The boys head back to school tomorrow, which is weird, because I’m pretty sure it should still be June. I’ve gone straight from “Try to wear those hand-me-down shorts a few more days, then we’ll do summer shopping” to “I’m not buying you back-to-school jeans yet because it’s still hot outside. Let’s go get you those shorts I kept promising.” I know that’s terrible, but hey, I hate clothes shopping for boys. At best, it’s boring (“Do you want the stripe on your shirt vertical or horizontal?”), and at worst, it’s like a Wild West standoff between the “I’m Only Wearing Basketball Shorts All Year Long” Posse and the “Having One Button-Up Shirt in Your Closet Won’t Kill You” Sheriff. Spoiler Alert: The Sheriff wins the battle, but the Posse wins the war. You can lead a horse to a polo shirt, but no one wants to wrestle it onto him.
Summer went by fast because it was fast. Having 972 snow days will do that. Regardless, I am fully motivated to make this year my year of being The Mom Who Stays Organized and Does Good Mom-ish Stuff to Help Her Kids Succeed. That’s right, a new leaf: I am going to be That Mom.
Listen, friends, it’s been fun being the Average Mom, but I’ve got three boys at three different schools this year, elementary, middle and high. I have entered what is also known as the First Circle of Hell, in which I will soon be caught in the eternal limbo of three different school schedules. This year is all about survival. Of course, survival doesn’t have to be ugly; I’ve been Pinteresting the shit out of my house with well-stocked and adorable “Homework Centers” and “Snack Stations.” Last night, I made 25 individual snack packs of pretzels and carrot sticks because it’s cheaper than buying the prepackaged snack packs, and sure, I’ve got an hour to kill to do this. And I can buy organic yogurt and dedicate an entire shelf of my refrigerator to premade lunches in bento boxes. This Average Mom will be That Mom in no time.
Proving that I am now That Mom, I’m not even going to complain that my kids’ school supply shopping list was twitch-inducingly specific and picky. If they want the 1-ounce jumbo glue stick and not the four pack of .26-ounce glue sticks (which were on sale), that’s what they’ll get! And if I can’t find plastic, yellow, two-pocket, three-pronged folders because some evil genius mom probably bought them all up to sell on the black market, I’m not going to get bent out of shape. Nope. I will cheerfully buy one plastic, green, two-pocket, three-pronged folder and one paper, yellow, two-pocket, three-pronged folder. The teacher can choose which she’d prefer and keep the extra folder. See, generosity! Boom! That Mom is very generous.
I’ll do this all with a smile on my face, because I’ve turned over a new leaf, and also because I remember that it’s happy hour at Bonefish Grill, smartly located right next door. Yes, yes, new leaf, right. I’m still hanging in there, but this new leaf requires sustenance and liquid fortitude right now. And that’s where I make a wonderful and startling discovery: Every bar stool in the joint is filled with That Moms, quietly weeping into their pinot grigios, shoving fistfuls of $5 Bang Bang Shrimp into their mouths and mumbling about Ticonderoga pencils. There they are, my people: Average Moms and That Moms, together. One of them scoots over to make room for me at the bar and hands me the cocktail list.
Now, I only have to figure out which one is selling the black market folders.