Countdown to Back-to-School

Posted by: , August 31, 2011 in 11:19 am

bento box-1The parenting magazines would have you believe that getting your kids ready to go back to school is as simple as sharpening some pencils and packing a healthy lunch in that adorable $60 bento box.

Not so much.

Yes, the bento box trend is adorable. And annoying. I’m not even willing to cut the crusts off their sandwiches, so I’m certainly not getting up at 4 a.m. to make Cuteness Overload for their lunches.

We have twelve days before school starts. It’s totally like the Twelve Days of Christmas, in that it involves hemorrhaging money and horrible amounts of stress.

12 Days Out
Take Cookie and the Pork Lo Maniac to the pediatrician to be weighed. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be up to a healthier weight; both have been living on Nutella, whole milk, and butter all summer. Plus, the Pork Lo Maniac has been off her ADHD meds for the whole summer. My right eye is still twitching, but it’s what we needed to do.

11 Days to Go
Say good-bye to the healthy weight gain and re-start Adderall for the Pork Lo Maniac.

10 Days Left
Clear off the Littlest Pet Shop Stage so it can resume its status as Homework Table. Don’t forget to also scrape the glitter glue off the chairs!

9 Days Oh My God We’re In Single Digits

The Original Book Sox - Jumbo Tye Dye
Book Sox Countdown to Back to School are fancy condoms for textbooks
that cost between $1 and $4.
This just in:  brown paper bags are still free

Spend the equivalent of one month’s mortgage payment on school supplies. Consider being a total rebel and wrapping books in brown paper instead of purchasing “book sox Countdown to Back to School .”  Wonder wh Countdown to Back to School en Zip-Loc baggies became “school supplies” and not “groceries.” If the teachers start putting “milk” and “eggs” on the list I’m going to start getting suspicious.

8 Days to Go
Force children to try on school pants in 90 degree weather. Attempt to convince them that their outgrown pants aren’t floods — they’re breezy, trendy capris.  Fail.

7 Days to Go
Go shopping for school clothes. Marvel at the way children’s clothes are sized. Why does the Medium look like a shrunken, belly-baring crop top, and the Large fits like a muumuu?

6 Days Out
Review bank statement. Lie down and weep.

5 Days Until Sweet, Sweet Silence in My House
Receive letter in the mail from the school, letting us know which teachers the kids have. Plan to spend 24 hours without access to my phone or computer, as the kids must find out immediately exactly which of their friends are in their classes.

4 Days Left
Meet with Little Dude’s teaching team to finalize “minor” IEP details, like “who’s going to change his Pull-Up if necessary?” Note the look of surprise on their faces when I inform them for the 23rd time that he is still not potty-trained. How is that a detail they forget?

sunshine Countdown to Back to School
Yes, I know the sun is still out.
Pretend it’s a giant nightlight.
T Minus Three

Realize that the kids’ bedtimes are still so out of whack it’s like we’re in a different time    zone.  Restore school year bedtime.  Endure extreme crankiness due to waking kids up at the crack of dawn, and forcing them to go to bed when the sun is still shining.  When they ask why the other kids are still outside on their bikes, respond with “because their Mommy doesn’t love them as much as I love you.”

Two Days Out
Dig through pile of crap to find their lunch boxes.  Discover that the lunch boxes contain mummified cheese sandwich crusts and two tablespoons of fermented Capri Sun.  Soak lunch boxes in straight bleach for six hours, rinse, and line-dry.  Ignore children when they ask why their lunches smell like the pool for the next three months.

Spend entire day in pajamas. Because we can. Try to get the kids to bed early but end up spending two hours reassuring them that their teachers will be nice / they’ll figure out where to put their backpacks / they’ll know someone in their class / they’ll be able to handle the increased responsibilities of [fill in grade].

First Day of School
Cuff up their pants that are four inches too long, but will be high-waters capris by March.

Stave off teary panic attack from at least one kid by blasting the Glee version of “Safety Dance” and breaking into crazy, spontaneous Family Dance Mode.  Hide tears of pride that my fifth graders — despite their IEPs and 504s for anxiety and ADHD — are still trusted by their teachers enough to help the first-grade teachers as “safeties” this year.

Send them off to school with sharpened pencils and a healthy lunch (in the same $6 lunch boxes they’ve had for three years).  Also send them with Zip-Loc baggies, three boxes of tissues, gallon-size jug of hand sanitizer, 16 marble copy books, 85 pocket folders (with brads), a gross of dry erase markers (low-odor only), and, for fifth graders, one stick of deodorant (OMG).

Return to peaceful eerily silent house. Call other moms and sniffle about how big our kids have gotten. Watch the clock until it’s time to get my babies back.


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