I just dropped my son off at day camp. It’s not even 9 a.m., and I’m already exhausted.
He needed to bring a lunch so I had him pack it because he’s old enough and I’m trying to raise kids who know how to do shit. But also I hate packing lunches.
I peeked in his lunchbox and there was a bag of chips and a huge, unpeeled carrot. Said carrot wasn’t cut up or in a bag or anything. Just a lone, unpeeled, gnarled carrot.
I can’t deal with this.
“Make a sandwich, get a piece of fruit and a cheese stick or something,” I reminded him. But I might as well have told him to start carrying boulders across the lawn.
When we got in the car, he didn’t have shoes on.
For fuck’s sake.
“Jack! You need shoes, hurry up, we are running late,” is what came out, but I deserve a trophy because what I wanted to say after the whole lunch ordeal was, “Jesusfuckingchrist kid, pull yourself together right now before I lose all the shit I’ve ever had this is ridiculous and I can’t deal with you acting so helpless this is camp it cost me a shit ton of money you should be excited dammit!”
My self-control was wearing thin, and his sighs were deep and heavy.
Just drive, don’t talk, you are almost there and everything will be fine, it’s fine.
But then I realized that the school year is just around the corner and I freaked out even more. Because gracefully getting kids ready for another year of school is just not in my wheelhouse and I’ll tell you why:
1. You have to follow an actual routine.
Sure, it sounds all easy peasy, and people tell you once you fall into a routine, it will be like second nature, but that’s a lie. A total lie. Kids don’t care about your plans for a smooth day or your routine or your preconceived notions about getting places on time. They care about snacks and moving slowly and seeing how far they can push you until you lose your shit.
2. You have to deal with those who obviously don’t know how the drop-off line works.
It’s the drop-off line, not the “get out of your car, get your kid’s backpack, put it on for them, tighten their ponytail, and give them an extra hug and kiss” line. I get it, I like making sure my kids have everything for their day, too. But let’s get into all that before we get in the car. Listen, folks, it’s simple: Pull up, drop off your kid, and move along.
3. You have to get your kids to wear actual clothes.
And shoes for that matter. Gone are the days of slipping on flip flops and running around in their suits or undies all day, or wearing the same shirt for a week. We have to re-train them how unacceptable that is because what would people think if they wore the same thing a few days in a row?
4. Paperwork can suck it.
I’m crying just thinking about it. It never stops. It. Just. Keeps. Coming.
5. You have to remember more things.
The field trips, pajama day, what day of the week they need sneakers for, and when to return library books. Sports schedules are on steroids, and don’t forget to volunteer! Parents totally suffer from the summer slide, too.
6. It’s 99% guaranteed you and your family will get every virus known to man.
Get ready for at least one round of conjunctivitis, a few cases of the stomach flu, lots of diarrhea, and more snot than you can handle. Stock up on tissues, aspirin, and toilet paper every week for the rest of the year and good luck to us all.
This has always been a very dark time in my house. After a long day no one should have to do a math work sheet. No one.
8. Lice notices.
Even if you never have a louse enter your house, when you see that notice you obsessively check everyone’s head. Your own head, arms, lady bits and ass crack start itching immediately. It’s torture sitting there wondering if you are going to have a bug make its way onto someone’s head and lay eggs driving you to the brink of madness and feel like the only solution is to burn the house down.
I’ll take zero schedules and flip flops and eating dinner on the front porch late at night and not caring if my kids change their clothes (or underwear) for three days even though it means I’m stuck with them 24/7 in the summer months. I kind of dig having unlimited time with them. It sure beats being a chauffeur who barks out orders and always has a pen in my messy bun for 9 months out of the year.
When school starts, a dip on the lake doesn’t count as a shower and every day I feel spread so thin I might snap in half.
Slow down, summer. I’m not ready for the madness to start up again.
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