The First-Timer's Guide To Back-To-School Orientation #EpicFail #Parenting

A couple of days ago, my son had his first ever school orientation. Between FTD, Ollie and I, we managed to make a huge mess of the affair.

As we pulled into the parking lot, FTD started pointing at the people walking in and said, "SEE! I told you we didn't need to dress up, they all have on shorts and flip-flops. And why are they carrying bags full of paper towels? Were we supposed to bring stuff?"

Me: Um... Bring stuff? I don't think so? 

As we turned into the auditorium where the orientation was being held, the place was pin-drop silent except for the principle talking. Apparently, when they say starts at 7pm, they mean it.

Once the principle stopped talking, I made my way to a familiar face and asked why everyone had bags of schools supplies. "You were supposed to download the list and bring the supplies with you." 

Then my friend says, "Can you believe the PTO fees? $75? It's EXTORTION!"

Me: PTO fees? $75? Huh?

Friend: Yeah, they are due today. You can pay by check or cash.


We have not been at this orientation for ten minutes and I've already made my family over dress and be late because of it, interrupt the principle's speech, failed to bring our school supplies AND the PTO extortion check.

What next...

A few minutes later, it's our turn to meet Ollie's teacher, and FTD and Ollie are running around the auditorium like crazies, making it nearly impossible to coral them. When they finally show up, I apologize for them being nuts, and explain that my husband is an Aussie and can't help it. Ollie introduces himself as Darth Vader.

At this point, I'm sure the teacher is thinking W....T.....F...?

I showed up without supplies or the PTO check and two insane children running around the place.

After a few minutes of talking, the two take off while I continue to apologize for them and ask a few more questions.

Before I finish talking with Ollie's teacher, another teacher walks up and introduces herself, and tells me my husband and child are, "too funny!"

Immediately, I think, Crap. What have they done now?

The teacher tells me, Ollie introduced himself at "Darth Vader" and said his dad was "Luke Skywalker. "Though it sounded more like Luke Skywanker."

I laughed it off, but truth be told, that's what FTD taught him.

I apologized a little more for their behavior, but was met with, "NO!  We need more of that at this school. I bet they are a lot of fun."

If only she knew. We wouldn't be allowed in that school...

Much to my horror, when I finally spotted FTD and Ollie, they were in a group talking to the principle.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Then, the group breaks out in hysterical laughter.

I make my way over to the group and introduce myself, half expecting to be told to take those two home.

I'm met with handshakes and compliments on my son and husband.



What is wrong with this place? It's a Catholic school and they are stoked to have our crazy-asses?  Did I also mention the wild-child just learned "Christ on a bike" from his cousin and says it all of the time?

If this school didn't have this specialized program for Ollie, I would have never considered it, being that we are such a certifiable family. I hoped that if we tried to be on our best behavior we could fake 'til we made it. Not only were we NOT on our best behavior-- , at this point, I don't even think we have a "best behavior."-- we were in true form! They were being crazy, while I was trying to hold it together.

My friend, if you learn nothing else from me about attending your first orientation, first read the school's websites and phone a friend to compare notes. read all newsletters thoroughly, bring an extra check and most of all, show up wearing comfortable casual clothes and let your family be themselves.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit