Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to School

A few years ago there was a commercial for Staples that showed a man gleefully dancing about as he pushed a shopping cart full of school supplies to the Christmas tune of "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". His two kids glumly trudged along behind him, faces set in sour expressions.

I love that commercial!

My kids weren't near as despondent as the kids in the commercial, but they weren't exactly pleased saying goodbye to the freedoms of Summer and camp at the Y. One is going into the 8th Grade, so he's happy to be Top Dog in his Middle School now. The other is going into 5th Grade, to a brand new built school. So, he is Top Dog in his Elementary with all new everything.

They wear school uniforms, so clothing was easy. Solid color Polo tops and jeans are the order of the day. Still, they both seemed very happy (and a little surprised) at the new cargo jeans they got. (Grandma is straight-laced and jeans with cargo pockets, Velcro, faded, or otherwise deviate from normal, utilitarian jeans were a non-no.) New socks, new shoes, new belts. Even being boys they like to be stylin' a bit the first day of school.

New backpacks, too, for all the new school supplies. My youngest got a one-strap over-the-shoulder pack, in camo and black. Compartments and zippers everywhere on that thing. My older boy got a messenger bag, like you'd see those bike messengers carry slung over their shoulder as they slalom dangerously through New York traffic. It has several discrete compartment to keep his books, folders, and binder separate from one another, pen holder, a few big pockets for his calculator and pack of markers. I want one, but have no use for it. It's just cool.

What sucks big time this year is the revamped bus schedules. Last year, both boys went to the stop at the same time, with only a 15 minute gap between pick-up times. This year, the Elementary starts an hour earlier. so instead of leaving the house at 8:10 AM for a 8:25 AM pick-up, I have to get him down there by 7:10 AM. Ugh!

He did well in getting up earlier. He got up, dressed, ate breakfast, did his morning chores, and was ready to go in (for him) record time. His brother has to get up with him, unfortunately, because we simply aren't doing breakfast twice. He gets an hour to read, maybe play his Gameboy DS a bit, but no television. Me? I'd use the time to go over my homework from the night before or study for a test that day. But, then again, I was a nerd in school.

My older boy is being allowed to walk to and from the bus stop now. A huge step for him, and us. With his behavioral problems and trust issues, we're hoping it will not turn around and bite us. We want to extend him some trust and responsibility. I know he can do it, but I still get those small, niggling doubts crawling through my mind.

We live in a retirement community. A place of wrinkled old farts with too much time on their hands, and a need to control others since they cannot control their own bladders any longer. (There are a lot of wonderfully nice older folk in the park, don't get me wrong, but the few loud-mouthed control freaks override the nice like fecal coliform in the swimming pool.) There was trouble at first when the boys came to live with my Mom ... until the state told them shut-up or tell it to a judge. I'm sure there will be some complaints when people see him walking down the main road to the bus stop. They can bite my butt.

I did give him several tules to follow:

  1. Stay on the main road.
  2. Do NOT walk in, through, over, or across any body's yards.
  3. Do NOT stop to pet any animals.
  4. Do NOT stop to look at something interesting, especially if it is in some one's yard.
  5. Do NOT pick up anything off the ground. (Sticks, pennies, shiny things ... he's like a freakin' crow sometimes.)
  6. Do NOT talk to anyone unless they talk to you, and then keep it to "Hello", "Good Morning", or "Hi".
  7. If one of the walking wrinkles tries to stop you, asks you what you are doing, or otherwise harasses you, keep walking and tell them to talk to me!
  8. If your bus doesn't come on time, your butt better be sitting at the stop until 9:00 AM, at which time you may come home and I'll drive you if I'm in a good mood. Missing the bus means you miss school, stay in bed all day, lights out, until the time you'd normally get home. (Guarantee he won't "miss" the bus more than once! hehe)

We couldn't make it to either school's Open House for the meet-and-greet with the teachers. You'd think the schools would schedule the things so as to not interfere with each other. Plus, they were both on the last day of summer camp and the kids went to Busch Gardens. I wasn't going to make them miss that for a hot, stuffy, long, boring school event where you see the teacher for 5 seconds, cannot find parking within a half mile of the campus, and get confused by each teacher contradicting the other as to rules, supplies, and procedures. *sigh*

I'd better wrap this up. My first kid'll be home in four hours. I'm sure he'll have a list of supplies three times the amount of what the school said he'd need. And another list with demands for cash for various things like an Agenda, class supplies, yearbook, blah, blah, blah ...

1 comment:

Russell Hawkins said...

Tanner starts going 5 days a week in September. He's been in a Head Start preschool program for awhile, but he's only had to go for a few hours, three days a week. This will be 4 hours/5 days a week.

I think somebody will be getting tired a little more early in the evenings... :)