A Short Rant on Forms

Econ-mom (EM), I feel a rant about forms bubbling up inside of me.

You mentioned forms in a prior post. I have just spent the past hour of my Saturday afternoon (and I am still not done) filling out forms for an after school program my girls are joining mid-way into this semester. (The reasons for this late transition are numerous. It is a very long story for some other rant on finding suitable after school care and the law).

Here is my rant:


She still has allergies. She still has asthma. THIS IS NOT CHANGING. Same program. Same child. Can’t last year’s paperwork carryover? Can’t you hand it to me with an addendum or something for me to sign? I’ll initial every page. “Yep. Still applies. Yep, this applies, too. Yep, she still carries around 3 different medications with her.” Initial. Initial. Initial. Done. Thank you.

Yes, I authorize you to administer whatever medication is needed and necessary to KEEP MY CHILD ALIVE. You don’t need 25 sheets of paper with my signature on it to tell you to do so. You just need common sense.

Does this sound petty and whiny? Keep in mind that the vast majority of these forms require a physician’s signature. Do I still sound petty and whiny?

(For the purposes of completing this last batch of forms, I found her summer school forms that were signed by my daughter’s physician. I attached them as an addendum to the new forms they wanted me to sign, indicating that the documents apply across the board to any and all programs my daughter is involved in, and then signed and initialed the life out of that paperwork until it could not breathe its last breath. And if anyone gives me any iota of a complaint about the sufficiency of that paperwork, I will first try to calmly explain that, as a legal document, what I did was 100% perfectly acceptable. And if that doesn’t work, I guess I will just have to smile, grit my teeth, and very nicely ask our saint of an allergist to sign some more forms for me…again.)

Okay. Rant over.

P.S. It took 10 minutes to fill out SC2’s forms. So, there you have it. It takes about six times longer for parents of special needs children to fill-out paperwork for activities and programs their children participate in.

EM’s comments:

There’s something ironic about an attorney complaining about too many forms – ha! (Sorry Courtney, I’m sure this is playing into some lawyer stereotypes that you don’t appreciate.) Then again, perhaps you have the power to fix this!  Please add to your to-do list “start a non-profit dedicated to reducing the number of forms parents have to fill out.”

[Law-mom (LM): Actually, it’s funny you mention this, because I initially had a paragraph about this being the fault of attorneys. But then I scrapped it, because it got so tangential that I needed a legal disclaimer that I wasn’t providing any legal advice or opinions on the subject. Ha!]

Let me just state that I can’t believe you have to get a physician’s signatures for all these forms.  That’s right up there with going to the post office for me.  I need to get a TB test done so that I can volunteer at Tuffy’s school, and I have been now putting this off for about 10 months.  I almost got it done last time I took Tuffy in for an evaluation, but after doing a 1.5 hour eval I stopped by the nurse’s clinic where they administer the TB test and there was a HUGE line.  And we already needed to go wait in another line to get flu shots.  And this was taking place on a weekday morning so Tuffy was missing school.  Of course, had Tuffy and I decided to wait in that line, I would have had to drive back to the clinic 48 hours later to have someone read the test.

[LM: As Jen Hatmaker would say: FOR. THE. LOVE!]

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