Me? I like a challenge. However, the back-to-school hubbub is a bit overwhelming. With four students this year (sorry, college student offspring – you’ll have to figure your own stuff out), I am, in equal parts, dreading and looking forward to crossing off my list the following red-letter dates:
SOMETIME BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1: Make appointments for sports physicals and immunizations. Celebrate that a summer of sitting around the pool hasn’t resulted in muscular atrophy or brain-eating amoeba infestation. Shell out co-pays and pick up a bottle of wine on way home. Oh, and maybe think about registering Snugglebug for Kindergarten.
SEPTEMBER 1: High school student supplies shopping. Remember, at midnight or later, secondary students will, at some point, during the year, be expected to write something. They’ll need some paper to write on, and pens and pencils to write with. Maybe a binder to keep their writing in. Probably also some folders and whatnot. Make trip across town to all-night Walmart, where running into parents who are also freaking out and charging down the school supply aisles in inevitable. Watch out for speeding carts, driven by manic mothers and frustrated fathers. Purchase a bottle of wine, for good measure.
SEPTEMBER 2: High School Student Orientation Day. Meet the teachers, get signed off on sports registration, pay fees, pre-purchase annuals, get locker assignments, commiserate with fellow parents over the increase in ASB and sports fees. Leave with an empty wallet. Upon returning home, open the last bottle of wine in the kitchen, savoring, because it’ll be the last for at least a couple months. Open the pantry, make shopping list. Cross off everything but Top Ramen, which is the only thing the budget will now allow.
SEPTEMBER 3: Fall Sports Picture Day. Scrape up a bazillion dollars per athlete per sport for photos of said athletes looking cute and/or tough in their uniforms. Bemoan the fact that the Walmart portrait studio could do a comparable job for under twenty bucks. Wish for wine. Eye vintage bottle in wine rack. Resist temptation only because opening the bottle would mean dusting it off, first.
SEPTEMBER 4-5ish: Crap! I forgot to… register Snugglebug for Kindergarten. Complete application with a snifter of Southern Comfort, because dusting off wine bottles is too much work while hysterically scribbling out medical issues and allergies.
SEPTEMBER 5: Elementary School Open House. Meet more teachers. Completely embarrass and alienate self by obsessively emphasizing how said teachers need to understand my Sensory Processing Disorder students “don’t relate to the world at large as other kids do, and may need special accommodations when their environment becomes overwhelming.” Over. And. Over. Again. Begrudgingly deliver school supplies costing approximately the same as my first car.
SEPTEMBER 6: First Day of School. Sleep through alarm due to breaking down and opening bottle of vintage wine night before. Surely, the night before school starting is the “special occasion” we were saving it for, right? Wake in a dead panic, shake the kids awake. Dismiss the idea of a full, hot breakfast and send kids to bus stop with a baggie of dry cereal. Still in pajamas, deliver kids to respective schools after they miss their bus. Ignore amused looks from crossing guards. Return home, planning to start the life I’ve been promising, for years, to live “once all the kids are in school.” Take a nap, instead—because I can.