Dear Mrs. Middleton:
Hello! My name is Miss Kasey, and I will be your child’s preschool teacher this year! I call little notes like this one Parent Postings because I have a master’s in writing from Sarah Lawrence and pointless alliteration is the only thing that keeps me from punching my friends in the face when they ask me how my novel’s coming.
I ask that you fill in the information below by the first day of school so that I can get to know your son or daughter better. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I will indeed be ranking all the children based on how fast these are returned to me even though I basically just said I have no use for them before school starts.
CHILD’S NAME: Mackenzie Middleton (and BTW, this is her dad, Matt Middleton, filling this out #dadlife #blessed #themostimportantjobIlleverhave)
NICKNAME: Do NOT call her M&M.
BIRTHDAY: July 20. Since Mackenzie’s birthday is during summer vacation, we will be observing her half-birthday on January 20. Please note: You’ll need to file the necessary permits to host the fire-eater at least 30 days in advance.
SIBLINGS: None. Once you’ve met our Mackenzie, you’ll see that one child is all we could ever need. She is such a blessing.
PETS: Furball (gerbil, recently deceased)
INTERESTS: Tap, ballet, soccer, abstract impressionism, Krav Maga, Machiavelli’s The Prince, Bubble Guppies
FAVORITE FOODS: N/A. She’s a very adventurous eater who will try anything as long as it’s not fruit, vegetables, dairy, fowl-based, or endorsed by any member of the cast of Sesame Street (with the possible exception of Murray). Again, we’re so blessed!
ALLERGIES: Dust. But don’t worry, she’ll tell you if there’s any in the room. Even when there’s not. Even when you’ve just Pledged every non-porous surface within a 1,500 square-foot radius. Even when you’re 95 percent sure she’s just pretending to sneeze.
FEARS: Misunderstandings (not so much a fear as a rage trigger)
ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW: Mackenzie is our whole world, and we trust that you’ll find she is such a joy to have in class. She is just so … precocious. Only yesterday she told me my cooking was “perfect except for the taste” before dumping the entire plate on the floor. Can you imagine? It’s like living with a more belligerent Gordon Ramsay! And she’s so advanced for her age, too. For instance, after that bit of constructive criticism about my salmon, she suggested I try seasoning it next time—“But not with your tears, daddy”(!!!) Show me another four-year-old who knows tears have salt in them! It’s like, hey there, Miss Scientist! Every day with her is just such an adventure. What a blessing. Blessed, blessed, blessed. I really don’t have any regrets about quitting my job to stay home with her. Sure, my career brought me intellectual fulfillment, and my wife’s and my sex life was significantly better/existent before I started wearing the same North Face fleece five days a week. But I mean who needs grown-up conversation when your toddler can so astutely point out things like your adult-onset back acne or that you’ve taken up smoking? So many blessings. In closing, please keep us updated on Mackenzie’s progress this year (#parentpostings #loveit) and whether she’s marking anyone with a crayon—that’s usually a sign something’s coming. Oh, also let us know if you decide to get a class pet. Because we’re not entirely sure she didn’t kill the gerbil.
Illustration by Byron O'Neill