It’s almost time for my kids to go back to school. I have almost a weekend in between now and the first day of school. I just read Jen Mann’s thought-provoking post about things she found on Pinterest to do before school starts and reasons they suck, and now I feel like I just woke up 2 hours after I was supposed to be at work, and I’m asking myself, “What the fuck happened to my alarm clock?”
1. Enroll the kids who are not automatically enrolled.
In my case, this is the Pre-K. The last kid. This I started in March. The day they opened pre-k registration, I camped out at the school around 3AM waiting for 7AM. There were already 5 other mothers camping with me. It’s the only free pre-school, and the only pre-school that operates more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, in a 10 mile high-traffic radius, and it only has room for like 5 kids who aren’t Head Start. Now I know some moms don’t mind driving 20 minutes or a half hour to get their kid to school, but try getting 3 kids to two schools 30 minutes apart at the same time.
Then last week, I got a call from the school demanding the immunization records and birth certificate or the kid doesn’t get to go. She said it in a threatening manner just like that too. The immunizations, I got what I could faxed. Now the birth certificate, they want one from the state, not the one they give you when you give birth, so the one I have isn’t good enough. So I drove all 3 of my kids an hour one way to the state Capitol, got the piece of paper waiting in a long line with 3 kids, drove back without stopping to shop, and gave the school the piece of paper.
2. Do some laundry.
You don’t have to do all the laundry. I mean what kind of life would you have if your laundry was caught up? Ha. No, just make sure you have a good week’s worth of clean clothes for the kids. When it comes to things like getting laundry caught up and sorting through clothes packing away summer clothes, giving away out-grown clothes, washing winter coats… Do all that other shit while they are at school. You’ll be more productive if you don’t have them tugging on your leg every 30 seconds. I feel like the Pinterest Genius with my, “Wait until AFTER school starts,” like duh!
3. “Sew” Clothes
I know this sounds Pinterest, but it’s not. My kids have a lot of holes on the knees of their pants, those stretchy leg warmer pants we wear under skirts and long shirts that you can wear all year. That’s most of what they wear. So I went to Walmart and got fabric swatches that were cheap and cool looking, and fabric glue. I glued those SOB’s over the holes on the insides of the pants. I did the iron-on glue. The hardest part was not gluing the pants together or getting cardboard on the glue from in between. Next round, I’m trying parchment paper in between the pants. I did this on the living room floor while watching Netflix after the kids went to bed.
4. Shop back to school items
I still have to shop some back to school clothes, something we don’t normally do until mid-fall for sales, better clothing options as winter gear isn’t really out in August, and more money (I always seem to be waiting for some big check around September). But the things we do get before school starts…
- Back-up Backpacks (cheap ugly ones on sale) because my kids won’t go to school without one, and they are so young they don’t really need one.
- Art shit by Crayola so they have the false sense of getting back to school supplies they don’t need because the school supplies that shit. Don’t worry, they’ll play with them, lose them, and break them before school starts. It was just for fun.
- Folders. The school provides a folder, but they expect you to clean it out daily. Psssht. As if I have no life right? Get a folder for the backpack designed to move the school papers over to that folder. Teach your kid to do it.
- Shoes. This the mother-in-law does. But shoes are important because they ruin all their shoes in the summer.
5. Paper Bin for each kid.
You don’t want to keep this where the kids can find it or reach it, but you want a bin for each kid to throw the papers you don’t throw away. The art work. Some of the hand-writing if you do what I do… I once tried one of those little wall hanging things. They are still up there with kid names on it. No, you fill it up too fast. The schools hate trees and are trying to kill all the rainforests with the amount of paper they send home. I also tried a file in the filing cabinet. Again, I was thinking too small. You need a real bin, like something that can hold a comforter.
What I did one year, and will do again this year… When my oldest finished first grade, I grabbed a stack of her papers from school with her handwriting, and I turned it into a font. I want to do that with all my kids. I might write a how-to some day, or provide it as a paid service maybe… The artwork is also going to be a font that I shall call Refrigerator Art.
This year, I’m also thinking of seeing how annoying it is to recycle paper for all the girl scouts ads, parenting magazines, nutrition sheets, fundraisers and 3 page papers about field trips.
This is about it.
The sleep schedule? That will happen on its own, and it’s easier to just let the school day do it for you because the activity they do at school, you can never mimic it at home because you don’t have all the kids the school has. The socializing wears them down more than playing outside, and you need that in order to get them to actually fall asleep before 10 PM. For those who make their kids lay down at 9PM and yell at them to go to sleep until midnight, seriously, stop stressing about it.
In fact, just about everything you can possibly think to do you should wait until school starts and you have all those hours to yourself to do them. Now my
AFTER SCHOOL STARTS THINGS TO DO
1. Clean the house
2. Shampoo carpets
3. Sort through clothes prepping for winter
4. Type things in Google Calendar as the kids bring home school stuff
5. Teach science since the schools don’t anymore for my kids’ age. We have a microscope and telescope now.
6. Find my brain I lost this summer.
7. Get the flu shots because the schools are filled with mini-assassins trying to kill you with germs, just like they did with the Indians.
8. Lysol the classroom when teachers aren’t looking because number 7.
9. Prep house for flu season disinfection
10. Fuck my husband
Embrace the peace of having the day to yourself, and the insanity school makes you pay for it. Don’t volunteer for anything.