried to be discreet. But she kept laughing. She thought it was hysterical.
Like mother, like daughter I suppose.
Just a reminder for you all of you parents out there– if you’re ever feeling like a complete and utter failure, ask yourself this one simple question: Did I accidentally send my child to school today with a pair of my ugly-ass underwear?
If the answer is no, then cut yourself some slack.