School Days, School Days

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.

Tardies

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

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.


PB&J

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?

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IRS vs. PTO

This is one of the first posts on this blog and an edited repost seemed appropriate since school starts back for kids in our area this week. 

Parents of kids who have been in school — would you rather deal with the IRS or with the PTO?

Hmm?

You probably had to take a second to think about that. Answering questions related to purchases made years ago, deductions made, and other boring nonsense sounds pretty bad. But then you realize that you’re not comparing the IRS to car shopping or signing a million pages in a house closing — you’re comparing it to the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). At best, that realization gives you a sinking feeling in your stomach. At worst, you might be having some flashbacks and screaming, “No, God, no!” in your head.

The PTO is kind of life the mafia, but without the threat of violence. They’re constantly trying to shake you down for money, do favors for their top earners, and are masters at extortion. If your family doesn’t pay the protection membership fee, then watch out.

“Get out there with 50 packs of overpriced M&Ms and don’t come back until they’re gone.”

“Little Peter can only sell 10 tins of popcorn? Get his butt back out in front of the Walmart ’til they’re gone.”

“Each child was supposed to raise $300 for this fundraiser. Your child raised $298.12. You think that’s acceptable?! Hit. The. Streets. Find that money or else!”

Or something like that.

Some people like to believe that making kids stand on the corner or go house to house peddling whatever the item of the month is teaches them how to succeed in life. They’ll be great businessmen or women, become entrepreneurs, learn something about persistence. It also prepares them for a future in drug dealing, but making such a comment is a surefire way to get a dirty look or two cast in your direction.

Here’s a little visual comparison of the two organizations. I think we can all agree that the PTO is the worst (assuming you are honest on your taxes, anyway).

(You can zoom in to read the smallish handwriting. Laziness prevented me from redoing it.)

What would you add to the list of crappy things about the PTO?

I should mention that this isn’t representative of the PTO at Little Man’s current school…I plead the fifth on other experiences.

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Summer Busyness

Things have been busy. And I mean busy. With only a couple weeks left until Little Man starts back school, we’ve been trying to do everything left on our summer list. My lists are always very…ambitious. I way over plan things. Whether it’s what I’m going to get done around the house with a few hours to myself or what we’re going to do during summer vacation, I always plan for about four times as much as is possible to do.

As such, I am a bit behind on blogging. I have started over a dozen drafts, but haven’t gotten anything together yet. And I won’t even start on how far behind I am on reading blogs. But, we are doing so much around here. We’re painting and hiding rocks as part of the Kindness Rocks Project, doing science experiments, doing lots of artsy stuff, and are going lots of fun places. We’re making all kinds of memories! (And I’m fulfilling lots of orders for my little vinyl decal side thing, which is great, too.)

Here are a couple of quick doodles I did last week. Hopefully I’ll finish one of my drafts over the next couple of days and play a little catch up on reading y’all’s posts. I’ll probably wait until school starts back to do the next guest post doodle.

My husband vs. me. And, hey, arms that don’t look like penises!
They never take just one bite.

How is your summer going so far? 

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Hulk DNA

Like a lot of kids, Little Man has a love-hate relationship with school. He usually enjoys going — and often comes home excited about the things he got to do — but is less than thrilled with other parts. Namely having to get up in the mornings, staying for seven hours, and going for five days per week. (Half days two or three days per week is what he thinks would be suitable.) Oh, and the homework — he hates that, too. He considers it a form of medieval torture, and in kindergarten — when he’d come home with an hour’s worth of homework that required cutting, pasting, and coloring — I didn’t disagree.

During a complaint session back in first grade, Little Man gave us some interesting reasons for why he shouldn’t have to do the school thing.

You can’t say that the kid doesn’t have his priorities in order — Hulk DNA should definitely trump working on handwriting.

What are some excuses your kids (or you as a kid) came up with to try to get out of school?

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It’s Light Outside!

There are a lot of adjectives you can use to describe kids — some nice and some not so nice, especially when they’re having shit fits over bathing — and one of those adjectives is “inconsistent.” Some days Baby Girl loves oatmeal. Other days she closes her eyes (because not seeing it means it can’t go in her mouth, I guess) and rejects it, saying “I not like it, Mommy!” Some days (well, most days) she acts like hair clips are the scourge of the earth. Other days, namely when I can’t find any, they’re declared to be her favorite thing and must be worn immediately, or face her wrath.

Little Man is known for having some inconsistencies, too. His big one is his sleep schedule. During the week, when he goes to bed earlier, it’s a pain in the butt to drag him out of bed on school mornings. He acts like we’re torturing him, tells people (such as the doctor once) that he never sleeps, and moves at a snail’s pace because he just can’t eat, get dressed, brush his teeth. (It’s so bad that when we lived next to his old elementary school, he still got too many tardies and had to do recovery time. And at his current school, which is 20 minutes away, I’m pretty sure he has set a record for tardies. We’re those parents.)

Most people hate getting up in the mornings. Especially me. Sleep and I are not besties, thanks to a combination of insomnia and other things, so I get it. Having to get up early and having to get ready to go somewhere seem to amplify the tired factor, so, again, I get it.

But here’s the kicker — and I think a lot of parents probably feel my pain on this one — while the need to sleep in is real during the school week (the school week in which the kiddo goes to bed two hours earlier on average), he wakes up at the crack of dawn most of the time on weekends and is ready to go. 

Why? Why?! I know kids (and pretty much everyone) get excited about the weekend, but for crying out loud, rest up. Especially if you’re someone who complains that you never get enough sleep during the week — don’t sleep less, get up earlier, and act like the perkiest person in the world. That’s just craziness.

Do y’all deal with the “I can’t possibly move during school week, but here I am, bright eyed and bushy tailed on the weekends” thing?

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IRS v. PTO

This is one of the first posts on this blog and a repost seemed appropriate since school starts back for kids in our area this week. 

Parents of kids who have been in school — would you rather deal with the IRS or with the PTO?

Hmm?

You probably had to take a second to think about that. Answering questions related to purchases made years ago, deductions made, and other boring nonsense sounds pretty bad. But then you realize that you’re not comparing the IRS to car shopping or signing a million pages in a house closing — you’re comparing it to the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). At best, that realization gives you a sinking feeling in your stomach. At worst, you might be having some flashbacks and screaming, “No, God, no!” in your head.

The PTO is kind of life the mafia. And the PTO powers that be treat parents like we’re lower tier drug dealers. , and you might start to realize that the IRS isn’t the worst thing in the world.

“Get out there with 50 packs of overpriced M&Ms and don’t come back until they’re gone.”

“Little Peter can only sell 10 tins of popcorn? Get his butt back out in front of the Walmart ’til they’re gone.”

“Each child was supposed to raise $300 for this fundraiser. Your child raised $298.12. You think that’s acceptable?! Hit. The. Streets. Find that money or else!”

Or something like that.

Here’s a nice little comparison of the two organizations. I think we can all agree that the PTO is the worst (assuming you are honest on your taxes, anyway).

(You can zoom in to read the smallish handwriting. Laziness prevented me from redoing it.)

What would you add to the list of crappy things about the PTO?

I should mention that this isn’t representative of the PTO at Little Man’s current school, but definitely matches up with past experiences.

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.