Lessons from the first weeks of school
No, not the kids -- us! As they say at the end of every sappy sitcom, What have we learned from this? The first flush of school is past us, so now that we have a few weeks under our belts, what do we think about all our best intentions?
I followed my own advice and got a notebook for all handouts and fliers, designated a chair by the front door as our "launching pad" for backpacks and anything else that needs to leave the house with us in the morning. I should add that my friend Janet has already called me out on all this "organized mom" hooey I've been writing about lately. Who is this person? she wonders. Surely not my friend Sharon who misplaces her cell phone daily and once went to work in her slippers. I acknowledge I sound very grown up in print, but believe me, we're hanging on by our fingernails over here.
Back to the lessons. We also learned the dollar store can be a great place to find lunch box containers so you won't fret about them losing them, but you get what you pay for. My dollar store finds included a two-set of sandwich boxes, a bag of 10 tiny plastic boxes perfect for dip, ketchup, nuts or small snacks, and a set of two small drink bottles. The drink bottles were the only disappointment. Despite closing them as tightly as possible, the lemonade leaked into my son's lunch. Luckily, the sandwich was encased in a box so it was saved, the cashews in the tiny box, not so much.
We learned a frozen water bottle will deliver cold water all day or can be used in a lunchbox to keep the food cold. But we have learned it's better to freeze just half of it and top it off in the morning since small bottles don't seem to melt by lunchtime.
I've been losing the momentum about getting ready the night before. That needs to get better. On the nights we lay out clothes and make lunches, the mornings go MUCH smoother. Even with uniforms, if you don't plan ahead, it can makes things 10 times harder the next morning.
With all the attention paid to kindergarteners and their first day, we forgot about what happens when those once-teeny tots start high school: IT'S TRAUMATIC, maybe more so than kindergarten. One teen was afraid to carry her new specially ordered tote bag in case the other kids did not appreciate the musical group featured in the design. Her friend, at a magnet school, had her bookbag stolen on Day Five. The bag was returned, but the IPod and cell phone are gone forever.
And finally, we learned to go ahead and sign permission slips or send money in as requested as soon as we see it, to do our homework alongside the kids. Otherwise, it sits in the ever-growing "to-do" pile and gets forgotten and you have to do the walk of shame to the office to fetch another copy.
-- Go Momma staff