I don’t know about you but I sent my not so little any more, lovelies back to school on Tuesday with mixed emotions. Part of me (quite a small part if I’m honest) was sad that another summer was over (we only get 18 of them as I keep getting reminded of by social media). The other part of me was doing a happy dance inside. I came home after the school run and sat with my cup of tea, enjoying the silence, the peace, the tranquillity. I knew that they will all be back soon enough and I looked forward to hearing about their first days back, but for those few minutes, it was heavenly.
That short time to myself did get me thinking about what Back to School means to me and using those very words as inspiration, this is what I came up with.
Bloody hell there is some food left in the fridge. When my lot are in school, they have packed lunches or they have lunches in school and I look in the fridge after a couple of days there is still actual food in there. During the holidays, they are terrible for grazing and keep popping down for something to eat and I spend my whole life and earnings in the supermarket trying to keep up.
Alarm? What’s an alarm? Oh well, let me remind you at 7 am tomorrow morning. My older teen actually jumped out of his skin when his alarm went off the first morning back. He didn’t know where he was or what day it was. It probably felt like the middle of the night after six weeks of post 11 am wake ups.
Can I go to bed? Words I never, ever hear during the holidays. In fact, as I’m such a lightweight these days, I couldn’t stay up as late as the boys during the summer hols. Even my daughter who is usually asleep by 9 pm was struggling to settle before 10 pm and sometimes I am falling asleep even before her. The offset of all of that is that I rarely saw any of them show any sort of life before lunch, even if they were up, they weren’t exactly what I would describe ‘alive’. Hence, the struggle with the alarm clock this week.
Kick-ass ninja skills. People talk about juggling when you are a parent. Juggling is an understatement. I think kick-ass ninja skills are a better description trying to manage uniform, shoes, PE kits, letters, forms, online payments, lunchboxes, homework, after-school clubs, fall outs, tired teens and tetchy tweens. I sometimes stare at my fit-bit in amazement at the number of steps I do in a day just running around after them all.
Text messages. They’re back, those handy school text messages that remind me about just about everything. I feel like I have actual friends again when I get a text message notification. It may just be a reminder from school, but hey, it makes me feel important and useful again.
Organisation skills like a boss. The school holidays are a doddle really. Those late mornings and not having to juggle forms, bags, PE kits and everything else that comes with the daily insanity of school life. When I have had a few weeks off, I wonder how I ever manage the rest of the time.
Sew in labels versus the Sharpie. Oh my god, the Sharpie wins every time now. Over the years, I have tried every method of labelling school stuff. I have sewn. Sod that for a game of soldiers, takes far too long and life is definitely too short. I have ironed in. Slightly more successful on the labelling scale but have usually fallen off by Christmas. Sharpie (other permanent pen brands are available) works every time. Yes, it looks like a three-year-old labelled everything but I do not care. It stays there and takes minimal effort. I did smile to myself this morning when the boys went to but their newly initialled shoes on. They chose the same shoes but as they are two sizes apart, I put L in both of L’s shoes and R in R’s. They thought L and R were left and right and a small amount of shoe panic ensued until I explained the mystery of my labelling system. Honestly.
Calendar is full again. We have had six weeks without school runs, staggered school pickups, after-school clubs, parent’s evenings and a million one things to remember and the weekly calendar had the odd appointment or thing to remember on. Not any more. Every day is jam-packed. When is half term again?
Homework sweet homework. I think at least one of my children would prefer the term ‘heinous homework’. Oh, how I have not missed the absolute joy of getting my sons to do their homework. Getting blood out of a stone would be easier.
October isn’t far away. Whether you miss them desperately when they go back to school or they are feeling like the stretch to the next holiday is just too long, remind them that October isn’t that long to wait and then they will be on holiday again. This is the longest term and with the temperatures dropping and the days shortening, it can really feel like it but it will soon pass and
Once a year. Once a year, usually on the first day back, my lovelies all get up without being nagged, they are dressed immaculately ready for their annual ‘in front of the door in new uniform’ photo and everyone is ready with time to spare. Once a year. After that, it is back to me nagging and dragging them out of bed and us all being late.
Lunches. Oh, how I missed making lunches every night. Not. It doesn’t take long but it is funny how quickly we get out of the habit and it feels like the worst of all chores when we go back to school after such a long break. Maybe they should make their own lunches? Trouble is, I could say that but they would probably all prefer to starve than take that option, so I will carry on making them for now …
So that is what back to school is all about in this house. Normal service has now resumed and after six heavenly weeks of minimal nagging, I have apparently ‘got my nag on’ again. Only another 46 weeks until the next summer holiday ….