Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to school blues

Back to school. Usually those three little words have parents jumping for joy. Not me. And not because I'm one of those overly protective Moms that is all "I'm gonna miss my babies" No way! I'm looking forward to a break. I just hate all of the work that goes into "going back to school" I'm thinking of becoming and advocate for year round school and I'll tell you why. Just after July 4th, retailers go in a frenzy about being the first to break out all of their back to school stuff. The summer hasn't yet begun and we were looking at backpacks and pencils. NO. Let us enjoy the summer. By the week before school is about to start EVERYONE is in a frenzy. Suzy needs a haircut, Jimmy needs new glasses, and every parent feels obligated to buy bags full of new clothes. I personally don't think that there should be ONE time of the year where you need to buy your kids new clothes and shoes. Clothes should be part of your monthly budget. Shoes should be bought when there is need i.e. they're falling apart or you are outgrowing them. Buy Billy a new pair of shoes now because he "needs them for back to school" even though the ones you bought him 2 months ago are still perfectly fine. Surrrrrre that makes sense. Then you'll have to buy him another pair in a few weeks when he grows out of these. But we ALL do it. Then comes supplies. In our district, we're given a list of supplies that we are expected to purchase. It's very specific. And no matter what, there isn't a chance you can get everything on the list without going to at least 3 different stores. Target doesn't carry orange plastic folders, but Walmart does but they don't have the yellow ones. Office max doesn't have the special notebooks you need, try your luck somewhere else. And there is always at least ONE thing on someone's list that you need to get at one of those specialty teaching stores. It almost makes more sense to just order the prepackaged supplies from the PTA but my kids are way too spoiled and they just HAVE to pick the color of their binder and their pencil box. etc.  etc. OK So the pile of clothes has been bought. I have found almost everything on their supplies list. They have new backpacks and lunch boxes and a couple pairs of shoes. they're ready to go. Then you get that ONE friend (you know who you are) that says "hey, we should get together and make our meet the teacher gifts this year!" Say what?? I'm supposed to make a teacher gift? OK I'm all for sucking up so the teacher falls in love with my kid, but WHEN was I supposed to make these crafts?? I have 3 kids. The littlest is in Pre-k and has 2 teachers. That's 4 teachers I needs to suck up to. I'm still trying to find that damn construction paper that needs to be made of special material and comes in a size not carried by anyone anywhere. AND I need to get to the grocery store before all the Moms who are "doing it right this year and sending lunch" get there and buy all of the bread and bananas. We ALLLL know that it's going to take you less than 2 weeks to give it up. Have you ever seen the grocery store out of bananas in October? no. But show up the night before school starts and tell me what you see. OK so Sunday night before school starts I'm walking around an unfamiliar craft store ( because Hobby Lobby is closed ) trying to find something quick and easy to make so my kids aren't the only ones without a gift for their teacher because apparently this is a "thing" now. I still have to cook dinner, unpack all of their backpacks and lunchboxes and "set" all that crap up and put them in the bath and get them ready for bed. I didn't help that my daughter lost a tooth that day and when I say lost I mean LOST. we have no clue where it is so now I have THAT to deal with. We settle on tissue paper flowers. I set them up and cook while they're working . We eat. As I'm placing their dinner plates on the table I "find" the lost tooth that she must have "lost during breakfast" when in actuality, I save baby teeth in our safe because I was never sure what I was supposed to do with them. So I went in an dug one out of the safe and "found" it. Whatever. It worked. Don't judge me. So we're clean, we clean up the playroom and pick clothes for the first day. We read the "first day of school" story we're supposed to read AND we read our tooth fair story. FINALLY! They are in bed. I nearly forgot to trade the tooth for some money before I passed out because I was so tired. I dragged myself out of the bed on the first day, made lunch, and dropped them off at school. Ran a bunch of errands I had been avoiding etc. and visited with a friend. By the end of the day I couldn't remember why I was dreading the first day! Until I picked them up. They're tired. whining. fighting. Yup school is back. And they've come home with all of the "mommy homework" that I need to fill out with all of the same information I filled it out with last year. Then, next week, the teacher will claim they never got it and I'll have to do it again. I'm in bed with them at 9pm. By day 3 my daughter realizes she's not happy with ANY of the school clothes she picked out because they were all PANTS and we live in TEXAS. So she's not going to wear any of them until it's not so hot anymore. Yea. I could have waited until November to buy her new clothes. But NOOOOO I'm required to buy them now. Whether or not she wears them now doesn't matter. I just have to buy them now.... Has anyone else ever sat and thought about how much sense this all makes?

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