During the first week of August, I was thinking (Nay! Dreaming!!) about the return to school for the children, and the more structured routine for our lives. Having a few hours to myself, a few days a week after a long summer of schlepping kids around town… well it’s something I really looked forward to.
What I never seem to remember is that it’s NOT actually easier in September. In fact, September could make my head explode in the mad scramble. The list of “things to do” seems endless. Besides the expenses of all school things, and pants and shoes that fit (indoor shoes, gym shoes, ones that a small person can slip on and off by herself, etc.) it comes with a whack of chores and projects that present themselves, seemingly out of nowhere.
Do I put the tank tops away now? Will any of this summer stuff fit these kids next year? Ava Scarlett needs slip-on shoes for school… Why are there not enough hangers in the house? What else do we need from Ikea? Do we go this weekend? Ack. Oh, and we need napkins too… Did I mail that thing? Is it in that other purse? I should totally get rid of that purse… and those boots… or, shall I take them to the shoe guy to get another year out of them? Is it too warm for suede boots? And ohmygod you have to get a photo health card picture! And a passport photo… should get that done for the kids too… haircut before? How are my eyebrows? Those photos will last for years… is there time today?
It feels like there’s never time.
Last week was a total write-off, since one kid had a day off school (how is it they’ve had three PED days off between them already this year?) and we were getting set to host family visiting from France – with that came all the preparation that comes with hosting three extra people plus my sister for a whack of days and nights, which meant cleaning and shopping and cooking and baking… and touring around the city, the way one does when one has out-of-town guests. (Then after comes the part about restocking the fridge, and tackling the mountains of laundry for the next few days.)
It was a delicious visit, and we all had a blast together, but regular life got pushed to the back burner for several days, and with it, the list of things to do, which breeds and grows larger under the dark of night, I’m pretty sure.
In between it all are my darling, charming children, exhausted in the early weeks from the newness of school things, annoyed and grumpy in the afternoon, ready to melt… and I get to be The Face of Evil, since it is I who must force the homework before playtime – which adds serious insult to injury since I’ve already been to the second grade, thanks, and now I have to do it in French? AND I get to have all the sucky attitude to go with it? Gah. I tell you, it just ain’t fair.
This kind of crankiness is born when a household is trying to stave off back-to-school colds too…
It’s toward the end of the month when I feel in every fibre of my being how much I sometimes loathe this job, because the downtime I’ve been waiting for isn’t here yet… there’s just more to manage some months, and September is one of those months.
But, I reckon October is for napping. 😉