5 Essentials for the First Day of School *And Yes, it’s happening now*

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Hang in there, parents! Summer break is not only in full swing, but it’s actually starting to wind down! In fact, my school district is on a schedule that has our kids going back to school THIS WEEK! (Yes, I know it’s July.)

My kids are with me all day every day during their school breaks, so having them back in school will be an adjustment requiring lots of preparation and planning. If you’re in a similar situation, here’s my list of 5 Essentials for the First Day of School.

1. Coffee
You probably already have coffee. You will need more coffee. The first morning back on a school schedule is hectic and exhausting. Between the waking and the dressing and the eating and the brushing of the teeth and the brushing of the hair and the finding of the shoes and the packing of the lunch and the still looking for the shoes and the gathering of the bags and the SERIOUSLY, WHERE ARE THE SHOES, your morning will be pretty crazy. And then you still have to get THE KIDS ready! You should plan on brewing a second pot (you Keurig people should probably go ahead double your usual number of cups) because you will definitely need the extra boost.

2. Champagne
You’ll take those adorable “First Day” photos, load the kiddos on the bus, and wave goodbye until their excited (or terrified) little faces are out of sight. Then you can pop that bubbly, my friend, because you did it! You made it through another summer break without (completely) losing your mind and with (hopefully) minimal psychological and physical damage to your children. Toast your success.

3. Good Chocolate
Once those sweet little mooches are out of the house you can finally indulge in some decent snacks. No more cowering in a closet with a mini Snickers, praying to everything holy that your kids don’t hear the crinkle of the wrapper, devouring your secret treat with the stealth of a ninja before your cover is blown. I don’t know about you, but I have a giant Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt bar waiting for me in my Super-Duper-Secret Candy Storage Facility. (It’s the top shelf of the pantry. DON’T TELL ANYONE.)

4. Homework Wine
I’m not talking about the kind of glass you drink to wind down at the end of the day. This isn’t about enjoyment or relaxation. Homework Wine is utilitarian. It’s a Fractions/Sentence-Struture/Revolutionary-War/Periodic-Table/WHY-DO-YOU-HAVE-HOMEWORK-ON-THE-FIRST-DAY coping mechanism. It needs to be strong and gritty. It needs–

You know what? Hang on…

4. Homework Wine Scotch

There we go. That’s better.

5. Tissues
I’ll probably insist they’re tears of joy, and they very well might be. Because, hooray! I’ll actually get to go to the bathroom alone! Every task will suddenly become a thousand times easier because I don’t have a little one “helping” me! I won’t have to answer a million questions and hear a million neverending stories and watch Zootopia for the millionth time!

But I’m kind of a big ol’ softie when it comes to my kids, so I also know I won’t get daily afternoon snuggles. I won’t hear silly secrets over lunch. And I’ll probably even miss all those questions. (Well, OK, maybe only some of them. I mean, I’m not COMPLETELY crazy.)

Now please pass the chocolate and pour me some Homework Hooch. I’ve got some math facts and historical fiction to prepare for.

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