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How to Make a Good Impression

I know no one changed his clothes because he was wearing this very distinctive NASA shirt.

How to Make a Good Impression

First impressions are important, am I right? When you have 14 kids and have homeschooled for years and you decide to stick your kids in public school, you realize making a good impression is kind of important. People make all kinds of  (often conflicting) assumptions about how we live (we must be on welfare, we must be rich, our house must be huge, we must be hoarders living in squalor) based strictly on our family size.

Last week Mordecai has his regular Friday morning appointment to work on social skills. The appointment is scheduled for 8 am so he misses as little school as possible. It makes Fridays a bit hectic and means Enoch and Kalina need to get the Tucker and Apollo on the bus. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask a couple of teenagers old who have traveled the world alone. Nope, doesn’t seem like too much at all.

And you know what? Last week they did get the kids on the bus, safe and sound.


It’s just that no one bothered to put fresh clothes on Apollo. I have explained repeatedly to my children that when they have over a dozen siblings and we go out in public it is of utmost importance that they appear to be well-cared for. In other words, they can’t wear the same outfit (no matter how much they love it) Monday through Friday.

Nope. They need fresh clothes. Every day.

It’s a real drag I know.

You know how I know they didn’t put him in clean clothes?

I know no one changed his clothes because he was wearing this very distinctive NASA shirt.

Because when I picked him up from school he was very the very same, very distinctive NASA shirt that he had worn the day before.  The very same NASA shirt that was dirty the day before. The very same NASA shirt that now had blood and crusty mucus from his g-tube now seeping through the front.

Yeah, isn’t that awesome? Clearly I’m winning at this mom gig.



  1. Amanda Mostert

    Hie hie… did they feed him? You make me laugh. I would have worry about did they eat something? (Had a child who refused to through away clothes with holes… no good impressions)

    • Renee

      I think I feel the pressure more because of our family size. I get the “I have no idea how you do it” or “I know you’re so busy” constantly. It makes me self-concious about my children’s appearance.

  2. Tanya

    Haha I bet no one but you noticed. Now if he wore it the rest of the week…..maybe. And most teachers know exactly how school mornings can go, regardless of whether you have 1 kid or 20. Lol

    • Renee

      Well, like I said, the shirt was very distinctive. If it were a red t-shirt or something that would have been fine. Or if, you know, there weren’t blood seeping through the front. lol And his teacher doesn’t have kids, but the police haven’t visited me yet to check on his welfare, so I think we’re okay.

  3. Emily G

    I’m very conscious about those things too. I have six, but my oldest is only 7 so we’re pretty conspicuous. My 3-year-old daughter hates underwear. I put them on her in the morning, and she discards them quietly the first time she has to use the potty (or before). We’re supposed to check before we go out, but I forget. Last week we tried out a new church. Guess who made it there commando? And kept standing up on the pew and hiking up her skirt to moon everyone behind her? Yeah. I was in the back with the baby and my husband was oblivious right next to her while I cringed, looking at those little cheeks. We obviously have making a good first impression down well here.

  4. Kate

    I only have 3 kids, but I worry about this clothing thing, too. Homeschooling and having an above-average number of kids is enough to attract attention!

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