Quite a few moms are gearing up to breathe a collective sigh of relief when school opens up again, but I’m dreading back-to-school season almost as much as the kids. I’ve completed the immense task of tackling the shopping list, the supplies have been purchased and the kids’ uniforms have arrived. We’ve picked out new backpacks and lunchboxes, so we’re okay on that front. It’s not the preparation that’s bothering me. It’s the many things that occur when school opens up again for a new year that I detest.
I’ve had two glorious months of three kids with no sniffles, sneezes, or coughs. Not even so much as swimmer’s ear has slowed them down this summer. Yet, I know that once school opens up, by the third week in September, my youngest will have a contagious, nasty cold of some sort. Typically, it will happen right around the welcome back to school meeting. Two years in a row, I have exited my child’s school excited about a new school year while on my way to the pharmacy to purchase a fever reducer.
I can’t pinpoint why I hate making school lunches so much, but I certainly do not enjoy doing it. It’s like math and here is a sample problem: Suppose you’re pulling double duty by making breakfast and lunch simultaneously. Multiply that by the number of children you have. Factor in that at 7 am you are also feeding the pets, waking up tired children, locating stray socks, and attempting to exit the house on time. Now tell me how many days until you run out of the house screaming “No more!” The good news is that I have yet to come up with the answer, just like those trig questions back in high school.
I’m knocking on wood when I say that none of my kids have had lice yet, but every year those letters of doom go home, stating that a classmate has acquired the little critters. I usually scratch my head for the rest of that day and the next, as I repeatedly check my children’s scalps.
Hello inner nag, we’ll be meeting again in a few short weeks as I go back to living every day under the tyranny of a countdown clock — ensuring that the homework is complete, dinner is prepared, served, and cleaned up, and the kids are cleaned up and in bed on time. If I never again have to ask, “Did you do your homework yet?,” I will be eternally grateful. Mental countdown clock note: six more years to go on that one.
I realize I am fortunate to have ditched my corporate job and be able to wake up later during the summer as I work from my home office, but man, oh man, getting our day schedules back is gonna be brutal that first week in September. Goodbye to impromptu midnight writing sessions and not setting my alarm. Hello, to a ringtone that will become utterly annoying in a week’s time.
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What are you not looking forward to this new school year? Are you dreading a more restrictive schedule when school opens back up? Or are you happy as a lark to have a more defined schedule (with kids out of the house)? Let us know at www.faceb
Danielle Sullivan, a mom of three, has worked as a writer and editor in the parenting world for more than 10 years. Sullivan also writes about pets and parenting for Disney’s Babbl
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