Summer isn’t over, but the children are about to go back to school. One of mine started yesterday, while another starts on Friday. (Seriously. From 10am to 2pm. I might as well just stay in the car all day doing drop-offs and pick-ups.) And while it’s always bittersweet to see them moving up to a new year level, outgrowing their school sandals immediately after I buy them, and losing their PE gear for the second time in two days, I’m glad the school year has begun. Except for one thing. The first week (or two) of school kind of sucks.
It doesn’t suck because of the teachers or the schools or the lessons or the lunches I need to pack. It sucks because my kids are So. Dang. Tired. When they get home from school those first several days, they are tired and grouchy and fretful and even a little bit teary-eyed. They need snacks. They need naps. They need cuddles. They need for the first week or two to be over and done with, and for their bodies and schedules to have adjusted back to what it’s like to be in school.
I don’t remember being this tired when I was a kid. Although I admit I don’t remember a whole heck of a lot of the details about being a kid, other than coveting this particular backpack that I had to save up my pocket money for two terms to get, and then it wasn’t being sold any more. (I’m still sore about that.) So I called my mother to ask her.
“My kids are tired and grouchy and fretful and teary-eyed. Was I like this when school started up again after the summer?” I asked her.
She laughed so hard she accidentally hung up on me. When I called her back, she was still laughing. “Were YOU tired?” she wheezed. “Were YOU teary-eyed?” she shrieked, practically in tears herself. Tears of laughter. Because my mother was laughing at me.
“You were such a mess one year that I took a day off of work and kept you home. This was on the THIRD DAY OF SCHOOL,” she informed me. “You were so tired and grouchy that I couldn’t bear to subject your teachers to your attitude.”
“MOTHER, focus,” I commanded. “What am I supposed to do about these tired kids?”
“You figure it out!” she cackled. “You’re the mother now!” And she hung up again.
I’m the mother now, and I’m tired. So are my kids. Perhaps we all just need a nap… When are the next school hols, again?
Editor, Tots to Teens