“We just have to hang in there for a few more weeks!,” she said as she passed me at Sam’s Club. Finn was peacefully sleeping in his carrier while Maddox and Walker climbed frantically all over the giant buggy begging to go find more samples; her kids were doing about the same. “Ehhh,” I replied and shrugged. If my non-committal answer didn’t give me away, surely my face did, as I scrunched it up to almost cartoonish proportions. “I kind of hate when school starts,” I said. Knowing this would be almost as unpopular as getting trapped in a group text message, I pushed my
screaming disasters children away without looking back.
Yeah…if I’m being totally honest here, I really hate that school is happening again this year.
Don’t get me wrong; Mary Poppins I am not. Probably four out of the seven days of the week I threaten to lock the older boys outside with only hose water to drink if they come in and tattle on each other one more time. There are some days when I look at the clock, expecting it to be at least 6pm and, turns out, its only 9:37am.
But hear me out on the many reasons why I’m not ready to send my kids to school quite yet:
1. Elementary school is like some sort of Olympic sport.
Well, I guess technically it isn’t, but it should be. There are papers and folders and things to be initialed and signed. There are snacks to pack and lovies to remember for rest time. There are class parties and crafts to be made and book fairs to send money for. There are field days and carnival days and booths to be manned and time to be donated. There are projects and homework and it’s all just a lot. I can barely remember where I put my purse 80% of the time and keeping up with two kids and all their “stuff” for school is flat out hard.
2. I cannot deal.
I cannot deal with everything that takes place to “gear up” for back to school. I cannot deal with parents who refuse to buy Clorox wipes because “their little Susie doesn’t directly use them, so that mean teacher must just be trying to get her own personal items purchased.” (Side note: your little Susie is a germ-infested cesspool like the rest of the class, my kids included. BUY THE DANG WIPES LADY.) I cannot deal with orientation; we have gone here for three years now. I know the staff. I know where the rooms are. I know “we are going to have a super fun great year.” I cannot deal with tax-free shopping; my sanity is worth more than 9% off. I cannot deal with the fact that it is still summer time, which I will segue into…
3. Why the heck does school start back five minutes after it was let out?
I’m about to sound like an old timer over here, but back in my day, school started late August/early September. I have a late August birthday (the 26th — please message me for my contact info so that you may shower me with gifts) and school was usually beginning within a few days before or after that date. My kids go back to school August 11th. I feel like we just left and walked out of the building. There’s still so much summering to be done. My mom didn’t go back to school until Labor Day and frankly that sounds like heaven. It’s really hard to convince your kids it’s bedtime, FYI, when the sun is boiling them through their bedroom windows.
4. Back to school means back to schedules.
During the summer, we are flat out feral. We just are. No one wears shoes and the boys dress themselves and we eat 10,000 snacks and sometimes I let them eat Goldfish crackers for dinner. During school though, I want them to have more brainpower than that of a baked potato, so I schedule their time accordingly. We come home, do homework, play for an hour or two, come in, eat dinner, take showers, get everything ready for the next morning, and go to bed. Every day. Day in and day out. Schedules make me crazy; I hate it.
In summer, we go to the zoo, to the waterpark, to the local pool. We stay up until it’s really, really dark outside and everyone is worn out, exhausted. We just have fun because my kids are little and obsessed with me and want to hang out with me and each other and I soak it up because I know in a few years they’re going to decide living at home for forever and sleeping in my bed isn’t as cool as they thought it was. I wanted all boys for a reason, people. I am their queen for now and sorry not sorry I will be basking in it as long as I can. I feel less like a queen and more like a drill sergeant when I’m trying to cram all our time for the evening into five hours of stuff we have to get done in order to be productive humans.
When school starts, summer ends and then it gets cold. All the pretty trees and flowers die. It snows. I shake like a Chihuahua because I am freezing all the time and yell things like “IT’S REALLY DUMB THAT WE LIVE HERE AND NOT AT THE BEACH/ON THE SURFACE OF THE SUN.” The kids are all inside and miserable and it gets dark at 3pm and we all have to wear 40 layers of clothes to go do anything at all and I become furious once again that I don’t live inside a volcano. (Yes, I know that the Earth has seasons regardless of school starting on August 11th or September 11th, but school starting is a reminder that soon it will be cold and I will be a goblin praying for April to come back.)