Thank God! School has finally started back. I know, I sound like a broken record (that’s an old version of a CD, kids) because I keep saying the same thing every August, but I really suck at parenting during the summer. Though I try my darndest to implement routine, I simply cannot compete with the beautifully-rigid structure of the academic year.
Few if any of our supposed summer rules worked out this time around. Maybe it was because my husband Doo and I were gallivanting in North Africa for the better half of June or perhaps because our kids are older and aren’t as easy to coerce, but by the time we finally went Medieval on their butts about the chore chart and Amish Day, I was buying cartons of number two pencils and spiral notebooks. Seriously, trying to coax a teenager out of bed by noon was hard enough, let alone getting him to mow the yard before the wheat needed harvesting. And that reading program I was so gung-ho about in May? The only member of this family who set foot in a library was Doo, on the multiple occasions he needed to escape the chaos of our house.
Basically, I ended up fighting twice as many battles as usual while our minions did seemingly half the amount of work. But I take full responsibility for my children’s laziness. As a teacher, summer is my break from reality, too. I have no desire to awake early and make sure the dog is walked before prime sun-burning hours. I don’t want to insist that the Xbox gets shut down only to have the boys nag me because they’re bored. And I’m certainly not going to dig my heels in when my daughters decide to turn their bathroom into a nail/make-up salon when they should be Cloroxing their toilet. Can’t a girl just read Nora Roberts in peace and quiet?
So, I am honestly thrilled that everyone, including me, is back to school. Despite the homework insanity and lunch drama that will undoubtedly begin to creep back into our lives, I love that the kids are out of the house and occupied for at least 50-percent of the day. I love that Doo is now the primary caregiver in the mornings and afternoons (as I am busy raking in the big bucks dealing with other people’s teens) and might soon feel compelled to do the dishes and laundry. I love that there will be purpose and order to our weeks, and that the calendar will again dominate our refrigerator.
I’ll probably change my tune next spring, but for now, thank God school is back! Peace out.