Back in the days before I had children, I knew EVERYTHING about child rearing. Seriously, I was the worlds greatest mom before I had children. One childless evening, I was discussing school with a good mom friend of mine. She had five children, all school age, and was mourning the end of summer. I thought any mom would be thrilled to send her children off to school and indulge in six glorious hours of "me time."
Guess what, the "me time" is a grand illusion, because school is evil and sends home mounds of paperwork for mom to fill out. Schools often guilt you into joining organizations and take on projects that suck up the me time. Then there are other projects, house, tidying up, work, and otherwise that cut into the me time. The evil, stupid school also implements "staggered schedules" which means you drop child A off at some crazy pre-dawn hour, come home get child B ready and send off to school. Then you have about 11 minutes of "childfree time", before you have have to pick up Child A. It's probably a good thing I only have two children for now. I can barely handle.... any of it.
Then when your children arrive home, it's like the equivalent of an Ironman Triathlon trying to fit in homework, reading, scouts, tutoring, sports, dance, all into a limited amount of time before bedtime. The kicker is that at some point you are all supposed to sit down and have dinner together. Your husband comes home at some point and the house you spent your "me time" tidying up looks as though a tornado came through it. He then scratches his head and says, "Wow... I thought you would have cleaned up."
Here's the real reason I hate having the kids go back to school:
I suck at being a responsible school mom.
I love summer, I love the routine of lazy mornings, swimming in the afternoon, and everyone is in pajamas and exhausted by 6pm. We have a family dinner, read a book or two, have a Popsicle and it's off to bed.
I am terrible at homework, I feel like such a nag. I never seem to remember to send back the right paperwork at the right time. I LOATHE packing lunches, Mr. Boy doesn't like sandwiches.
DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON AK'S START TIME. She starts school at 4am this year. Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, and it's really 5am. I can not tell you how many times I got AK dressed while she was sound asleep last year, put her in the car, still snoozing... and had to jostle her awake enough to stagger into class. Then to have to do it again this year.... I'm contemplating homeschooling. I just can't do it anymore. Poor AK, comes to her senses sitting on a rainbow rug in class, fully dressed and wondering how she got there and why is she wearing the skirt that she hates. It wasn't fun last year and I have a feeling it won't get any easier this year.
My attitude totally stinks and I totally know it. When the kids were telling Mr. Man all about their teachers with enthusiasm, Mr. Man whispered in my ear, "Wouldn't it be lovely if their attitude rubbed off on you?" Touche Mr. Man... Touche!
We started the school year with our traditional back to school feast of Pancakes and Pizza. We talked about our hopes and goals for the school year. I reminded the kids that as a family, we try our best, we are obedient and most importantly we are grateful for what we have. I'm not sure they listened, but they loved their mask, and they look forward to this dinner.
The next morning Mr. Boy was anxious to get to school. It was a 100 degrees but he insisted on this ensemble. Seriously, I love this boy, he is stylin.
AK doing her "Toddlers and Tiara's" pose. I love that she paired this dress with loud socks and riding boots. When it came to dropping the kids off, I turned to them in the car and said, "Alright, here's your chance... we start the car right now and head down to Disneyland this very minute or school, your choice." They both picked stupid school over Disneyland. Lame.
Mr. Boy was way too cool to be seen with me. He kept saying, "Mom, I'm fine... gooooo."
She ran out with a smile on her face, and announced that this would be her best year ever! As she walked with her friend talking about the best parts of their day, I felt my attitude melt a bit. But I still couldn't help but wonder, "How many more days until summer?"