Back to School

I’m starting this blog post way too late in the evening. And if I’m not careful, we may have tomorrow a repeat of today.

Let’s just say it wasn’t the best start to the school year.

First of all, here are the beautiful our-life-is-perfect-and-we-are-so-cute-and-intelligent back to school photos I put on Facebook.

Now, here is how our first day back at school really went.

Thankfully, I can’t say the fault was due to lack of preparation or appropriate expectations. Problem number one: We were up later than usual last night visiting an international cousin at Grandma’s house. So there’s the first problem. Lack of adequate sleep.  Problem number two: little Mr. Preschooler woke up screaming in the night with growing pains in his foot. So I woke up, my husband woke up, my 4th grader woke up, and not everyone had an easy time getting back to sleep… after somehow calming down that merciless foot. So there is the second problem. Lack of adequate sleep.

This morning, for my 4th grader, it was all tears and frustration. Chores got done on time (I like to think because we practiced a time schedule the last week in preparation.) And everything was laid out to run smoothly and peacefully. But when you are exhausted life is just 100 times harder than it should be. And sometimes it is just too much to handle.

Problem number three: My preschooler forgot that when we are “schooling” mom can’t drop everything and run to help out. I am anticipating that the constant repetition of just having to wait or solve the problem himself will help him adjust to his new normal. Fingers crossed. Double crossed. My toes might be crossed also.

Problem number four: My very independent, confident, and happy kindergartner wasn’t quite sure how to take all this instruction. He woke up early, so excited for the first day of school and said, “I am going to get my chores done and just start school right away.” Ok, son, go ahead and get your chores done quickly, but I won’t be able to get your school work going for a little bit. That didn’t bother him a bit since what he meant was he was going to procrastinate his chores right up until the moment that we needed to start school. And then start school directly following the late chores. He has his own time table and his own plan for life. Luckily, kindergarten isn’t highly academic or rigorous (at my house) and he has just enough “book work” to make it new and fun but not overly busy and time consuming.

So because I am a loving mother I didn’t take any pictures of my 4th grader sobbing with his head down on the table or laying helplessly on the sofa. And I didn’t take any pictures of my preschooler tantruming because he was just going to have to either wait 10 minutes or ask someone else to help him get another drink of milk. And I didn’t take any photos of myself maneuvering back and forth between child 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 trying to get everything done as if we hadn’t skipped a beat – or 4 months. (At one point I thought to myself, “I must be some kind of wonder woman believing I can pull this off!” which is a much more positive way to think about it than, “Wow! This is kickin’ my rear today. I don’t know how I can do this. And it’s only day one!” I would much rather be wonder woman… but in more comfortable clothes.)

But I did take a picture of everyone working on their math. We are back at it. And tomorrow is going to be much better.

Although it was a pretty anticlimactic way to start out the year.

Anyway, I’m off to bed. Even wonder woman needs to sleep.