School is only two weeks and three days away. I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait for the fun and excitement that awaits our family. Here’s a snapshot of my brain at the moment.
School uniforms: check. Kinda. I think all four have everything. Let’s start with their heads and go down. Shirts? Yep. Belts? Uh, no. I think I have two out of four. Pants/skirts/shorts? Tween C needs 4 more pairs of pants (and the ones she likes are $24.99/pr.) Socks? No. I need 4 super size bags of different size socks. I’m gonna get all white this year, I’m tired of matching up socks. Better yet, I could get a different color for each kid. Tween C, blue; Big E, white; Little B, red; and Little A, pink. Shoes? Yep.
School supplies: Nada. I think there is a kinder-mat somewhere in my car. And I saw a pencil yesterday, but I think I threw it away because Little B wrote his name on the fireplace, then gave it a second thought and went back and wrote Little A’s name nearby so that I wouldn’t know which one wrote it, in pencil. You can give Little B a piece of paper and a pencil, and he will draw forever on it, then get up, walk over the a wall, and scribble his name. I’ll wait until the last minute to get school supplies.
Backpacks: Big E, yep. Tween C, can only have a trapper-keeper thingy, still have to get that. Little B, yep. Little A, I think she can only have a tote bag, which I still need to get.
Mornings at my house during the school year are utter chaos. Big E refuses to get out of the bed until I have told him nicely once, gone back and reminded him again, yelled out “Get Up!” no less than four times every time I think about it, and finally go back in with a wooden spoon and beat him all about his head and body through his comforter and threaten his life. Then he says, “Okay! You don’t have to hit me!” Tween C does pretty good with getting up and ready without much prodding. Little B whines first thing in the morning, demands his coffee milk before he will agree to get dressed, and then can never find his shoes. Getting Little A ready for big school will be new, but she’s so excited about school the biggest problem here is that pre-k doesn’t start full time until nearly a month after the other kids. She will be pretty ticked about that.
Bus pick up/drop off time: Big E, will catch the bus around 6:45; Tween C, around 7:15; Little B and Little A are supposed to walk to school because we live within a one-mile radius of their school. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. They are 4 and 5, Mr. School Board Transportation Administrator. They cannot be dropped off before 8 a.m., and the car line is long. I will be late for work. Big E will get off his bus at home at about 2:50; Tween C at about 3:20; and the little ones are supposed to walk home at 3:40. Here’s the plan for this: Big E will walk down to their school, retrieve them and walk them home. We have two kiddy leashes that look like monkey back packs that he will have to use to herd them home, like a dog sled driver. What a nightmare. In January, if all goes as planned, Big E will have his driver’s license, and can go pick them up in the car line. I’m super excited about this gameplan, as it hinges upon my eldest son being responsible for my two youngest.
When they get home, they are supposed to self-administer their own home work to the lengths that are humanly possible, leaving ONLY the unattainable tasks for me to help with. When I get home (5:30), I will be cooking like a mad person (because I’ll be mad about cooking) so that we can eat at a reasonable hour (6:30 ish) so that there’s still time to clean up the kitchen and all four of them have baths and/or showers, then bed time at 8:30. By 9:00, I’m generally so exhausted that I’ve passed out in the recliner.
That’s about the time that I pick up Little B’s school bag, and notice the note paperclipped to the outside of the bag that says, “DON’T FORGET: MY SNACK DAY FOR 25 KIDS IS TOMORROW!” Damn.
They’ll be papers to read and sign, extra “wish list” supplies to pick up, posterboards for student council elections, modeling clay for projects, lunch money to remember to send. Last year I got a “final notice” from the cafeteria because I kept forgetting to send Little B’s lunch money. It read, “If you do not pay by Friday, we will be forced to serve your child a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of the standard school lunch.” I thought for a moment….hey…he LOVES peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! But I sent the money instead. I think that “lunch money” for all four kids this year will be the approximate equivalent of supporting an entire tribe in Africa each month.
Yeah. I really love school. I can’t wait for it to begin.