School means quieter days at home … for some

chrissycsmith August 10, 2014 Comments Off on School means quieter days at home … for some
School means quieter days at home … for some

So you know that phrase, “The days are long, but the years are short”? An adage that has always made me a little misty-eyed, as it relates to my children.
But HOLY GEEZ, was it ever true this summer. The days were long, long, at times EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG, but wait, what? Summer is over? How in the world?
My third grader and first grader went back to school today, and as exhausting as this summer has been, I was sad to see them go.
Not that I’m sitting in a quiet house sipping a cup of coffee after the school bus pulls away…nononono. I have a 4-year-old and 16-month-old at home with me, and they care not if I have quiet coffee time. But with 50 percent of my kids in school, I might–I don’t know–actually leave the house?
It was a hard summer, I’m not gonna lie. My 8-year-old has an intellectual disability, and cute as he is, he can be a real turkey. Add in my always-into-everything toddler, and this is why we don’t get out much. And when we do, I’m super picky about where we go. How big is it? Is it fenced in? Is there water involved? Is there hollering allowed? Can they put tracking devices on my kids? (Only sort of kidding.) Even if all requirements are met–meaning, I am at my parents’ house–I’m still barely able to keep up with them all. So I focus my energies on the oldest and youngest, the ones most likely to sneak out a back door or chew up my new Apple EarPods and phone charger. (Argh. This just happened. Like, just now.) The 4-year-old and 6-year-old are on their own, hopefully hanging out with nice people somewhere.
I am but one mom, and they are four kids. One must prioritize.
“I can only do so many things at once!” I grumbled one afternoon to a crowd of demanding children.
“How many things can you do?” asked the 4-year-old.
Right, so, that sound you heard this morning echoing in the distance, the Mel Gibson-like cry of “FREEEEEEEEEDOM!!!!”–if it was coming from the west side of the parish, it was me. And this is why. Now that the big kids are in school, there is going to be:
1. Coffee. Hot coffee. I am going to drink hot coffee, preschooler and toddler be darned. They can just deal because I have been drinking scorched and lukewarm coffee all summer long, and it ends now.
2. I am kidding myself about the hot coffee. It ain’t nevah gonna happen. But one should have goals.
3. Another cup of hot coffee. Two cups of coffee! My dreams are big, people.
4. Grocery shopping! While not ideal, this can be done with a preschooler and a toddler, especially at a store that has those rocket shopping carts. We love the rocket shopping carts, but not the car shopping carts, because people, my people, always hit one another in the car carts. I have no idea why this is.
Aaaand that’s about it. Because, toddler and preschooler still at home. Thanks to them, there are no pedicures or Leisure Lady Lunches in my future. But there will be quieter mornings at the park, or who knows, I might do something crazy like read to the baby. He usually just eats books, but perhaps that’s because he’s not sure what they’re for?
All these luxuries aside (hahahaha), I will likely shed a few tears when I put my two oldest on the bus. But give me those two cups of coffee, back to back and fresh from the pot (please, toddler baby, let me have my coffee), and things will be looking up, indeed.
Parents of St. Tammany, I wish you a Happy Back to School. May your days be just a little bit quieter than they were last week.

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