I can finally say, ‘I love it when a plan comes together,’ because one finally did.
Primarily because my kids aren’t going back to school so much as popping in for a few weeks before we head off, I thought back to school was going to be super easy this year.
Shows you what I know.
Because we arrived back in Gympie a week late from our trip north for Christmas, we had just one day to find uniforms which, despite knowing even back then we were sending our three youngest to these first two weeks of school, we’d mysteriously packed away in the middle of a tower of unmarked boxes in the shed. Then there were book lists to go through and organise, and then hats, socks and shoes to find, and then they each had to be thoroughly washed, rinsed and dried (the kids I mean).
We also needed to find school bags alternatives because, again with the thinking ahead, we’d thrown last years out.
So my dear wife spent Sunday busting her gut and, from the looks of things, attempting to give herself a stroke.
And I didn’t.
What’s more, I didn’t and I fully expected to get some sort of praise for that.
“Our last one is going to school,” Tracey said as we pulled up at the school and all tumbled out of the car.
“I know,” I said. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Two weeks without Miss4 to chase after for several hours a day is worth celebrating. With some luck there’ll be a delay in fixing the few things up on the bus and she’ll be able to go to class even longer.
“No, it’s not awesome,” Tracey admonished me. “It’s sad.”
Shows you what she knows. I may have rolled my eyes while my back was to her as I locked the doors.
Once the three little munchkins were settled into their classes we wandered back to the car enjoying the relative silence. I mean the older two were still bitching at each other, but at least the bits where they were quietly fuming weren’t filled in with whining or indignant screams.
“Well, we made it,” I said, starting the car.
“No thanks to you,” said Tracey, a little snidely.
“What do you mean by that?”
I’m no Einstein but I knew what she meant by that.
“You didn’t do anything,” she accused me.
I’d been wondering if she was going to bring this up. Hoping even.
“I know,” I agreed. I mean, guilty as charged. I was without a doubt as useless as a fork in a soup kitchen, and I freely admit it. “You’re welcome.”
“Wha…? For what?”
I was ready for this. She thinks I was doing nothing while she raced around, but actually I was readying my excuse. I mean, my argument.
“If everything goes to plan, our kids are showing up for a few weeks,” I reminded her. “That’s it. You’ve been racing around ticking off colouring pencils and glue sticks. The teachers wouldn’t have cared if the kids showed up with a pencil and a scrapbook. If we stop somewhere for a few weeks and the kids want to attend the local school, are you going to buy everything on some booklist? No. This is just like that.”
“No, it’s not,” said Tracey, making the argument I knew she would. “We know these people.”
We sure do. Miss4 is our fifth to go through the primary school in eight years.
“That’s right,” I acknowledged, smiling and getting to my point for which I thought praise was appropriate. Praise and possibly a display a sexual gratitude later tonight. A man can dream. “Which is why, despite thinking you were going over the top and stressing everyone out and being a bit daft about the whole thing,” I said, “I didn’t say anything and I didn’t try stop you.”
And for the first time in my memory a conversation played out just the way I planned it.
“Oh,” said Tracey. And I swear there was no sarcasm or tone in what she said next. “Okay, yeah. Well, thanks for that.”
Good luck! I hope your back to school efforts have gone/will go at least as smoothly and well as ours, everyone. When did they all get so big?!
Raising a family on little more than laughs