Miss Ward’s Kansas City kindergarten class has a room parent with major attitude.
“My name is Jennifer Dixon and I have ‘volunteered’ to be your class mom for this coming year. Since this is a thankless job, don’t expect warm fuzzy emails like you probably got in pre-school.…If I say we need doughnuts, say ‘How many? Not ‘Can I bring cups?' " Jen Dixon is not a typical Kansas City kindergarten mom. Her first two daughters were born back in her groupie years; one of them may or may not have been fathered by Michael Hutchence of INXS, though since he died in 1997, there’s no real way of knowing. After many years as a single mom, she married Husband No. 1 who became Baby Daddy No. 3, thus inaugurating her second round of room mothering. This time she’s 15 years older than everyone else and just can’t take the whole kindergarten shtick as seriously as they do. The replies to her ongoing sarcastic emails typically include 1.) an instant autoreply from a never-seen mother who is permanently out of the office; 2.) an allergy-related screed from the mother of the room’s nastiest little brat; 3.) sassy back talk from the cool lesbian moms; and 4.) presumptuous demands from “Kim Fancy (Nancy’s mom)” and her sycophantic sidekick. Least amused of all is Asami Chang, a tone-deaf woman who thinks Jen is serious in demanding parents buy her a new coat or at least some Starbucks cards in return for optimal teacher conference times. Further complicating the situation is the fact that Jen’s long-ago high school crush, “Don Burgess (he’s such a fox)” is one of the class dads and foxy as ever.
Gelman’s debut is a literary stand-up routine, and you might as well just give in: this woman is going to get a laugh out of you.