Dear Maggie – January 25, 2024

Dear Maggie —

I need some of your problem-solving skills! I am on a text thread with a bunch of 4th-grade parents and if I’m being totally honest, I only read the thread once a week – at best! Sometimes they can really run away with a convo and I just can’t keep up. All week, they have been having a conversation about the registration packets that came home and too many days have passed since that convo started for me to ask any follow-up questions 😵‍💫. I saw Chris Stephens’ email saying she sent the packets home with the oldest child, but I have checked every nook and cranny of my eldest’s backpack (dear God, is that thing an abomination!) and there is no packet to be found. I wish my oldest child wasn’t the child chosen for important paperwork. In my family, oldest most certainly does NOT equate to responsible-est!  Every time I see that Chris says she is sending something home with the oldest I think “Please just give it to my preschooler! That is a much safer bet!” – I know I can’t be the only one!  Maybe I need to start a campaign to have a checkbox added in FACTS to designate which child is most likely to safely deliver important documents home. Haha!  Sorry for the tangent!! I do ACTUALLY have a very simple question: What should someone do if the registration packet did not make it home? #WishIWasAskingForAFriend

— Unregistered Uma

Dear Unregistered —

I have to tell you, I had to laugh when I read your letter.  I also had a son who was a walking tornado whom I would by no means ever have described as “responsible” when he was school-aged!  But fear not, he along with two of his brothers all became kings later in life! #HumbleBrag  So, the state of your little cherub’s backpack right now is not an indicator of later success. Future King Edgar’s sporran was forever filled with rocks (soooo many rocks!), pieces of loose parchment, wooden balls, half-whittled sticks of anything, and clay marbles he traded at school.  As for making sure he gave me anything important sent home from school… FUHGEDDABOUTIT! !  They even tried pinning it to his kilt.  No such luck!  He was always in such a hurry to get home to his tablet (of course, back then it was a literal stone tablet), he all but forgot he had even been to school that day; let alone that he had anything to give me and not lose on his way home.

Alright, I’m done with my stroll down memory lane! I think I can help you with at least one of your problems. But as for your campaign, I wouldn’t recommend changes to FACTS.  I think that might just get you put on Chris’ blacklist (calm down, she doesn’t really have a blacklist)!  But the last thing she needs is one more thing to sort through on FACTS.  Plus, I’m not sure what the slogan would be – yard signs that say “Anyone But My Oldest” might raise some eyebrows 🤔

So, here’s a simple answer to your simple question: Tell your friend 😉 that if she can’t find her family’s registration packet, she should reach out to Chris Stephens, and Chris will either email her a copy, AirDrop one to her, Pony Express it, or send a new one home via carrier pigeon; anything but sending it home with that scatterbrained, yet delightful 4th grader of hers.  

Geez, I wish all my problems were solved so easily! I must say – I’m always impressed with my ability to take a question that only requires a very simple single-sentence answer and blow it up into an entire column. God forbid I respond by saying “Just email Chris.”  Although, if I were to be really truthful with myself, that’s pretty much the answer to any question anyone ever has!  I like to call this being gifted – Terry calls it being crazy. #GottaKeepMyselfRelevant  At least I got my phone back and she doesn’t have to dictate to Siri anymore.

— Maggie


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