What? Blindsided!

The first day of school, I was so proud. Maybe even as much as Thalia was. I packed her lunch, I got her fed and dressed in weather appropriate clothes, I walked her down the street singing, I ushered her into the classroom (on time), I kissed her goodbye, I chatted with some parents, I hopped on the subway to work.

A new routine. It was–dare I say it?–fun.

A week later, I got Sage off to school for her first time too. Again: Pride.

Gushing, flowing pride, oozing out of every pore of my body.

But suddenly I’ve come to the crazy realization: I have to do this every freaking day. EVERY FREAKING DAY. No one told me this! How could this be so unexpected?

I have to pack a lunch every day. And find two outfits for them to wear every day. And fight about who gets the pink spoon in the oatmeal every day. And make a sandwich every day. And. And. And.

Exhaustion. Gushing, flowing exhaustion, oozing out of every pore of my body. 

I think I’m just going to sign a stockpile of tardy slips at the office in advance. Might save us some time in the morning. 


33 thoughts on “What? Blindsided!”

  1. From a mom of four – try to pack the lunches the night before or you'll be spending your children's college fund on school lunch. And as soon as they are able, have them pack their own. I know, I know, it seems like FOREVER before you'll see that day, but it will come, sooner than you think! Everyone says that and sometimes I just smile and say to myself, yeah, easy for you to say now that your kids are grown…but I never ever thought I'd see the day my little Cameron would be going to school dances, and, poof, here we are! Good luck!

  2. Just wait until they have the realization that they have to GO to school every day for the next 13 years!!! That could make the mornings even more difficult ;).

  3. Dude, just get used to being totally drained BEFORE you even get to work. And know that someday, they'll be able to pack their own damned lunches. (And consider setting up a cot for naps in your office.)

  4. What Tonya said is perfect advice. On the few occasions where I actually did myself the favor of packing lunches the night before it made for a much easier morning. I'll give you one other piece of advice that I never follow through on either…pick out clothing the night before so that they know what they are wearing and you can get the arguments out of the way before bed. And if you're lucky they may actually dress themselves!

  5. Or buy another pink spoon.

    Yeah, it gets old fast. And then things happen like – we discuss lunch at dinner and agree that she will have the rest of the rice and tofu for her lunch. Alas, Daddy at the rice in the middle of the night. Therefore Daddy had to make new rice at 8:00 this morning, because proffered the jelly sandwich was categorically rejected.

  6. I was just thinking that this morning! I said to my husband, I think Milo is feeling sick today and I shouldn't take him to school. Even though he is feeling fine and it's just me that doesn't want to leave the house.

    I've heard the night before advice… and the get up early… and all those things that we are supposed to do to make things easier. What's wrong with rolling out of bed, pulling on yesterday's jeans and a hat, letting the kids dress themselves and giving them money for lunch? If it means more sleep, I'll take it.

  7. I know, the things they never tell us.

    To save your sanity, just remember that it doesn't stay that way. As they get older, put more of the responsibility on them.

  8. I KNOW, RIGHT???

    Why no-one tells us that the work of getting smalls dressed and out the door WITH packed lunches (lunch, two snacks, all healthy, nothing with tree nuts, prepared to satisfaction of the smalls) is an effort on a par with launching a military invasion of ancient Rome, I do not know.

  9. The kicker? Finding out that they've been trading those precious little lunch bags all this time. What? Oh, okay, maybe it's just mine then 🙂 Hang in there; this too shall pass and then there'll be something else. Okay, I'll shuddup now.

  10. I honestly try not to think about it that much. I've been packing lunches for… jeez, nearly two years now. Sometimes I get it done the night before, but not often. (It rocks when I do.) And I help them pick out outfits the night before, because their father/my husband just can't manage that part of the morning routine. Otherwise, he is largely in charge of feeding/dressing/getting girls to respective school/daycare (depending on the day).

    Wait until they have homework. Oy. The pride will keep coming, though, and make those lunches worth it. (I think it's okay to give yourself the occasional break & let them buy lunch at school, too.)

  11. Buy another pink spoon? Heck no. Lose the one they argue over now. Even if you find another exactly the same they will somehow note some infitesmal differene which makes one better than the other and proceed to argue about who gets the 'good' pink spoon. And then one will get lost and you are back where you started.

    I say wrap that sucker up in somethig icky and toss it in the trash, pronto.

  12. Yes, it can be tiring to figure out what your child should wear everyday and pack lunches. So much to figure out in the mornings and a lot of things to do. Just wait until they get older and join sports or activites.

  13. Isn't it daunting? Along with your stockpile of tardy slips, you should also have some oxycontin. It makes everything nice and fun.

  14. Indeed! And we've been copping out and doing school lunches (I know, I know) so it's just getting dressed, two snacks, filled water bottles, and making sure there's a change of clothes — and diapers & wipes — available, should they need it. It SEEMS so simple, and, yet, it's so draining. Keep hoping once it's more like routine, that it will get easier. Hope springs eternal!

    Sometimes, I want to go back to having a nanny. She did the drop-offs and pick-ups, too, which are mind-numbingly repetitive.

  15. I'm sure it's been said…but pack lunches the night before. Lay out clothes the night before. Saves so much time and argument.

    And um…maybe but more pink spoons? Ha. Meh, mine fight over everything in the morning. That can't really be helped.

  16. Just wait until you get piles of school notices about fund raisers, field trips, book sales, etc. and eventually HOMEWORK!!! Try to enjoy the simple drop off now!

  17. And this is why I made my husband promise to be In Charge of Lunches For All Time … I secured this promise before we had any kids.

  18. I stuff the lunch sacks full of 25 year old Twinkies that I didn't eat while in college.

    They are kind of stale, but the kids tell me that they still like to suck out the filling.

  19. I can relate to what Liz said – although you pack their lunch, it doesn't necessarily mean they EAT it. I was not a happy mommy when my son mentioned to me that he THROWS OUT whatever he doesn't eat/like.

  20. Every year as the last days of summer are just dragging on and we're all about to gouge each others' eyes out, I think, “Things will settle down once they're back in school.” Ha!

    Suddenly there are the clothes and the lunches and the permission slips and the drop-offs and the pick-ups and the fundraisers and the dance classes and the Girl Scouts and the field trips and Can't you volunteer in the class this week? and the HOMEWORK and the school projects and TODAY was your share day? and all the colds passed from child to me to child and back again and the, the, the… I get exhausted thinking about next week, let alone the next 12 years!

  21. I hear ya! My little one started on Sept 1st and for the first few days loved it, then it dawned on him it was EVERYDAY and he is looking forward to the holidays, week after next, HOORAY! This is where I am so grateful for school uniform as long as I keep on top of keeping a clean one in the wardrobe then I'm half the battle won in the morning. How we'll cope in another month or so when baba 2 comes! Oh man am I going to have to be organised.

  22. I am not joking when I say that “not having to get them ready in the morning” is in the top three reasons why we homeschool. That and to save my children from the evils of Darwin. (heh)

  23. It is all so tiring, isn't it? Definitely pack lunches the night before. Purchase another pink spoon. I still haven't figured out how to get my girls to pick out their outfits the night before. They can barely decide what pajamas to wear.

  24. Yeah, lunch and clothes the night before is a huge help. But getting them to school in the morning every day is really good for at least one thing…making you appreciate vacations. 😉

  25. I've been feeling the exact same way this school year. It seemed, I don't know, easier, when my two oldest were in preschool. Now that one's in kindergarten everything seems so much more serious and long term. Plus, you know, taking them to the two different schools is pretty annoying.Here's to hanging in there!

  26. When I was 21, I had this same realization about dishes. They just keep on getting eaten on, and then I have to keep on washing them, every single damn day for the rest of my life until I die. I told this to my roommate, who immediately understood, picked up one of our dishes, and flung it onto the tile floor. And then she flung another and another.

    Eventually, we had to be grown-ups and clean up the dish-shards, but we felt a lot better about everything.

    Later on that roommate became a Buddhist nun, and then an art professor. She's living in India right now and she's still one of my heroes.

    I'm not sure how to translate that cathartic dish-breaking into school. Maybe a strategic hooky-playing, one morning. Something to break the monotony, to then allow you to face the monotony.

  27. I'm always getting the kids to school at, like, 2 minutes before they are “late”. One day we were actually late, so I had to sign them in and give a “reason” for being late. In a moment of unguarded honesty, I wrote “laziness”. The woman keeping custody of the excuse log found this very amusing, but I have this feeling she won't be so easily amused next time . . . .

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