AWKWARD! Mom Forbids Me to Do This Unless A Nun Approves!

AWKWARD!  Mom FORBIDS It; Makes Me Ask the NUN for Permission!  #humor #school #backtoschool #teacher #student #Bible #earrings #funny

So then… she says “Absolutely not,” with an air of such finality, it would stop Attila the Hun in his tracks.

Because when my Mom says, “no,” she means “NOOOO!”

But I’m a 16-year-old girl desperate to have my ears pierced.

I’ve been lusting after the earrings at the mall for weeks. They have little gold knots – and darling little hoops – and butterflies! Dainty little gold butterflies, people! MUST HAVE.

Attila ain’t got nothin’ on me. I shall not cease my relentless campaign! I shall scourge the earth and annihilate all obstacles until VICTORY IS MINE! – and those precious butterflies adorn my earlobes!

I follow my Mom into the kitchen, where she’s preparing dinner.

I set the table and say, “Mom, WHY can’t I get my ears pierced? I saved up my babysitting money – and I’ll make sure the piercings won’t get infected – and the mall is just—”

“It’s against the Bible.”

“What? The Bible says I can’t get my ears pierced?” I ask.

“Yes,” she says.

(I’m no theologian, but I don’t remember either of the testaments discussing ear jewelry!)

“Where does it say that?” I ask.

She stirs the spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove and says, “The Bible says it’s a sin to self-mutilate.”

Self-mutilate!? I’m not mutilating myself!”

“Well, you want to cut holes into your ears, don’t you?”

“Mom, that’s not the same thing! The Bible just doesn’t want you to hack off your hand or something!”

She arches her eyebrows in that “you say potato; I say po-tah-to” sort of way and returns to her sauce.

Seriously! It’s not that she’s a religious fanatic – I mean we go to Church every Sunday, but she’s not a zealot. But she was raised in a pretty strict Catholic family, back in the days when the Mass was said in Latin.

Lots of hellfire and brimstone in those days.

Lots of hard and fast rules – with clear cut consequences leading straight to eternal damnation.

Pierced ears = self-mutilation = grievous sin = loose morals = immediate downward spiral into prostitution, pregnancy, tattoos, heroin addiction, and *gasp* — skipping Easter Mass.

So I beg and plead and debate and beg some more.

She is resolute. It’s like trying to move Mt. Rushmore just a couple inches to the left. She will not budge.

It’s a sin. It’s a sin. It’s a sin.

I insist that the self-mutilation in the Bible DOES NOT refer to pierced ears! Did.I.mention.the.butterflies.Mom?The.earring.butterflies.are.ADORABLE!

FINALLY, she agrees to CONSIDER it – IF and ONLY IF I consult with a priest or nun to CONFIRM that ear piercing does NOT qualify for Biblical self-mutilation.

Ahhhh! The clouds part, the angels sing: HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

Quick! Get thee to a nunnery! Find the youngest, hippest, coolest nun you can find!

All night long, I rack my brain to think who I can ask. My very life depends upon it.

Should I ask our parish priest at Mass on Sunday?

Should I ask one of the nuns who teaches at the Catholic school I attend?

Do I choose the youngest nun – the nicest nun – or the nun who teaches the class with my highest grade?

Finally, I settle on Sr. Rita. She’s not young, but she’s an awesome teacher and I love her class.

All day long, I fidget in my blue plaid skirt and white blouse, my legs shaking a mile a minute.

Finally the last bell rings. The rest of the students file out and I stay behind to timidly say, “Sr. Rita, may I please ask you a question?”

She looks up from her papers and says, “Sure.”

Suddenly I lose my nerve. Maybe my Mom is right! Maybe this IS a sin! I don’t want Sr. Rita to think poorly of me.

“Um…um,” I stammer, looking at my shoes.

“What is it, child?” she asks.

“Well, um, my Mom says that something I want to do is a VERY BAD SIN – and that I had to ask your permission before I could do it,” I say.

Sr. Rita raises her eyebrows, crosses her arms, and stares at me intently. “What’s the sin?” she asks.

“I want to…I want to…get my ears pierced!”

Sr. Rita suppresses a grin, her eyes crinkling, as she sighs with relief.

In retrospect, I now realize she probably thought I was going to ask about having sex — or doing drugs — or committing homicide!

In comparison, piercing ears hardly makes a “ding” on the Sin-o-Meter!

She pats my shoulder and says, “Yes, dear, yes. You may pierce your ears. It’s not sinful at all!”

I beam from ear to ear – (soon to be punctured ear to ear) – and thank her profusely!

I fairly explode with happiness! I share the good news with my Mom, who, trooper that she is, lives up to her promise to take me to the mall now that we have a religious blessing.

And I ensure that Sr. Rita is one of the first to see my darling little earring butterflies!

(Of course, I still end up a coke-addict junkie whore – but that’s completely unrelated to the pierced ears.)

Ha! OK, just kidding! Fear not, Sr. Rita, where ever you are: your decree was sound and just. I’ve not squandered your blessing. My pierced ears and I will see you in Heaven one day. (It may take some pretty heavy-duty negotiating to get me on the admit-list, but I aim to rock & roll up there in the Great Beyond!)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Anything YOU wanted as a kid that was impacted by parental reluctance, outright disapproval, or religious beliefs?  Do you remember back when you got YOUR piercings?)

Shut That Sh*t Down!

Shut That Sh*t Down!  The amazingly ANNOYING - yet HILARIOUS - things moms say to teachers!  #funny #teacher #backtoschool #parenting #school #classroom #student #kids #humor

So then…I gratefully grab a seat in a tiny chair in the 1st grade classroom, along with three other Moms who also missed last night’s Back-to-School event. The teacher, Mrs. Tomasino, has graciously agreed to meet with us for a few minutes after school today to fill us in.

I exchange smiles with everyone – and conduct a quick appraisal of the other three Moms. One looks like she had to miss Back-to-School night for kid-care or work reasons, like me – the other two look like they missed it due to a conflict with their Bellydancing Class/Hot Stone Massages. (Judgy much? Why yes, yes I am.)

Mrs. Tomasino welcomes us to the class and holds up a list of items she’d like to quickly review with us.

But every time she tries to impart information, these two mamas interrupt her with questions specific to their kids.

Mom 1: “Are you doing Reading Circle in this class? My kid loves Reading Circle.”
Mom 2: “What kind of field trips are you having? My son really doesn’t like museums.”
Mom 1: “Do you serve cheese at the holiday parties? My kid is lactose-intolerant.”
Mom 2: “I hope there isn’t much homework; my son has lots of sports after school.”

Poor Mrs. Tomasino’s getting flustered.

Mom 3 and I exchange a couple looks.

Mrs. Tomasino starts to share the subjects the kids will cover each day when Mom 1 interrupts to ask:

“When is the Father-Daughter Dance? I think it might conflict with my daughter’s dance recital.”

The teacher looks surprised by this non sequitur and says, “I’m not sure of the date, but it’s months away.”

Mom 1 says, “Yes, but could you go check right now? I’m really thinking it might be the same date.”

So Mrs. Tomasino gets up, goes into the little side room of the class, shuffles through some papers and reports back the date. Mom 1 turns to Mom 2 and says, “Thank God! It’s a different date.”

Mom 2 says, “That’s a relief!”

Mom 3 and I exchange a glance like “What the hell?”

What if it HAD been the same date? Would Mom 1 petition the school to CHANGE THE DATE of the Father-Daughter Dance? I survey Mom 1’s carefully-groomed, well-toned, designer-clad tough-as-nails exterior and think, “Yep, she probably would.”

Meanwhile, I got kids to feed, work to do, and heels to take off, so I’m hoping we can wrap up this little meeting quickly. I’m eager to hear the info that the teacher wants us to know, but Mom 1 and 2 keep interrupting — which makes this meeting 10 times longer than it needs to be.

Then Mrs. Tomasino says, “Also, in 1st grade, we prefer that you don’t bring treats in for your children’s birthdays—”

Mom 1 interrupts to cheerfully say, “Speaking of birthdays, I heard you have three other kids in class who have the same birthday as my daughter! How did you get FOUR kids in your class, all with the same birthday!?

The teacher looks at Mom 1 like she’s an alien.

Mom 3 and I look at Mom 1 like we want to punch her in the tits.

Honestly, the look on the teacher’s face is priceless – like “What the HELL are you talking about? ‘How did I get 4 kids with the same birthday in my class?’ Do you think I PLANNED that? Do you think I REQUESTED that? Who the hell cares about the birthdays? I’m trying to EDUCATE your kids here – I don’t have time to figure out whose birthdays are on the same day!”

By this point, Mrs. Tomasino’s patience is so thin, she just stares back at Mom 1 in dumbstruck awe.

Mom 1 keeps waiting for a response, but none is forthcoming. Her smile falters and she begins to squirm in her seat. She looks to Mom 2 for support. Mom 2 shrugs helplessly.

Mom 1 glances at me and Mom 3. We give her the cold-eyed stare of “You gotta be kidding me.”  The multiple-birthday thing may be an interesting observation to make — but at a different time and place — not here and not now.

Mrs. Tomasino lets out a looooooong, dramatic sigh.

She rustles her paper with the meeting notes.

She stares pointedly at the list, then back up at Mom 1.

She authoritatively addresses the next point on her list, “For supplies, your children will need…”

And Mom 1 and Mom 2 do not say another word for the rest of the meeting.

You go, Mrs. Tomasino, you go!

Being friendly and accommodating is one thing.

But some people will take that inch and drag it into a painful country mile from here to the moon.

So you gotta shut that shit down.

Nicely done, Mrs. T, nicely done.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Have you witnessed other parents interrupting teachers or coaches to ask specific questions about their kids? Any tips how to deal with the time-wasters and me-focusers? How do you teachers out there handle those parents you want to stab with a No. 2 pencil?)

I Shall Staple it to his Forehead

How to Get Kids to Remember Their Homework #funny #homework #school #student #homeschool #kids #parenting #classparty #humor

So then…I check the emails from the other school parents to see who’s sending in money for the upcoming 7th grade class party we Room Parents are organizing, and I find this note:

Bridget’s email:
Darcy, can you please ask your daughter Chloe to do me a favor? I gave my son Ryan money in an envelope for the class party to give to Chloe yesterday, but he didn’t see her. So can Chloe please ASK him for the envelope today? He might forget. Thanks! – Bridget

I respond with this email:
It’s so funny because right before I read your note, I had just sent an email to my son’s band teacher to tell him that Tucker has a check in his pocket for the band trip – and that Tucker will likely forget that he has that check in his pocket, so could the band teacher please help remind him!

I think it’s hilarious that you and I have to help our sons along like this. And I wonder when Tucker is 35, will I STILL be sending notes for him? i.e. to his boss: “Please remind Tucker he finished that report and it’s in the top drawer of his desk.” Or to his wife: “Please remind Tucker he bought you an anniversary gift and he hid it in the pantry.”

Oh, who am I kidding? I will probably be WRITING his report and BUYING the anniversary gift!!
— Darcy

Bridget’s response:
That’s what we get for having boys!! But I think society understands. When my husband takes our preschooler son to school, all my post-it reminders are STILL attached to the stuff he gives to the teachers!
– Bridget


Yikes! So now I wonder if somewhere out there, her husband is accidentally turning in school forms with post-it notes still attached that say things like:

“Drop off this $20 in the front office for the class party; but don’t trust it to the girl with the pierced nose.”

“Give this to the mean teacher in room 103; don’t ask if she’s pregnant. She’s not.”

Honestly, how can we get our kids to remember their homework and papers?  Sometimes I think I shall staple them to his forehead!

— Darcy Perdu

Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Mary Chowdhury

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(Are any of YOUR kids a little (cough-cough) “organization-challenged?”  I know we should let them “sink or swim” on their own at a certain age, but do you ever write notes/texts to remind your kids to do things – or to their teachers/coaches?  Or are your kids SUPER ORGANIZED? If so, send me the secret!)

When Your Kid’s Teacher is NOT “Comfortable” with YOUR Behavior

When the Teacher's Not Comfortable with YOUR Behavior!  Uh-Oh!  #Funny story about Back-to-School Night!

So then…she presses her pudgy little hands on either side of my face and smushes it together, bringing her little nose directly to mine, and says, “Mommy, SERIOUSLY, Mrs. Trent said it will not be appropriate for you to bring your cell phone.”

I smile at my darling little girl, clasp her two hands in mine, kiss them and tell her, “Chloe, honey, I need to take my cell phone to Back to School Night. The new babysitter is coming tonight, so she has to be able to reach us if there’s an emergency.”

She looks very worried. “But Mommy, Mrs. Trent said she’s not comfortable with parents taking phone calls while she’s giving her speech about Kindergarten. She told us ‘pacifically to tell our parents to leave your cell phones at home.”

I pull her into my lap and put my forehead on hers. “Chloe, honey, you’ve told me this 800 times in the past two weeks. I promise it’ll be fine, OK?”

Slightly mollified, she toddles off to play with her toys.

I finish opening the mail and chuckle to myself over the words our children learn so young these days. Parents and teachers tell kids:

“That’s not appropriate behavior”
“I’m not comfortable with you doing that”
“If you continue this behavior, there will be consequences

When I was a kid, adults just said
“Stop that!”

But we parents shouldn’t say that to our kids.  (Although it IS funny how many times my toddlers told me “NO!” instead of saying, “Mommy, I’m not comfortable with you serving me vegetables right now. Green beans are simply not appropriate at this time.”)

So then the new teenage babysitter arrives and I run through everything with her – while Chloe interrupts to remind me AND the babysitter not to make any calls to each other THE WHOLE NIGHT or else “Mrs. Trent will be REALLY mad.”

Good Lord, how terrifying can Mrs. Trent be?

Um, turns out — pretty terrifying.

She greets all the parents at the classroom door with the air of a strict commandant, briskly ushering us to our seats so she can start her greeting – no, speech – no, LECTURE – on time.

She is clearly captain of this ship, sternly informing us of all the rules and regulations in her classroom for the kids and the parents.

I shoot a look of mock fear at my husband David and he smiles briefly, but quickly re-focuses on Herr Trent.

I try to generate a little camaraderie amongst the other parents by feigning the “shaking in my shoes” look to them – but they quickly avert their eyes. No mutiny to be found here, folks.

Everyone is taking this Back to School Night deadly serious.

Mrs. Trent states the ground rules for field trips – and people are actually taking notes.

Just then, a phone rings.

MY phone rings!

Holy Sh*t, it’s MY phone!

The other parents look stunned. Mrs. Trent glares at me with livid disgust.

I jump up and dash out of the room, fumbling to answer the phone.

Is someone hurt? Why is the babysitter calling? What HAPPENED?! They were under strict orders NOT to call unless it was an emergency – WHAT IS THE EMERGENCY?

“Mom,” says Chloe. “Can I have a popsicle?”


Is this literally the same child who demanded for weeks that I not even BRING my cell phone to Back to School Night – and she interrupts the big speech because she WANTS A POPSICLE???

And now how am I going to go back into that classroom?

Mrs. Trent and the other parents must surely assume that the ONLY reason someone would call me tonight is because my children were gushing blood from every known orifice! Limbs had better be shooting off their bodies in all directions to warrant this call.

(And believe me, when I get a hold of Chloe, there MAY be some serious maiming and dismemberment! A POPSICLE, for God’s sake!)

But of course I totally crack up at the absurdity of it.

I shake my head to get the giggles out.

Then I walk somberly back into the classroom, with a deep sigh, my hand patting the phone, and a reassuring nod of the head to everyone to indicate that all is well – crisis averted – it WAS a life-threatening situation, but I was able to handle it over the phone because that’s how this Superhero Mommy rolls.

Then I sit down, pull out pen and paper, and stare intently at Mrs. Trent in COMPLETE AND UTTER FASCINATION to dutifully record her next pearls of wisdom.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Have your kids pulled a move like this? Any scary teacher stories? How about a funny babysitter incident?)

Well, That’s a GOOD Thing for a Teacher to Say — I Think…

Um...Is That a Compliment?  Funny School Discussion!  #teacher #funny #school #backtoschool #teens #son #humor

So then…he slings his backpack on the counter and pops open the fridge for a snack.

“How was the first day of 10th grade?” I ask.

A muffled “fine” floats up from the fridge.

“Oh come on, you gotta give me more than that. I’m excited to hear about your classes and teachers. Can’t you tell me something about your day?”

My 15-year-old son emerges with a container of pineapple — pauses, concentrates — then brightens when he remembers something.

“After class, one of my teachers, Mr. Preston, said, ‘Tucker, I am really glad you are in my class.’”

“Oh!” I say proudly, taking it as a compliment for my son.

Then I think a moment. “Wait, why did he say that to you?”

“I dunno.” He opens the silverware drawer for a fork.

“Did he know you from last year or something?”

“No.” He grabs a water bottle.

“Did he say it to anyone else?

He shrugs. “Nope.”

“So he just told you specifically that he’s ‘really glad’ you’re in his class? What class is this?”



So now I’m wondering if the teacher said that because he was impressed with Tucker’s keen philosophical grasp of theological principles –

or because he was thinking, ‘Good Lord, this heathen’s on the brink of eternal damnation. Thank God he’s in this class so we can SAVE HIS SOUL!’

I’m sure it’s the former. Yeah, definitely the former.

— Darcy Perdu

Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Stefano Marchio

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(Do you agree it’s like pulling teeth to get your teenagers to communicate? Any examples of “compliments” that might NOT be actual compliments? Any odd teacher quotes?)

How I Figured Out My Daughter Was NOT Switched at Birth

So then…she unpacks her backpack on the kitchen table and begins prattling about her school day.

“So Mom, you know Mrs. Reed?”

“Yep – 5th grade English, right?” I say as I cut up an apple with peanut butter for her snack.

Chloe stacks her books on the homework table, then comes over to the counter to face me.

She says, “At the beginning of class today, Mrs. Reed stood up and said, ‘Class, today we’re going to talk about nouns. Different types of nouns, when and how to use nouns, and why they’re important. We’re not going to talk about anything else but NOUNS today. It’s just going to be NOUNS, NOUNS, NOUNS.’ I raised my hand and said, ‘So…no verbs, then?’

I burst out laughing. “Chloe, that’s hilarious! Did she laugh?”

“No!” exclaims Chloe. “She took me seriously. I was mortified! She just gave me an annoyed look and said, ‘No, Chloe, we’re just going to talk about nouns — like I was slow or something.”

I try to look sympathetic, but I’m cracking up.

I can just see my daughter pulling off a mock innocent question like that – “So…no verbs, then?”

But Chloe looks incensed that the teacher thought she was inept enough to miss the point of the “ALL NOUNS, ALL DAY” speech.

I ask her if at least the students laughed. She says, “Only two kids got it and laughed. The rest of them just looked at me with pity!”

I give her a huge hug and laugh softly into her hair. “Oh honey, give them time to get to know your sense of humor. Before long, you’ll only need to silently raise an eyebrow and everyone will crack up knowing what you’re thinking. You are absolutely HILARIOUS.”

She leans back, smiles at me, and raises an eyebrow.

–Darcy Perdu

(So what personality traits did YOUR kids inherit from YOU? What skills, talents, habits — come on, ‘fess up – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Any funny stories you recall about your teachers – or your kids’ teachers? Share a Story or a Comment below. I LOVE to read your comments!)