Wish You Were Here: Pom Poms All the Way Down

“I can’t find my phone.”

Disorganization. It’s contagious. Or at least hereditary.

This happens at least once a day and in fairness it’s usually me running around in a complete state of panic, attempting to retrace my steps, inevitably losing another accessory in the process (my coffee, the children) until finally, it turns up under a dirty diaper or — surprise, surprise, inside of one.

Nah. Even my life isn’t that crazy. You can’t believe everything you read online but, believe me when I tell you, there’s nothing quite so stressful as being in a crowded gym full of pom-pom peddling parents and trying to pinpoint the location of a phone on mute.

“I gave it to you,” my daughter insisted.

“Why would you give me your phone?”

She pushed past me and I dropped the pom poms, my purse and any act I was attempting/failing to pull off that I even remotely have my shit together. Yes, good people of Wilton, I’ll be taking one for the team today.

Can I just say, every day it’s something. Yesterday it was her Chromebook. Today it’s her phone. Two days earlier she actually came home with two Chromebooks. Unfortunately, neither of them was hers.

“Do you have a pen I can borrow?” I asked the mom next to me and she quickly retrieved a writing implement not marked Crayola or covered in Cheerio dust, and I was humbled. Not because I sign most school-related documents in Chapstick but because she managed to locate it so effortlessly and without pouring the entire contents of her purse onto the floor — and then I realized she was a Dad and of course that made total sense.

Sometimes I feel like my life would just be a whole lot easier if I had a … pen in my pocket and a wallet and maybe my phone and some Chapstick and my checkbook and …okay, so maybe there’s a reason I need a purse and one big enough to stash a bottle of Bourbon in but none of the other moms appeared to be drinking so I’m thinking Cheer Registration is a sober event?

Too bad.

I could have really used a drink right then and maybe a personal assistant or at least someone to hold those effing pom-poms, uniform, hair bow and other necessary paperwork so I could interrogate some unsuspecting bystander on how to postdate a check.

The other mom looked at me as if I just asked her how to boil water but I have to say, those were, pom-poms down, the most organized, cheerful bunch of parents (no pun intended) from here to where my daughter’s phone might have been. I was thinking New Canaan? Or possibly New Jersey, judging by the search team she assembled and mass hysteria incited over the loss of her life source. Don’t get me wrong, I get it and so I knew there was no point in asking her where she left it or what she was doing the last time she saw it, because her brain was set now to some sort of limbic pubescent psychosis and you can’t reason with tweens. It’s like telling a raccoon not to eat garbage. You’d have better luck finding a pen in my purse or pom poms in my hands.

True confession: I actually had a very, very brief stint as — I don’t even think you could call it the assistant as much as the assistant-to-the-assistant — of the (then) large-with-child, sweaty, sloth of a mom who sat with a gallon of water and periodically fixed hair bows, handed out orange wedges and tried not to give birth in the bleachers.

There’s a reason I don’t volunteer much or go out in public.

Finally, I found the phone under a pile of pom-poms and pretty little hair bows and I was relieved, really I was, and not only that my terrifically trying tween is trying to make a go-team-go of it again and do something wholesome(ish) but that I got through the line and all of that paperwork, through the maddening ordeal of trying to find her phone and …

“Sweatshirt,” she said, pushing past me and I dropped the pom-poms again. “I can’t find my sweatshirt!”

You know what, I take it back. I will volunteer for something. Sign me up. Next time, I’m bringing the Bourbon.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.