Am I Really Trying to Grill S’mores from an Algebra Book Bonfire?

smores

The smells of Elmer’s Glue, pencil shavings, and over-tenured teachers are in the air. Target, Staples, and Walmart are vying to be the school supply headquarters. Pottery Barn Kids is out of 98% of their backpacks and lunch bags (trust me on this).

Aaaaaaand just like that, it’s back to school.

I am not ready.

Also, where the hell did summer go?

The school year seems to be starting earlier and earlier each year. I heard a rumor that next year classes will commence on July 6th. Like China.

I don’t know about you, but I am putting my foot down on this early school year. Even the full-time working parents are over it, and their kids need to go someplace. All day.

Back to School

At this young age (8), going back to school for my daughter means I am also going back to school. Her homework, means I have homework. By homework I mean yelling, “Sit down and do your homework!” Then making her erase all her misspelled words and start over. Then moping and crying a little. By me.

Going back to school means going back to activities we blew off most of the summer. Oh yeah, you take gymnastics. Now we have to be somewhere at 4 p.m. every Wednesday. Oh, piano is Monday? Wait, you have Girl Scouts on Monday. Well, maybe we can switch the day to Tuesday. No, that won’t work, you have Taekwondo on Tuesday. Eff it.

Going back to school means spending money. A lot of money. All on stuff I don’t get to keep. For the amount of money spent on random school carnival wear and apparatus, magazine drives, teacher gifts (okay, that’s a good one), school lunch fund, random school promotional materials, social clubs, socks (we always need those), and just giving money to the school because aren’t we nice – I could go to Fiji and stay at a resort. Okay, not Fiji, but maybe Austin for the weekend. With a new pair of pants.

Going back to school means volunteering. A lot. Oh wait, I mean, ignoring emails about various volunteer “opportunities,” then saying things like, “I didn’t get that email.” While peeling out of the school parking lot. At five miles per hour (it’s the speed limit there).

I need more summer.

See you next year.

See you next year.

Remember when we were in grade school? The summers seemed to last forever. Come August, even the kid who couldn’t spell was ready to go back to school. I remember being at my neighborhood pool, swatting flies away from the Fudgsicle dripping down my arm, while listening to Prince’s Purple Rain album playing on a loop, thinking, “Yeah, I’m kind of over this.” It was a good thing too because by summer’s end my one-piece was kind of over it too [Cue over-stretched, saggy-assed swimsuit].

Even as a parent, in summers past I have been ready to shove…er…escort my child out the door to school.

I need another week. Or two.

I know how you feel sweetheart.

I know how you feel sweetheart.

I need to slather my child in SPF 50. Just one more week. I need to say to my daughter, “No, you cannot have a popsicle. It is nine a.m.” Just one more week. I need to complain about the lame summer television show options (except for The Leftovers and Ray Donovan). Just one more week.

So I might have to start a movement down here in Texas: Operation Start School After Labor Day. By September, teachers will be ready, parents will be ready, and students will be ready. Homework will actually start to look good.

Nope. No it won’t. I took it too far.

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Am I Really Pulling Cotton Candy from My Ears?

What is going on in my brain.

What is going on in my brain.

I am not a forgetful person. I write everything down, I keep three calendars, and as previously mentioned, I a super organized.

Lately, however, it feels as though my brain is full of Laffy Taffy and a few scratch -n- sniff stickers. This status does nothing for me since this is the first week of school and I have volunteered for eight hundred and nine school activities this year (Burrito Breakfast anyone).

I knew I was in trouble when my daughter came up to me and said, “I don’t think these underpants fit me anymore.” She looked like a small, female plumber, wearing something akin to a Tinker Bell thong.

That’s when I remembered I was supposed to buy new underwear and socks. Like a month ago.

People like to be quippy and call this form of spaciness, “Mommy Brain.” I would like to beat the sh*t out of those people. Mommies are the few human beings who actually have it together. They are multitasking masters.

No, I am afraid I have something that is a cross between Alzheimer’s and a hangover. It is a severe case of the dum dums.

You too may have a case of the dum dums if you exhibit the following symptoms:

1)      Go to the store specifically for milk and come back with scotch tape, a pencil sharpener, and five navel oranges. No milk.

2)      Sit studiously at a school meeting taking notes and realize you left the dog outside.

3)      Perpetually look lost. So much so that store clerks go out of their way to make sure your “find everything you need.”

4)      Constantly remark how tired you are, but when asked, cannot remember what you did that day. Or week.

5)      Drool.

6)      Sort coupons. Put coupons in purse. Go to store. Buy stuff. Never use coupons. (This phenomenon also works for re-usable grocery bags).

7)      Run around the house looking for sweater. Yell about the inability to find sweater. Blame all those in close proximity for moving sweater (dog included). Curse the day. The day is ruined. It is too cold to sit in a movie theater without a sweater. Panic for no reason. Find sweater in pile of clothing where it was left.

8)      Write important notes to yourself such as: hair plugs, and recycled burrito. Both misspelled.

9)      Forget what number nine was.

Instead of chastising myself for my absent-mind, I am calling it a gift.  My father cannot hear in one ear, and the other ear is questionable. When all of the grandkids are yelling and screaming at a yodeler’s level, he can fall asleep. Right next to them. That’s God’s gift to him.

Lately, life has been off the chain for me and my family. I feel so beat down at times, that I forget what I am doing right in the middle of the act – allowing me to focus solely on the amount of Cheez-Its bags in the house (school lunch tomorrow?), and America’s Got Talent. Neither of which I truly partake in.

So this is my gift, to forget. Forget the crazy, forget the worry, forget the anxiety. To just float a bit.

Now could someone tell me where I put my calendar, because I have no idea where I am supposed to be right now.

 

Am I Really Singing “Back to School…Hell Yeah!” To the Tune of Team America?

Awwwwwwwww yeah! It’s on parents! It’s that time of year when you are ready, like so ready to say the words, “Hurry up, or you’ll be late for school.” You are done with going to the pool/beach/mall/museum/animatronic kid movie. You might vomit if your child brings home one more homemade shield/garden tool/pipe cleaner butterfly/tie-die t-shirt from camp. Your hands have developed muscle cramps from making so many sandwiches that you gladly look forward to the crabby lunch lady giving your child sloppy joe indigestion for the next nine months.

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I get that giddy, smell the pencil shavings feeling every time the school year starts. It’s a new year, a new classroom, a new teacher – all holding new promise. One of the best parts of going back to school is the school supplies. The new pens, folders, backpacks, glue sticks, and Trapper Keepers (a 1980s reference yes, but they were awesome!).

But the real reason parents are ready for school is because, that sweet, sweet, angel baby of yours has got to get out of the house before you send her to a year round boarding school…in Papa New Guinea.

Whew, summer is just too much together time.

I love my daughter, could kill a mountain lion with my bare hands for her, but if she asks one of the following again, I will go postal:

1)      Can I have a snack? Why not the good cookies?  I love being a mom, but it’s the constant meal preparation that’s tiresome. When it is 98 degrees outside the last thing I want to do is cook. Even going to the pantry can be a beating. When the food I have prepared is met with a, “I’m not eating this,” I can make Mommy Dearest look reasonable.

2)      What are we doing today?  My child went to some camps over the summer. It was great. However, for a couple of weeks she stayed home full time. I called this Camp Wannadrinkwine and then I pretended I couldn’t hear her complaints.

3)      Can we buy this?  Summer of 2012 = Empty your pockets. Seriously, I’m broke. Where the hell is Suze Orman when you need her? When your child is home you look for things to do. Usually these things cost money. Camp, movies, water parks, snacks and lunches out, the zoo, and on and on it goes. Thank God for school, I’ll need these nine months to save up for next summer.

It’s time to go sister.

And I am not alone.

Many schools around the country have “Welcome Back” coffees on that first day of school. I suggest they change the name to the “I’m Free Bitches!” coffee. It’s a more honest name.  Under the delirium of back to school freedom, we gladly sign up to participate in every upcoming school event.  That and I think they put Khalua in the coffee. Or at least they should.

Why this driving need to shove your child out of the car and peel out of the parking lot on that first day back?

Balance.

We all need a break. Ever hear of too much of a good thing? We need time away to appreciate one another. If my husband and I hang out too much with one another, I suggest he go in the other room for a while. By day five of our honeymoon we were both like, “When’s our flight out of here again?”

We need change. It’s probably why we have seasons. Summer is awesome, but can you imagine sweating like Boss Hog everyday of your life? No thanks.

It’s why we have vacations, to get away and/or be together. But aren’t you usually glad to go home?

I used to feel bad about being excited to be away from my child for a few hours a day. Why? That’s crazy. It’s not because I don’t love her. Quite the contrary. I know I am a better mother if I have time to myself, away from her and everyone. We all need alone time to stay sane.

So, as little Carl mopes on the couch sighing that he is bored, or little Shandra refuses to make her bed (again) because it is summer; don’t blow a gasket – just remember – school is right around the corner.

Then you have nine months of letting her have it for not making the bed.