Y’all have known me long enough to not be surprised that I keep a running tally of all the times I’ve inspired my children to tell me that I’ve ruined their lives.

Those tally marks are my sunshine on a cloudy day, my reminder that I’m working, little by little, to prevent my kids from being entitled, obnoxious adults one day. Sure, it’s hard sometimes, but I try to keep that end goal in sight.

Last week, I apparently did an exceptional job of ruining Lu’s life, if I am to judge by the nasty looks and number of times she stormed out of a room when I told her she was being a disrespectful drama queen. How can a mother ruin her nine-year-old’s life three times in as many days? I’m so glad you asked.

If you’re a parent of a preschool or elementary school-aged child, you’ll know that last week was Read Across America week, which celebrates Dr. Seuss’s influence on and advocacy for childhood literacy. Rock on, Theodor Geisel. You are a legend.

But you know what? Could you maybe come back to haunt every school administrator that thinks we need a special dress up day for each day of Read Across America week? Hm? Maybe you could appear as they are flossing their teeth (don’t you just bet those school administrators are diligent teeth-flossers?) and whisper in their ears …

I do not want to dress as a fox, I do not want to wear crazy socks.

I will not wear crazy hair, I will not wear it here or there.

I do not dress up in my house, I will not dress up as a mouse.

OK, I know I sound like a horrible Scrooge, but the problem lies in having five straight days of something extra to remember in the mornings, when I’ve only just hit the 100 percent mark on everyone wearing pants when they leave the house.

Which leads me to the first way I ruined Lu’s life last week. On Friday, I checked the emails from our teachers detailing the dress up days for the week. Friday was listed as hat day on Bug’s calendar and only as “Dr. Seuss’s birthday” on Lu’s. So I sent them both to school in hats.

It turns out, it was only hat day for Bug, but for Lu in third grade, it was pajama day. Apparently my telepathy wasn’t working because I had no idea, nor any indication from a teacher that it was PJ day. When I arrived home on Friday, Lu didn’t even say hello, but went straight into chastising me for getting it wrong, to the point that Hubby came to my defense and told Lu to drop it before she got in big trouble.

Nevermind that I pulled off two dog costumes in 20 minutes on Tuesday morning AND wore pants. And that I checked and double checked the email lists. I am a horrible monster of a mother.

My other life-ruining offenses were taking her favorite brush when I left town for 36 hours and not doing laundry quickly enough to keep her pajama drawer stocked. You can imagine that these complaints from Lu fell on deaf ears, especially when they were delivered in a voice which one might use when correcting an errant dog who has left a deposit on the dining room rug.

The moral here is that I can ruin my children’s lives all by myself, thank you very much Dr. Seuss week. Take your friend Red Ribbon week and get out of here, you’re not welcome.

Overheard at the salon: It’s only a matter of time before his mama moves in and runs off that uppity little wife of his.