Ok so last week we went to the “Meet the Teacher/Ice Cream Social” (aka "Reality Slap/Check-Writing Event) at my son’s school. One of my favorite homegirls was saying she couldn’t wait for school to start, as she didn’t work this summer and her kids were getting on her last nerve. Gurrrrrl, that’s exactly what you get when you get fooled into thinking that Staying at Home means Quality Bonding with the Children.
I, for one, am dreading the kid going back to school. If my kid has to up his game, so do I.
On the Suck list:
On the Suck list:
1. Bedtimes—in the summer, crash when you want. I'm lucky if I make it past 930 on most nights, anyway. Just keep it down up there, willya?
2. Daily dress code—I appreciate the consistency of the kid having to wear a uniform every day. But the nightly digging through the clean laundry pile for the uniform shirt and shorts gets tiresome. But what true AWM hasn’t dressed your youngster in a “gently worn” albeit not freshly laundered outfit if the situation calls for it? Smell it, shake it, wear it!
3. Robo-calls from the school district--like I have time for that shit! I am busy fielding calls from Purple Heart Clothing Drive and Governor Rick Perry and the collection agencies calling for some poor sap named “Abraham Maldanado.”
4. Money shake-downs—yearbook, spirit shirts, coupon books, cookie dough, popcorn! Yeah at first I petitioned my dearest friends to buy enough wrapping paper so my kid could win a “sales prize” aka a neon Slinky. My shameless begging was reciprocated by other beleaguered, guilty, yet competitive AWM’s. I soon realized this was an economic shell game that could only be deciphered by SEC investigators: I use my money to buy their kids’ overpriced shit. They use their money to buy my kids’ overpriced shit. Why not keep the money in the same funnel of overpriced shit? Now I just do what every card-carrying AWM does, and write a check and be done with it. Neon Slinky, my ass!
5. Germ Factory—My kids are always the sickest within the first month of school. It’s a fact. (I am actually editing this 3 days into the new school year, and have already taken one kid to the doctor. I know what the hell I’m talking about.).
6. Homework—this one needs to be first. Like you don’t have enough going on between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.! Who has the time to decipher “which train gets to Akron the fastest” or to help find “all of the right angles in the house.” And who wants to be the Reading Bully? Bully this! Can’t the kid just read (and sign) the Refusal of Free or Reduced Lunch paperwork while you wash the dishes?
7. Frenemies--Every year there seems to be a re-aligning of who’s your buddy and who’s not, especially at free time, i.e., recess and Afterschool. What do you do when somebody is being a jerk to your precious angel? Tell your kid to ignore the jerk, he’ll be fat and bald in about 20 years anyway? Get out of the car and give the little jerk the AWM ojo? Encourage WWF at the Elementary School? Regardless, you will feel like shit for not producing the most likable kid on Earth. And for putting your kid in an Afterschool Program full of jerks.
8. Lice—Sons of Bitches!
9. Lunch Box Rodeo—I don’t know about you, but the over-under on when the brand new lunch box gets lost is about 3-5 weeks in my house. One day it's an insulated, color-coordinated soft-sided cooler, the next day it’s a plastic Kroger bag. The hoopty lunch box is MIA and I sure ain’t digging through that frightening heap in the Lost and Found. Kroger lunch bag = Shame Sentencing.
10. Extracurriculars—soccer, baseball, basketball, football, scouts, Odyssey of the Mind, guitar, piano, yeah yeah yeah. Of course I want my little angels to be well rounded and stimulated. But let’s face it--an AWM has to draw the line somewhere. I surreptitiously Seek and Destroy some of the extracurricular handouts that get sent home on occasion. Excellency and diversity are so overrated, especially when they involve more than two practices a week. Or a blazing hot outdoor venue. What the hell is wrong with plain old sufficiency? In my house we have a family motto:
BE ALL YOU CAN BE,
BUT GET YOUR OWN RIDE HOME
One hundred and eighty required days of instruction, minus how many so far? Sigh.