Eleven Things I Love About Back To School

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Having just experienced my first holiday as a stay at home Dad, I have made some observations. Like although I didn’t have to yell at the kids to get out of bed and dressed, or fight them to do homework, or scavenge in the pantry at eleven at night for something to put in lunch boxes, school holidays are not as much of a breeze as I imagined it would be. I confess I’m new at this, so let me know if I’ve got this about right:

  1. Education. I know how important education is and I have the utmost respect for teachers, but right now all I’m thinking’s school is essentially free babysitting so I can get shite done around here.
  2. Washing. One set of clothes per child per day. I’d forgotten that was possible.
  3. Lunch. If they don’t like it I can’t hear them complain. They certainly can’t ask me to make them something else, or drag half the fridge onto the kitchen bench to make a sandwich I’ll later find in the throws of rigour mortis under their bed.
  4. Shopping. I went shopping today and, because didn’t buy a single Frozen Egg or Chupa Chup, I could afford a coffee. Because I didn’t have to take kids with me I could even enjoy it instead of throwing it back like a motivational booster shot.
  5. Arguments. I’m sick of refereeing a game I’ve never seen a rule book for.
  6. Routine. The school week means there is now a reason to do things a certain way. Like there’s a sensible reason to have a shower and to get to bed by a certain time. And I mean for the kids as well! When your kid asks you for breakfast at 10am, you know you’ve dropped the ball. When it happens every day for a week I’m guessing that’s how we all know the holidays are nearly over.
  7. Scissors. Paper. All the scissors in the house are now at school in pencil cases, which means less tiny, pointless triangles of paper for me to have to suck up with the vacuum. Similarly, all the glue in the house is now at school in desks, which means less clumps of pointless triangles of paper stuck together which the vacuum won’t suck up because they’ve formed an attachment with the carpet.
  8. Carpet. We have carpet! It was under the toys, clothes and pointless bits of paper. Of course, it’s nearly destroyed from all the glue and other shite they’ve been grinding into it, but it’s there and it turns out it’s still mostly blue.
  9. Tunes. I can listen to my daggy music in the car without comment. Kids can be so cruel. I even tried throwing a little Kate Bush amongst the Bieber and MyLifeAsEva. They could tell. Probably because I knew the words. But now I can play what I like. I can even sing along if the need, as it so often does, takes me. Don’t worry, I’ll keep the windows up.
  10. Thoughts. Today I was able to hear myself think. I almost didn’t recognise the voice.
  11. “Napping”. Half the week we now only have one child left in the house with us for up to 6 hours a day – and that child still occasionally naps for an hour or two. This is important information since our kids developed strange habits over the hols – the worst of which is these days someone inevitably creeps into our bed at night. I’ve done the math – all I need is five minutes.

I love their cotton socks, but I’m ready for them to go back to school for a bit now and maybe we can do this again in a couple of months when I’ve caught up on sleep and housework.

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I was so keen to drop the kids at school for their first day I brushed the fence backing out the driveway. Didn’t even stop to check out the damage.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

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