(A Not-So-Helpful Guide to School Readiness)
Don’t panic… but when’s the last time you actually looked at your calendar? It’s still on June! Do you realize that school starts in less than a week? You need all kinds of… stuff… and… things… for school.
And now the fun really begins.
1) School Supplies
The list gets longer and more demanding each year. A two dollar generic binder? Yeah, right. Like that’s really gonna fly. This year, you’ll need a $20 Five Star zipper binder that your kid will yank the zipper right off with his teeth by the second day of school.
Oh, and they insist on red and blue folders only. You bought yellow? Really? And neon orange polka dot composition notebooks? The list specifically says black marble composition notebooks! And they say that reading is a lost art.
Your kids have outgrown all of their clothing over the summer. The boys’ shorts could easily pass for Daisy Dukes, their jeans fit like capri pants, and every last shirt has mysteriously morphed into a cropped top. Their socks are either orphaned, mismatched pairs or holier than a slice of Swiss cheese.
As for the girls and the two things in their closets that actually do fit? Sooooo last year. Their skirts are all bordering on indecent after sudden growth spurts. (Expect a phone call from concerned school administrators on that one, with a polite “inquiry” about your questionable ability to serve as a role model for your children. What exactly is it that you do for a living, again?)
3) Tax-Free Weekend
Sounds promising, right? Who doesn’t like saving money, after all? And it truly is a fabulous concept, in theory… if your idea of a good time is reenacting Black Friday, school supply style.
So instead of fighting over the newest PlayStation that’s on sale, you now find yourself in a big box store, shoving your way through endless aisles of school supplies while vying for that last pack of Crayola crayons. Until common sense kicks in and you realize that knocking someone out with a left hook in front of a selection of Care Bear and Sesame Street backpacks is probably not worth going to jail for.
4) Drained Bank Account Syndrome
You know how people are always saying having kids isn’t cheap? Well, guess what? They’re right.
5) Locker Practice
As kids get into the higher grades, they are assigned a black hole with a lock to shove their 80 pounds of books/unwanted homework assignments in. Of course, they end up with the dreaded bottom locker. By the way, when’s the last time you had to actually open a combination lock?
So now you’re on all fours and panting like a crazed dog in heat, in an unsuccessful attempt to “demonstrate” how to open your child’s sadistic locker. You finally get it after 28 frustrating minutes and 37 infuriating attempts. And you are then rewarded for your effort with the equally enjoyable task of trying to cram a shelf evenly into that locker, because a lopsided shelf is supposedly as useful as no shelf at all.
6) Schedule Pickup/Teacher Assignment
Ah! The joy of walking with your child through their daily schedule, from class to class, a few days before school officially starts.
One class is undoubtedly outside in the portables, and somehow you take a wrong turn and end up lost in the parking lot, which is greater than or equal to 6 football fields in dimension.
7) Wakie, Wakie!
Having to get up early/go to bed early has been a challenge lately. Some mornings, you’re all still in bed at 9:00. And school starts at 7:45? Ha! This ought to be good. Time to invest in a rooster, perhaps?
After grumbling all summer about the incessant insanity and begging for school to start again soon, you’re actually secretly sad that school has started. The carefree days of eating ice cream for breakfast and hanging out by the pool have come to an end.
Silence is so overrated. It’s tempting to climb to the top of the staircase and dropkick a lamp on to the tiled floor below or go outside to pick a fight with the neighbor in an attempt to replicate the very chaos you’ve just spent the entire 12 weeks of summer trying to avoid.