Why It’s Time for My Kids to Go Back to School

I have a history of loving Summer. I loved Summer as a kid because, well, duh. Then, after eighteen years of schooling, I decided to stay in school and teach. I loved Summer as a teacher because, well, duh. And the whole Summer deal was sweetened by the fact that my birthday occurs during it.

But then I stopped teaching and became a parent. Suddenly, summer wasn’t what it used to be. Before my kids were school aged, a Summer day was simply like any other of the year…just hotter. Now that my children do have a second home from mid-August to May, I don’t quite love Summer (or weekends or snow days, for that matter) in quite the same way.

See, a magical thing happened when I sent my oldest off for the first time to one of those heavenly places of learning: I began getting back little pieces of me. And when my youngest soon followed the path into preschool academia, I began getting back bigger pieces of me. But Summer,….Summer isn’t “me time.” And that’s fine. I do get excited at the start of my kids’ summer vacations. I genuinely like doing things with them we don’t get to do during the school year. And 99% of the time, I adore being around my kids…okay, maybe 98% of the time…fine, 97%.

But sometimes you just.need.a.break. Parenting is kind of like how partying used to be in college: a lot of full-throttle fun; not much sleeping; occasional drama; some crying; hilarious antics; massive amounts of junk food; and of course, bodily fluids. Every now and again, you had to make the healthy decision to stay in and watch a Law & Order: SVU marathon on television and eat a salad. Well, our Summer has been one hell of a party, and I am ready to become BFFs with Detective Olivia Benson.

Here are a few other reasons why it’s time for my kids to go back to school:

1. At school, art happens like this…

photo courtesty of: http://candiceashmentart.blogspot.com/2011/12/clay-christmas-ornaments-made-by-kids.html (go check out her work!)
photo source  **

At my house, art happens like this…

kids painting at home
I see very little orange on that painting to warrant so much orange paint on the palette.

2. I am in need of a pedicure like this…

photo credit: P4022887 via photopin (license)
photo credit: P4022887 via photopin (license)

…Instead of this…

What? No massage chair?
What? No massage chair?
home pedicure
This is an interesting treatment. Does Coca-Cola burn off callouses? I’ve got to stop drinking that stuff.

3. I could use a trip to the stylist…

photo credit: Behind the Scenes with Aveda™ – Osklen SS14 – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring Summer 2014 – #MBFW #NYFW – September 17, 2013 – Creative Commons (cc) photos distributed by Mainstream via Aveda Corporation via photopin (license)
photo credit: Behind the Scenes with Aveda™ – Osklen SS14 – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring Summer 2014 – #MBFW #NYFW – September 17, 2013 – Creative Commons (cc) photos distributed by Mainstream via Aveda Corporation via photopin (license)

…because my hair looks like this…

...and I still have sparkles on my face two days later.
…and I still have sparkles on my face two days later.

4. My windows could use a REAL cleaning…

photo credit: Уборка дома via photopin (license)
photo credit: Уборка дома via photopin (license)

…instead of THIS kind…

Do you think the use Super Soakers on high rises?
Do you think they use Super Soakers on high rises?

(Just kidding on that last one. Like I actually clean my windows. That’s what rain is for.)

In addition, here’s a nice little statistical run-down of June, July, and what has occurred so far of August:

  • approximately $8.10 in library overdue fines
  • one broken swimsuit strap (which thankfully broke in the privacy of my bedroom and not in the public eye of the pool)
  • 68 pieces of burst water balloons scattered around my backyard (yes, I actually counted them)
  • three dead petunia plants on my deck
  • ten post-activity flip-outs about being-thankful-for-all-the-fun-things-I-do-with-you-instead-of-whining-that-we-have-to-leave-now-or-that-I-wouldn’t-buy-the-$5-ice-cream-bar-when-we-have-perfectly-good-popsicles-waiting-for-us-at-home-and-why-do-I-even-take-you-guys-places-ever-because-I-would-rather-stay-home-and-clear-my-DVR-queue? 
  • enough episodes of “Good Luck Charlie” watched to have seen the episode where Teddy and her mom fake their way onto the set of “Shake It Up,” pretending to be the hip-hop dance duo of the Duncan Sisters (a.k.a. Tia and Tamera…“Sister, Sistaaaaa!”…hey, Jackee!) FIVE times. (I apologize to anyone who does not watch a consistent diet of tween Disney Channel programs. It is as horrific as you think it is.)
  • one root canal and multiple cavities (all in one person who shall remain nameless because he prides himself on his amazing teeth)
  • five vaccinations
  • one broken collarbone, one seriously gashed-up leg/heel, and one phantom kidney stone, which contributed to…
  • two trips to the ER, one trip to Urgent Care, six trips to the doctor, and four phone conversations with on-call nurses, which led to…
  • …four calls to the insurance company and roughly 47 minutes of my life spent on hold.
  • 3,251 bandaids (most of which were used under false pretenses of serious injury)

So just to reiterate, IT IS TIME FOR MY KIDS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL! I have dutifully printed out their supply lists and am ready to face Walmart. Let’s get this show on the road!

This year, both of my children will finally be in full-time school. The thought of my little guy starting Kindergarten has literally made me, at random times, profess out loud, “I want Michael to be a baby again!” But I will be honest in saying I am looking forward to pulling out a new batch of hidden-away pieces of myself that have been sitting in musty boxes since 2005. And after a good nine-and-a-half months, I will be ready to love Summer once again…

…as long as we don’t have too many snow days.

** The photo of the nice, organized table of kids painting was used with the very kind permission of a super fun and creative blogger at Candice Ashment Art. I randomly emailed her and was all like, “Hey, can I use your picture to help illustrate what a total failure I am at home arts and crafts?” and she was all, “Totally.” (It happened just like that.) Go check out her fantastic artwork as well as some really great ideas for art projects for kids…you know, to pass along to their teachers or grandma 😉 Just kidding. I may actually try to tackle some of these with my own children…NEXT summer. This summer is spent. The site is also great for Scout project ideas (I may or may not have planned three Brownie meetings scrolling through her site)!

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12 thoughts on “Why It’s Time for My Kids to Go Back to School

  1. Yes! I’m on the other end. My husband is an instructor so by the end of the summer, I just want him gone for the day. Cee and I have closets to clean out. (OK, so I have closets to clean out. She has a date with Elmo. She’s two-timing her daddy with him.)


    1. I would be right there with you if my husband was home all day during the summer. Get them all out of my house, damn it. Good luck with those closets. I probably have a few of those to clean out as well.


  2. OMG, the band-aids. Right now Alex is demanding band-aids for mosquito bites, b/c the band-aids “help them not itch.” Whatever….


  3. My daughter is that teacher you all send those kids to and she is already been working in her classroom for the last three weeks getting ready for the little darlings. I on the other hand am loving it because she shares my grandkids when she goes because they drive her crazy while she is trying to get stuff done in there. Her nuts is my love. Go figure!


      1. I try and maintain an okay balance with that. Besides, I think those things come with the stay-at-home mom territory. Moms and dads who work outside the home can’t always do those things up at school, so I kind of feel like it’s part of my responsibility to help out a little extra in that capacity for all the parents who can’t. And I like being involved in the kids’ schools. There are times when I find myself saying “yes” to too many things, but I am getting better at it. What I am really excited about it having some more time to WRITE and focus on that for really the first time in my life.


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