Getting the Kids Back To School. The Struggle is Real.

I really, really dread summer coming to an end. The monotony of back to school. The God damn lunches. Four this year. Plus two snacks. Every. Damn. Day.

My kids started school yesterday. With just a half day. Followed by another half day today. I go back to work on Monday. So I wasn’t expecting much.

But holy bajaysus! Have I enjoyed these hours of pure bliss more than I could ever imagine. It’s amazing what some alone time can do for your psyche.

I’ll take you back to Wednesday night. The Eve of Back to School. We all knew it was coming. We all planned on preparing for it. But we didn’t, did we? Can you ever really be prepared for it?

Since August 1st, I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that I was going to start putting my kids to bed earlier and earlier each night. You know, to really get them ready for back to school.

In reality I think they stayed up later and later each night. So by the time School Eve came, we were SOL. I made the kids come in and eat dinner around 6:30. A full two hours earlier than they were used to eating each night.

I then made them all bathe so they wouldn’t be known as goat butts on the very first day of school. Some day they’ll thank me for that. We even trimmed some nails and combed some hair.

By 8:00 pm they were ready for bed. A full half hour before they normally eat dinner. With the sun still out shining bright. Every year I promise myself I’m going to buy black out shades. And every year I don’t and end up kicking myself on Back to School Eve.

So now here we are all in bed. All set for a good night’s sleep. All ready to start the year off on the right foot.

Except no one is tired. I couldn’t get them to fall asleep if I paid them. Believe me. I tried.

I have never seen or heard these same four children have so much damn energy as they did on Wednesday night. As if they’d been stockpiling it all summer long. And just when I thought they couldn’t possibly get any louder. They did. Way louder.

There was constant laughter. Turned into fighting. Turned into kicking and hitting. Turned into blood curdling screams.

It was hell right here on Earth. Right here in my own house. Right here in my own bed. Pure freaking hell.

I was screaming from my room. Then I would barrel down the hall, feet pounding, into their rooms. Threatening them within an inch of their lives.

I was at their mercy. These kids are smart. Maybe not in school. But they sure as hell know how to play me like the drunken fiddle that I am.

Finally, somewhere around midnight, things get quiet. I could still here some sort of electronic device echoing from the other end of the house. But I was too tired to care.

Seven a.m. came really fast. But it was the first day of school so the kids were filled with as much energy as they were false hope.

Everyone got up and put on all their new clothes and shoes and bags. They all looked so clean and fresh and new. Everyone so full of excitement.

I walked them to school without incident. Then I walked back home for the first time ever- alone. It was glorious. I came home and sat on my couch for three uninterrupted hours. It was as amazing as it sounds.

Soon 11:30 rolled around and it was time to pick up the little cherubs once again. We had plans to go to lunch with Aunt Batsy. It sounded like such a good idea at the time.

Looking back, why in God’s name I thought this would be a good idea, I’ll never know. By this time the kids enthusiasm for life had worn off. They were exhausted. And hungry. So why not take them in public? With my eighty-two year old aunt who doesn’t particularly care for children.

It was not fun to say the least. The kids were crabby. I was crabby. And couple that with Aunt Batsy’s cute little way of mocking the children and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I was yelling through clenched teeth. The way I yell in public. In my man voice.

By this time I couldn’t tell if it was sweat or tears rolling down my cheeks. It was time to go.

I finally corral them all into the car. Once I get everyone buckled and think, okay I can do this, Aunt Batsy utters the six words no mom ever wants to hear. Let’s. Go. To. The. Dollar. Store.

The look I gave her must have been enough to convey my disdain for her obnoxious idea. For she just folded her hands and looked forward. But the damage was done.

Now the kids know that Aunt Batsy wants to buy them sh!t and I’m not allowing it to happen. I need this day to end. But it’s only 1:00 pm.

I still have hours full of tantrums to endure. And a football game to attend. But at least by that time Beau will be home to help. I will be able to just lay on the couch with me feet up. Reading a good book. And let him do the bedtime routine.

Unless of course Beau gets stuck at the office for the first time all summer and won’t be home to sing the children their lullabies. Bless his freaking heart.

So now I’m at a football game. Where I have a child playing for the first time ever. And I don’t understand freaking football. And both teams are the same color. And there are bugs everywhere. And my kids are everywhere. Getting dirtier and hungrier by the second.

We’re finally back home. I treat myself to a glass of wine. The type of glass that holds an entire bottle.

I get everyone bathed. I feed everyone. I slip everyone a melatonin. And before I know it, they’re all asleep. Like little angels. Just in time for Beau to arrive home. To a clean, quiet house. Bless his heart.

What kids?
What kids?

But today is a new day. I walked the kids to school and met Shelly. We then walked to Starbucks and literally saw everyone we’ve ever met in our entire lives.

We laughed so hard we cried. Not a care in the world. Then walked back home high on caffeine. To empty houses.

The silence is deafening. I could do this everyday.

I called Beau to tell him about the glorious morning I had. I asked if I could quit my job and do this all the time. He said he thought I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom. I said I didn’t until all of our kids went to school all day, every day. Now I do.

He said no. Bless his heart.

You can do it.
You can do it.

I’m sure I’ll be riding this wave of bliss until the babes return home. But it’s Friday. And it’s my last weekend of summer. And I have boxes of wine chilling in the fridge. I got this.

I can actually hear Bela Karolyi cheering me on, “You can do it!”.

Check me out on WGN Morning News!

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