West Sacramento mom’s note about teen daughter’s tardiness goes viral

Nicole Poppic and her daughter Cara.
Nicole Poppic and her daughter Cara.

A West Sacramento mother’s sarcastic note about her daughter’s “teenage-ism” is gaining social media attention around the nation.

Nicole Poppic wrote a letter that many a parent can relate to regarding her daughter Cara’s inability to get out of bed for school in the morning. In the note to school officials, she also said she had tossed her daughter’s cellphone out the car window.

Poppic posted the note on her Facebook page. Since Sept. 6 the posting has been viewed about 33,000 times.

The note reads:

“To whom it may concern,

Cara is tardy this morning as a result of a condition known as teenage-ism. Adolescents across our great nation are afflicted, and there is no known cure. Symptoms are multitudinous, but this particular morning, she suffered from an inability to remove herself from her bed, and also felt the need to talk back to her birth-giver.

She seems to be recovering her senses after watching her cellphone fly out the car window. Please call me if there is another flare-up.

Thank you,

Nicole Poppic”

In a blog that she started after the tardy note became famous online, Poppic explained that the morning of the note writing Cara, 14, had overslept. Her brother Alex, 10, and sister, Sammi, 4, were all ready to go.

“Cara was talking back and arguing with me over how much time she had, what she was going to eat for breakfast, and pretty much anything else I said. It was one of those lovely mornings that every mom with a teenager can relate to.

“No matter how awesome and well behaved your teen is, between the hormones and the natural separation between parents and kids that is supposed to happen during the teenage years, there are going to be moments that you butt heads.”

Once everyone was in the car, the mother started lecturing Cara about “thinking about other people.” Cara, it seemed, had tuned her out, and tuned into her favorite band on her headphones.

What was a mother to do? She reached over, took her daughter’s phone off her lap, unplugged her headphones and threw the phone out the car window.

The two took the note in together to the Delta High School attendance office. The attendance clerk smiled, Nicole Poppic said, and presented Cara with her tardy slip.

She later retrieved her daughter’s phone from where she had pitched it onto a neighbor’s lawn. She kept it from Cara for four days.

“I don't want anyone under the false impression that Cara is a bad kid,” Poppic wrote in her blog. “She is an honor roll student and an extremely talented piano player who can play anything after she hears it a few times. I am very proud of her and I love being her mom.

“She was just having a bad morning. Still, I feel it is important for all of my children to realize that no matter what kind of mood a person is in, they are still responsible for their own actions and they are expected to be aware of how those actions affect other people.”

Nicole Poppic said Wednesday that by the afternoon of the tardy note, mother and daughter had gotten over the episode. She said that she initially posted on Facebook with the intention of sharing only with her Facebook friends “because a lot of my friends are moms and they appreciate my sarcasm and humor in other posts about how I raise my kids.”

Eventually, a friend asked her to make the particular tardy note post public. The next thing she knew, thousands had viewed the post.

“I’m shocked and surprised that it went as viral as it did,” she said. Apparently, other parents can relate, she said.

She hopes that out of it all, another post on her Facebook page about post-traumatic stress syndrome gets attention. Poppic and her husband, George, Army veterans, had a friend commit PTSD-related suicide this summer.

She has set up a gofundme account titled “22 is 22 too many” for those from the friend’s troop to gather for a reunion to “heal, and mourn the loss of those who didn't receive the support that could have saved their lives.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews