Mar 122013


Just so you know.

If the attendance secretary at the kids’ school asks you to write down “the reason you are late” and you decide to shamelessly truth-tell – you won’t earn yourself an excused absence.




But you will make that lovely secretary laugh till she looks like she might pee – and that is WAY better than an excused absence.

You can just excuse yourself later. No problem.


Don’t worry about having a great day. Just have some great moments.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  105 Responses to “STT in TRW (Shameless Truth Telling in The Real World)”

  1. Most days in our house feel like a re-run of “Groundhog Day”. Thanks for reminding me that some days we should just be a tiny bit rebellious and let late happen. :)

  2. you know… it’s against HR policy for my boss to ask me why I’m late. Why can schools be so nosy?? Mind your own F’n business! LOL

  3. I’ve actually never been here before – I found you through Amy at Motherhood and Miscellany – this is hilarious and a laugh I really enjoyed this morning :) Looking forward to digging my way through your site – your about page is so real and heartfelt – just love!

  4. Hilarious! I do think it is best to be honest in instances like this. It shows kids the importance of honesty and not making excuses for themselves. Also, it’s funny :)

  5. I once sent my kid in to school with a note that said, Ross was late for school today because he failed to get up when I tried to wake him up and did not bother to set his own alarm clock. The attendance secretary called me and said, just so you know, this is unexcused. I said, that’s fine, just tellin’ the truth!

  6. Honesty is always the best policy!

  7. I absolutely love this! Thanks for sharing because it brought on a chuckle!

  8. […] Momastery’s post “STT in TRW (Shameless Truth Telling in the Real World).”  TMI will set you free. Examine: What do You wish you would forgive yourself for? Include […]

  9. I let my 11 year old daughter sleep in on the Monday before Thanksgiving because she had been up late with her brother who was home from college (she misses him terribly). We were an hour late for school and she was worried about what to tell the secretary and if she would get in trouble. I thought about saying she hadn’t been feeling well, but thought that set a bad example, so I said, “Let’s just tell her the truth, and if you get an unexcused, I’m okay with that.” So when asked, I said “I let her sleep in because her brother came in from college last night, and she hasn’t seen him for 3 months and stayed up late with him. ” She smiled and whispered, “Excused”.

  10. Love this. Here’s a blog about mommy wars…..let’s stop it!

  11. I’ve been known to write in on my children’s behalf: “B/c I was throwing a ginormous fit over nothing and it made us late” for their tardy reason. Don’t know that it ever was appreciated quite so heartily as your description, but everyone knows they can count on the brutiful truth from me.

  12. Ha! I dropped my daughter off late to afternoon kindergarten today and wrote the reason for tardiness as “long line at Panera.”

  13. I love it when you make me laugh!

  14. Reason why late? “MOM” That’s what I put and we always get excused cause the secretary is a been there done that mom! At the high school I lie. We had an appt. Two days in a row this week. I told Teen boy we couldn’t do that again cause I told her we were done with appts this week. Teen boy responded, “No, you told her we were done with appointments this week, I HOPE” so there’s room for another appt.” Thus proving teaching teens to lie is bad. Oh, good I got the bad mom award early this week!

  15. Ha! This happened to me just the other day! My 6 year old lied about being sick so we were an hour or so getting to school. I made them write “Max lied about being sick” on the paper. The office lady was like “are you serious?” and I said “YES! WRITE IT DOWN! L-I-E-D! ” Ha ha! Painfully honest. We had a good laugh, but my son didn’t think it was funny :)

  16. Walked out of a crappy high-paying job–not a great day. Finally getting the nerve to stand up for myself & say, “i quit”…definitely a great moment! Moments make all the difference!!

  17. Too, too funny! Thank you for the good laugh.

  18. Well, they can’t accuse you of not being honest!! Too funny! Sometimes it’s just best to fess up! 😉

  19. My twelve year old and I have been watching The Bachelor with some friends. Before anyone gets shocked and judg-y (just kidding…I feel the Monkee love!) I have to say that it’s been really neat to pause the show and talk about maturity levels of conversation and behavior and how you know if feelings are genuine, etc. Plus there’s a lot of fashion critique that my fashion designer-to-be likes to participate in….in any case, last night’s episode was three hours…we got home after eleven. Her school starts at 9, but today we got there at 945. I did not lie…I said she felt “off” this morning and we decided we should take it easy. I checked online later and it was marked “excused”. Obviously, looking back, the secretary thought I meant she might be sick, but really….isn’t that ALWAYS why we’re late? We feel “off” in some way?

    Last week, my little collapsed on the floor in a heap of tears. “What is wrong now?” I ask in exasperation. The response… because she was feeling rushed. I squatted down to her eye level and said, “it’s because I’m RUSHING you!”. And then realized how absurd it was and started laughing. Just like the computer, sometimes you have to let the kid turn herself “off” and then back on to get going properly.

  20. Scooped your last line, and posted it on FB, with full creds to you. I am considering having it tattooed backwards on my forehead, so every time I see my reflection in a window (because who has time for mirror gazing, LOL) I remember… not the WHOLE day… just a moment. I can do a moment. Some days, I might even be able to do a slew of moments. Go me! Thanks AGAIN, G.

  21. G, I have a picture on my FB page of a note I wrote for my (then) 9th grader:

    Dear Mrs. W; Please excuse SE from PE today. She has a cold, an allergy or some psychosomatic illness that is keeping me awake (she won’t let me go to bed until I write this note). Thank you, AFD

    Got a grimace from the teacher – and then a grin. Not excused, just forgiven!

  22. Super funny!

  23. Once wrote, “ahhhh, sweet slumber” for my son’s reason for being tardy. I slept through the alarm clock, got an extra hour and it was sweet.

  24. Ahhh, I LOVE that!! I will definitely remember this for the future, when my kids will surely be late.

  25. I’m a teacher as well as a parent, so the last time I let my kids play hooky I wrote the note,” I’m not gonna lie, I don’t have some lame excuse, my son was absent yesterday because we went to the SuperBowl parade. I realize it’s not excused but it was awesome hearing-Mom you’re the best!” Sometimes you gotta go with life’s moments!

  26. haha, that’s awesome! my son was late to preschool the morning of the will & kate royal wedding…when i wrote it on the check-in slip the secretary was NOT amused…i thought it was the best reason for a little boy to be late to preschool ever!!

  27. One of the reasons I love my kids school – one parent arrived late and said, “There was a Portuguese Water Dog outside and we couldn’t pass it without lots of petting.” Another family arrived even later and said, “We are still adjusting to the time change.” etc. Love it.

  28. This is awesome! Since September, I have just about given myself a nervous breakdown every morning to get my extremely pokey 4 year old daughter to school on time (no easy feat when her bell rings at 8:10am!!). The ONE day (so far! lol) we ended up being late, the secretary asked HER why. Her response? I was being a pokey-pants!!! The lovely secretary loved it and the lateness was excused. Lesson: Never hesitate to let your kids answer for you when you want brutal honesty!!

  29. Brilliant! Truth tellers unite!!!!! :)

  30. We’ve called in late with ‘transmission problems.’

    While it sounds like you’re having car problems–who really needs/wants to know it’s because you can’t get your a** in gear….

  31. Too funny! I’ve done that before! “A tired mom with a newborn, a barfy brother, and peed pants as we walked out the door.” (Admittedly, yours is more clever!) Real reasons are always so much better!

  32. Love this! Thank you! Having a great day seems so big sometimes, but I’m sure I can manage a few moments. And this blog was one of them! I think I’m going to tape that last line up on my fridge so I don’t forget I’m only looking for moments today. 😉

  33. Classic. Thanks for the laugh. :)

  34. Wonderful!! Thanks for sharing!!

  35. She’ll probably take it home and frame it! :)

  36. This post makes me happy! Glad to hear I’m not the only one who delights in writing excuse notes….one of my classics: “please excuse ________ for being late, the bus eludes him”. This one gets used often. LOL!

  37. As I just bursted out laughing at this post, my hubby asked about what is so funny? So I read an explained to him and this was his response…. ” thats funny and G should be applaused since 9:15am is not so bad!” 9:33 is our average standard time lol

  38. Thanks for one of today’s great moments. :)

  39. Love it! I do the same thing. Yesterday, that first horrid Monday after Daylight Savings Time take effect, my children’s excuse was listed under “other” and stated “@^#%$ Daylight Savings Time”.

    Previous entries have included “Naughty child”, “Naughty sibling”, and “Good Samaritan”. That last one earned the girls an excused tardy, but the rest just brought a smile to Ms. Pauline in the front office, who definitely deserves it!

  40. Lol. I did the same thing when my son was late for school:) I wrote “3 kids, 5 and under. Enough said:)” They had a good laugh over it too. Just keeping it real!

  41. Oh, this just made my morning – especially since we were 10 minutes late for both of our boys school drop-offs this morning because our 4 year old (who also serves as our alarm clock) decided to sleep in for the first time in his life.

  42. It’s great to be honest about our tardies, but what is the message you want to send the kids? I am STRUGGLING with my teenager. I wish I had taught more problem solving skills to him along the way. So maybe when you pick up the kids today you can say….We were late this morning because we are tired, disorganized and rebellious. What can we do differently this afternoon so we won’t be tardy tomorrow? Maybe pack our backpacks tonight? Make lunches tonight? Go to bed a little earlier tonight?” I am teaching my son to try to find peace while complying with the rules. The rules all apply to us. We are happier when we aren’t rebelling. I know that. I see it with myself and with my 16 year old and it rolls onto my 12 year old.

  43. I am creating a new school sign in sheet

    1. Outside appointment __
    2. Illness __
    3. Scheduled OT/IT __
    4. Mental health break __
    5. Wardrobe crisis __
    6. Poor planning __
    7. The wheels are just plain off the bus __
    8. Don’t go there. I’m telling you, just don’t __

    • Thank you for making my morning!

    • YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Love it!! If they would only accept that we live this cray life and be thankful that we made it!! HA!!

    • That’s perfect ! Don’t forget ‘bad hair day’

    • Were you following us to school today? LOVE!

    • I have teenagers and this makes me smile and realize that it is not just my kids….and at some point it all comes together and they will one day be the ones writing the notes, so I think I will print this and put it in their keepsake box. You know the pretty box(thank you HomeSense) the one that was organized for the first three years and is now what I like to think of as a really beautiful box which is as organized as any teenagers room.

    • Love love love this list. I would like to add an option for “mind your own business_____”.

    • Love this list! I could add:

      Mommy forgot her ____ because she was so busy making sure everyone else had their crap, so we had to turn the car around and go back for it.

      We go back for THEIR crap!

  44. Our Kindergarten transitioned to a full-day schedule this year, which is a big deal for a five-year-old. About two months in, my son came down the stairs in tears. His shirt didn’t feel good. The pants he was wearing were somehow wrong. Life was just too much for the day. So I called in a “mental health day” for him. Literally. Told the message system that Caleb couldn’t deal today and he was going to stay home and watch TV. I guess it gave the secretary quite a chuckle, and his teacher said she wished more parents would do it!

    • As a full-day K teacher, here here! Hooray for mental health days! I’m on one as we speak…

    • Full day K is just too much. TOO MUCH. why the rush? I ended up picking my son up at noon half way through the year. It was better for the whole family.

  45. That is AWESOME! And, I love the “Don’t worry about having a great day, just have some great moments.”. So much more attainable than a WHOLE freakin’ day…

  46. My husband excused a student last week for a “religious trip”. Turns out it was for NASCAR races. That’s religion in the South for ya!

  47. absolutely loved this. you. are. hilarious~

  48. “I want to be more real with myself and with others. I want to model more vulnerability to my kids, husband, friends and even strangers and one way I can do this is by taking the blame and not making excuses all the time for myself. It is just so easy to tack on an excuse , when I go to apologize to someone, it just almost automatically spills out. I can’t imagine how many of my apologies to me kids for yelling at them go like this, “I am sorry it is just that I am so tired.” Or how many times I have been rude to my husband and said, “I am sorry but it is that time of the month or it is these pregnancy hormones or the kids have driven me crazy today.” I need to learn to just say I am sorry, I was wrong, it was my fault and not tack excuses on. What a change that would make in my little world.” From a post I wrote about this exact thing, I was so tired of writing “not complete” truths on my sons tardy excuses. I love how so many things are universal!! Thanks for keeping it real!! My post called excuses, excuses!

    • Rachel, what a beautiful family :)

    • I don’t think you are using excuses as much as you’re explaining it.

      My standard apology is, “I’m sorry for XYZ. I had a headache and I shouldn’t have taken that out on you. I know that doesn’t justify my bad behavior but I hope it explains why I acted the way I did.”

    Haha, I recently wrote a post about feeling guilty for having to fill out the tardy excuse at my sons school and always giving a not completely true answer in the reasons category. There is a lot of freedom in not making excuses!!

  50. LOL I love this! I refuse to lie or make up excuses for my little’s(or myself) so tell it like it is too and yes this usually amuses the secretary at their school. I’ve already raised 5 to adulthood and getting some of them out the door and to school and not to mention homework, projects and papers in on time…oh I could write a book. I have a son and a daughter that played basketball and every year I wiould let them stay home 1 day to watch some of the big games during March and as per usual was honest about why they were not at school. Every single year I would get a call from the principal making sure I understood that the excuse I was giving them would not give them an excused absence. No kidding. I would ask him do you really think that the other 30 kids from their grades that happen to be msising today are really sick? My house would be packed with these kids who’s parents had called in sick for their kids. So high five to you for your honesty and for making me smile this morning! :)

  51. Last week, the excuse for my daughter being tardy was “Ran out of gas. In the driveway. Helpful.”

    Another good one:
    If you ever get caught sleeping at work, just slowly raise your head up and say:
    “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

  52. A genuine LOL today! Happy moment by moment Tuesday!

  53. I have tears in my eyes from your last line, “Don’t worry about having a great day. Just have some great moments.”

    The amount of pressure I feel to be a good mom, wife, employee, friend, self advocate, etc…’s just all too much on MOST days for me. Nothing like going to bed at night feeling like a failure.

    I’m printing out this last line and taping it to numerous places throughout my home as a reminder to myself to ease up and not put so much pressure to keep it all together.

    Reading this post was a great moment for me today. Thank you :).

    • Leilani —

      Your name literally made my heart skip and sing a little bit. Literally. It could be the tinnitis, but I’m sure I heard a song. “Leilani.” How incredibly beautiful.

  54. That made me laugh, I am always stumped when asked the reason we are late. I want to say how far back do you want me to go? This is a domino effect issue!

    • LOLOL! Love the domino reference. So true!

    • That is awesome. My youngest two are in preschool where I just walk in (not even sheepishly) whenever we manage, but I’m going to need a good way to write it up for Kinder next year. I think, “We thought having a 3rd child was a good idea, but then my 37 year old body decided to release extra eggs one month and we had twins, and I’ve been late to everything since then.” I’ll get it pre-printed on stationary.

  55. Love. Love. Love.

  56. Love it!!! I long for parents to be straight and truthful about tardiest and absence and all sorts of other things. Always wondered what kids learn when parents lie to get them out of trouble. Love you and you unshaded truth telling. Didn’t comment yesterday but want you to know how much I respect and love you. If we all could learn to be who we really are and know that we are precious in the eyes of God. With truth telling those around us have permission to be truthful as well. This is the safe place to begin the process of dropping the walls and being real.

  57. Rock On Meltons!

  58. Love. This.

  59. Bahahahahahahhaaaaaaaa! Do not try this at work either :)

  60. AWESOME.
    ‘don’t worry about having a great day. Just make some great moments.’
    amen, sister.


  61. L.O.V.E. IT!

  62. I love it, G. =)

  63. Like! Like a lot!

  64. Love it! And I’ll bet she appreciated the honesty much more than the made-up stuff she usually gets!

  65. I love this! Don’t worry about having a great day. Just have some great moments. That’s perspective is perfect and I think I can actually handle that!!

  66. Ha! LOVE this!

  67. We were taking the kids to Disney for a week and the principal required us to complete a form to determine if the trip was approved for excused absences. It really did not matter to me – we were still going – so in the box marked – what educational value will your children gain from this trip – I wrote – they will determine how many times they can ride the tea cups in a row before they vomit and how many Mickey ice cream pops we can eat before 10 am…

    Sometimes you just need to be honest and have fun… life is too short…

  68. This was an amazing start to my day! Gave me quite the laugh to a day with a little one home sick! I just love you so much sister G! You take my tired and make it a little more tolerable! I wish your Florida and my Ohio were closer. We could make it a special day put a movie on for the kids and then curl up on the couch with tea and blankets!

  69. Priceless. But what the heck is “PK”

  70. I have done that several times! It humiliates the kids, but hey, it is what it is!!

  71. love it! Have a great day yourself! <3

  72. G, your comment reminded me of my brother (he passed away almost 3 years ago @age 45). On his daily rounds, people would tell him, “Have a great day” and his answer was always, “I intend to”.

    So… as to having “some great moments”? I intend to!

  73. Oh this just made my day! Hilarious.

  74. Totally worth the trade off! My family also finds itself quite tired, very disorganized, and a little rebellious and I think that making it to school with everyone wearing pants some days is accomplishment enough :)

  75. Brilliant! My personal fave was the morning I wrote “We had a poop incident” in the reason space…

  76. Good morning and thank you for the giggle to start it off! I feel “just a little rebellious” this week, too, and was just thinking how I could sneak in a sick day this week 😉

  77. Thanks G. I needed that smile more than you know right now. HUGS

  78. Love! Just yesterday as we were running 30 minutes late I was wondering what the heck I’m going to do when he goes to kindergarten next year and he has to be at school by a certain time. Ill be telling them the same thing.

  79. LOVE!!! :)

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