I hate school possibly more than my kids. As summer approaches my excitement grows to an unconstrained fountain. I cannot wait for that last week, last day and last hour of the school year.
There is probably nothing I like about school other than the fact that someone else is educating my kid instead of me. Homeschooling or public school doesn’t make a difference; when Easter break comes I’m done and ready to pack it in. Alas, public school has pesky rules about attendance and “days of schooling” blah blah blah.
The list of things to hate about school is lengthy. The never-ending parties (how many freaking parties can a fifth-grade class have in one year?!), field trips and the constant nagging, “Mom, will you drive? Mom, will you drive? Mooommm, please drive.” I hope her persistence serves her in the work world because it is driving me over the edge.
Homework is the bane of my existence. The stupid projects these teachers expect us (cough cough), I mean, our kids to do. State reports? Nope, don’t need it, don’t want it. Reading at night after homework? Are you crazy? You must expect these kids to brush their teeth, too! Silly, teachers.
Fundraising, how I hate the fundraising. It’s not really the kids raising the money; it’s the parents. And guess what? We buy all the crap anyway. Might as well write a hefty check in August and do away with the unnecessary magazines, gift wrap and candy we buy to “support” the class. Let’s not even talk about the science fair, a mother’s nightmare of messy projects, glue and Internet downloads resulting in viruses taking up residence on our computers. Can’t my kid just write a nice report about fungus? Does she really need to grow it?
Missing the bus and the frantic, illegal driving to get your kid to school before the tardy bell. Don’t want one of those “your child has been tardy three times this YEAR and now they are labeled TRUANT.” Seriously? Don’t you need to pursue murderers and thieves instead of a 10-year-old kid for being late to school? At least my kids showed up eventually. There should be an award for that—showing up.
It doesn’t get better as the kids grow into junior and senior high either. You hope and pray that once you are out of elementary school you become anonymous. Nope, this is where it gets down and dirty with the kids. You are faced with wrangling a hormonal kid into doing homework, checking the school grade portal, meeting with counselors, sports, oh always the sports, practices, driving to away games, weekend games, dances, clubs and all sorts of activities that you don’t actually have to attend but must drive them to. The kids are never home and neither are you so the lawn is not mowed, the garbage rots in the kitchen, something is living in the refrigerator, and you have to turn your underwear inside out because you haven’t been home to do laundry in weeks.
Of course, there’s a beautiful light at the end called summer break. Glorious summer break. No homework assignments, projects, tests, late work or field trips. The days seem endless with free time. You realize you can actually shop at Target as late as you want because there is no bus to meet at 3! The kids go to camp for a week, spend a week with Grandma and Grandpa, go to their friends’, play outside all day. The delight of summer includes sleeping until 7:30 without fear of missing the bus, taking a real shower (no military showers during summer!), picking out real clothes, not just a hat and yoga pants, but real clothing! My favorite part is the phenomenon of drinking a cup of coffee out of a cup without a lid. Imagine drinking coffee in something other than a travel mug. It is nirvana!
In mid-August, when school starts up again, I will be tired, cranky and whiny wishing for June to speed ahead and relieve my suffering. I will not go down gracefully or like an adult. I will be the parent throwing a tantrum on the sidewalk outside the school. Don’t judge; you want to have a tantrum too.