When Seth King’s kids are late for school or an activity, the Utah dad takes pen to paper and turns the mistake into a hilarious message.
King, a father of five from Herriman, Utah, has become Internet-famous for the excuse notes he pens to his children’s teachers -- notes that are a mixture of comedy, fiction, truth, shaming and love.
“I was probably writing too many late notes for my children when I started having what one might describe as 'a little more fun with the writing exercise,’” King told ABC News of how he was inspired two years ago to make the tedious practice more fun.
“I hoped that this new late note style would motivate my [then] middle school teenagers to make a greater effort to minimize or eliminate their teenage tardiness tendency,” King said. “I want them to know that life is hard and decisions have consequences, but above all, their parents love them, they're cared for, we have their back and it's important to smile, laugh and always look on the bright side."
King’s notes for his five children -- ages 15, 13, 10, 6 and 3 -- combine just that right amount of love, laughs and consequence.
In one note for his youngest child, 3-year-old Liam, King describes how his son has been “borrowing skeeballs from local kid zone areas, unbeknownst to his parents.”
In another note for his 6-year-old son Nolan, King writes that he and his son were “up late watching Major League Baseball” and he had to help him learn the spelling of Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Jake Arrieta.
In a note for his daughter, Sophia, King wrote how she and her mom, King’s wife, Angela, were comparing heartbreak over Zayn Malik leaving One Direction and “Dr. McDreamy” being killed off “Grey’s Anatomy.”
King said that though his notes are funny, they are no joke and each of his kids is really sent to school with them in hand when they are late.
“In order for my children to have their tardiness excused by their teachers and the attendance office, they have to take them in,” King said. “I think my eldest has 'lost' a few of the notes on the way to her first class, but I make sure she has them.”
King said his children are usually “frustrated” by the notes and ask him to just “write a normal one,” but they know that he loves them and is just “trying to make them smile.”
The notes will be documented for the kids for a good long time, thanks to King’s Instagram account, @latenotes, where he posts a handful of the 30 to 40 notes he has written over the last two years.
“Instagram was a way to document our journey as a family,” King said. “We will go back to things posted years ago and ask ourselves, ‘Where did the time go?’”
“We cherish the memories and are happy that others find joy in the @latenotes silliness that makes up a part of our lives,” he said. “It's a difficult challenge with so much noise that surrounds us as people and parents with families, but when that teenager or child snuggles up to you to express their thoughts and concerns about life, there is nothing more important.”