Flunking Back-To-School

Finn Arabella School

 

Isn’t it so exciting to get ready for the kids to go back to school? Normally I start out super organized and ready for the school year. All the kids’ lockers and lunch boxes are cleaned out and ready to go–normally. But this year it didn’t really happen like that. This year started out with a little more mayhem. I told the kids to go clean out their lockers. I didn’t bother to check them, though, so who knows if they did it. I’m just too knackered to really care all that much. My oldest two kids are knee-deep in preparations to go live in Brazil (they leave in about a week) so it’s not like my brain can handle organizing everything and everyone at the same time.

Maybe I just have no energy left for mothering. Maybe I had this finite amount of caring inside of me and I used too much of it when the kids were little. I squandered all my caring and effort on matching clothes and finding attractive hair accessories and now I’ve depleted my parenting resources. Instead of viewing my energy as something renewable, like solar power, I should really be considering all my parental interest as fossil fuels. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

On the last day of school way back in the Cretaceous Era first week of June I instructed my kids to clean out their backpacks and lunch boxes and all that stuff. I naively assumed that they followed my instructions. Can you believe I was such an idiot? Fast forward to three weeks ago when I was looking for a lost library book (one of my favorite past-times). I knelt down and looked under the bookshelf in the living room. The library book wasn’t there but I did find Jasper’s really fancy bento lunchbox. And what do you suppose was inside? The ham and cheese sandwich that he hadn’t bothered to eat was a pile of maggots. Yes, writhing maggots everywhere. My first reaction was to throw everything out. But I wanted Jasper to be very aware of the consequences of hiding his lunchbox and letting nature take its course. So I informed him that we would be continuing to use his maggoty lunchbox. (Sans insect pupae, of course.) Naturally he was thrilled.

In between dry heaves I hosed the box out and then did what I call “Texas fumigation”: placed the lunchbox in a black garbage bag and then placed the bag on the hot black asphalt for a few days (this is also a great way to kill lice on bed linens and stuffed animals. For extra death, put the stuff in the car which is sitting in the sun). I let the 104º weather do the dirty work of killing all the vermin.  Then the lunchbox got a soak down of clorox and two trips through the dishwasher’s sanitation cycle. There were a few suspicious stains left but nothing smelled amiss so the lunchbox has been put back into action.

I meant to throw all the other lunchboxes and backpacks though the washing machine before school started too. Fail. Everyone showed up with accessories covered with stains. And I forgot to take pictures of most of the children too. Because I am that organized.

When I went to put Jasper’s lunchbox in his backpack I realized that it was still full of everything from his last day of class. Another fail. So I dumped it out on the stairs, put his new stuff inside and sent him out the door. See? I wasn’t kidding.

Jaspers crap on stairs

Naturally I spent the rest of the day in bed with a giant Mtn. Dew, watching Mr. Selfridge.

So you might see why I have already sort of given up before we even got started. Although to give myself credit, the kids did all have fresh haircuts and new shoes.

 

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