And just like that, I’m down to one kid for the bulk of my mornings and afternoons. Little Man went back to school today — he’s now a fourth grader.
I could talk about how I can’t believe that my baby boy is close to being in middle school, but then I’d get all teary-eyed. Not that you could see me, but just know that I would. Any milestone or event that thrills my husband manages to leave me feeling bittersweet, with a strong lean towards bitter.
Before I have to wipe something out of my eye, let’s talk about what Little Man going back to school really means for us.
We are late people. Doesn’t matter where we’re going, you can guarantee that we’re going to be the last ones rolling up. It kills me not being wherever I’m going five minutes early, but no matter how much we plan to leave on time, things happen and we’re late. This drives me nuts, but this is how it’s been since we added on a second kid.
I don’t know if there are records for tardies at school, but if there are, we’re definitely contenders for the trophy. (Or maybe it’d be a stern look and a lecture about how we’re being detrimental to his education.) We rarely manage to get out the door on time, and it’s not for lack of trying. Little Man is one of the slowest kids on earth. I’m pretty sure that Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth was written about him. He gets out of bed slowly. He uses the bathroom slowly. He gets distracted by a dozen things on the way to the table, and when he does manage to make it to the table, he chews very slowly. Even when we get him out of bed 20 minutes earlier, he still thwarts that.
On top of the slowness, there’s always something — the lunch box, the belt, glasses, etc. that gets left behind. Or maybe Baby Girl has to poop the second she gets strapped in her car seat. Despite our best efforts, we’re still often the ones driving like maniacs to shove him out of the car before the tardy sign is put out.
Pokemon cards make me want to cry more than watching my babies grow up. Every kid has an obsession that their parents can just barely tolerate, and Pokemon is it for me. Little Man tends to develop tunnel vision with his hobbies or interests, and every so often his focus lands on Pokemon cards. When that happens, I listen to nonstop chatter about which Pokemon is best, which one has the least points, what each Pokemon evolves into, etc. I try my best to seem interested, but every time he starts on about Pokemon, a part of me dies a little.
In the remaining few weeks of the past school year, most parents were complaining about all of the projects due or having to pay for lost books. Not my husband and me. Instead, we were griping about having to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Let’s put it like this — if Little Man stopped eating PB&Js, Jif and Smucker’s would feel the impact. The kid would eat PB&J for every single meal if you let him. He’s mostly a great eater and will try just about any non-spicy food, but when it’s up to him, it’s PB&J.
You wouldn’t think that making one type of sandwich for 100+ days would wear on you so much, but somehow it does. And it’s not just me — when we’d pack Little Man’s lunchbox at night, my husband and I would race to be the one to get the snacks just so we wouldn’t have to make the godforsaken PB&J. That might sound a bit dramatic, but I swear, the fart noise the squeeze jelly makes gets to you, somehow, after hundreds of times. One day we’ll see that as an enhanced interrogation technique.
(I was going to do a doodle of someone being tortured with jelly here, but then I thought it might be in poor taste.)
We could just let LM pack his own lunch, but it’s one of those parent things we mostly want to do just because. We could also insist on different sandwiches, but the boy is rail thin, and lord knows I don’t want him going on a hunger strike. So welcome back, PB&Js.
2017-2018 school year, here we come.
What’s something you don’t look forward to about school starting back?