Back. To. School.


Imagine me on Jeopardy.

Back. To. School.

“What ar—–e three of the most dreaded words in my head, Alex?”


“Ummmm…..I’ll take “Social Inappropriateness  for 400 please.”

You get the idea.

Yes, it is that time of year. Break out the credit cards, hit the mall, get some must-have’s for your little angels. Don’t forget to hit Target {or The Wal-Mart if you’re feeling low…we all know that’s a quick, and I must honestly say, a desperate ego pick-me-up…you know what I’m talking about.} Fill that cart with socks and undies, pencils, PeeChee folders & Trapper Keepers {totally dating myself here}. Don’t forget the tissue, hand sanitizer, ultra fine Sharpie in black and blue, the pencil sharper and stapler that will never work, or the protractor and pencil compass that they will never use.  I hate, well, hate is such a harsh word for school supplies….how about….I despise these lists. I have three kids. That means three detailed lists from three different teachers. Actually, one of the boys is in high school, so that makes it eight lists. Crap. I say “crap” for more than one reason. I say it because of the whole shopping thing and also for the fact that my oldest is now a sophomore. Crap. Crap. Crap!

I’m all talk when the end of the year comes and I start complaining that all my boys will be home bugging me all summer.  I’m all talk when I complain that the entire summer is like an endless weekend around here. I’m all talk when I say I cannot wait for summer to end. All talk. Here’s a little secret. I love summertime. I love not having to get the boys up and ready for school. {When I say “ready for school”  I don’t mean I have to physically get them ready, like brush their hair and tie their shoes. They handle that part by themselves now.  Getting them “ready” now means that  I have to yell at them to do all of this.} I like that we all get up whenever we want and that I don’t have to hurry and prepare breakfast {that’s code for yell at them to eat a Pop-Tart or some Lucky Charms.} I don’t have to get lunches packed for the next day before I go to bed…I don’t have to make sure P.E. clothes are washed or homework at least appears finished and is correct.  I  love summer. Permission to be a slacker is what it is.  So far this year I get at least an A-.

But here we are….mid-August…school is just around the corner. The second most terrible time of the year in my little world. {The first is the day following Christmas. That’s a blog post for another time.} School. School. School. It’s all over the television, the ads in the newspaper, the radio programing…Enough already! Quit reminding me! Want to know why I dislike this all so much? I’ll tell you. But don’t hold it against me……… I hate school. Yep. I said it. I hate school.

I guess I have always have felt this way…at least once that “Radical! I get to see my friends” thing wore off. {Which was usually by noon on day two.} As a child, I dreaded school.  I was smart and all, had fantastic grades without even trying, but I just didn’t like the place.  The smell of cafeteria food lingering in the hallways, the musty dusty feel of the classrooms, the other kids bouncing off the walls and just being flat-out annoying.  I never liked it.  I was painfully shy and teeny-tiny.  I was an observer. I hung out on the sidelines. I tried to sit in the back of the class.  I never talked unless I was called upon.  True story…one day while working in my son’s kindergarten class I was reminiscing about my school days with a small group of children.  There was one girl who looked a lot like I did and was super-duper quiet.  I was telling her about our  social similarities, mainly that I never talked, when this smarty-pants boy looked right at me, smirked, and said “Well what happened???”  I love this kid! He had me pegged and he was just a five-year-old. So what did happen? When did I cross over to painfully shy to never shuts up?  I’m not sure. That’s really not the point here. I just wanted to share that cute story.

So here it is. Back to school time. I am kind of looking forward to not having the pitter-patter of six little feet around the house and the constant messes all over. But dang…I’m not looking forward to the….well…school part. We live in a really good school district.  Some people think it’s great. Some people think it’s the bee’s knees.  I believe some people actually worship the district like it’s a god. Scholasticly,  I guess it is wonderful.  But man-o-man are there some politics! School politics. Shoot me now. This is where I get all bent out of shape.  Every year this is when I am reminded how annoying some people and rules can be.  Yay! Great! {Un-named} school district you have great test scores bla blaaa blaaaaaaaaaaa. I’m terrible I know. But what really gets  me is the control this district tries put on us parents and the fact that so many of us go along with it! My biggest issues are these; the amount of stuff we as parents and tax payers have to provide because the school can’t afford to, the constant fundraising, and the……drumroll…..the dress code.

Where to begin? Where to begin????

Lets start with the supply list.  I kid you not, my boys have come home with sob stories from some of their teachers about how they need all of these classroom donations for paper and ink for computers and hand sanitizer {if you ask me, that too is a scam}.  They guilt these kids into it.  They say the schools are struggling. First of all, that is absolutely over most children’s heads.  How do they understand this when the school is constantly getting new computers, flat screen tvs, golf carts for janitors and administration, and electronic signs to announce how much more awesome our school is than the one down the road? Yes, I realize much of these unnecessary things are paid for by the constant fundraising by the parent club.  But kids don’t always understand this.  What they hear is “You children and your parents have to bring more, give more and take more so we can one-up all of those around us. More! More! More!” Wait, that’s what I hear…the kids just hear that they won’t be able to learn if they don’t get their parents to donate some paper.

My solution? I’m sure many would disagree, but I say give each school a set amount of money to spend however they see fit.  When they run out too stinkin’ bad. It’s not fair for one school who is in a more affluent neighborhood to get all of these bells and whistles because parent will just write a check.  It’s also not fair for schools who are in more needy neighborhoods to get special government money.  The same amount to all I say. If they choose to spend it on new computers every other year, well that’s frickin’ fantastic. They just better be sure to budget for paper.

The F-word. That’s right. Fundraising. Every year I get at least one teacher who sends home a little info sheet for me to fill out about my child.  It has all the important stuff on it like does he walk home or get picked up…can I volunteer to work in the classroom or go on field trips? Stuff like that. My favorite question is “Is there anything that your child is not allowed to participate in?” I know they are going for the religious stuff here, but I enjoy messing with them. I always write in “Fundraising”.  Carnival is the C-word in this house.

And now for the dress code. I’m all for modesty with kids.  Thank goodness I do not have any daughters.  They would hate me. They would not be allowed to wear much of the clothing that so many young females are wearing these days.  Dress code would not be a problem for me because I think many of the rules for  the girls are wonderful.    But I have boys. We live in a very warm central California town. It’s hot here spring break all the way through Halloween. But the dress code says no shorts before spring forward or after fall back.  It’s 90 degrees plus sometimes! These poor boys have to wear slacks or jeans {no sweats please…not business attire!} while girls get to stay cool in their “just above the knee-length” skirts all year-long.  How is this fair???? I am trying to convince one of my brave boys to put on a skirt one day just to prove a point. So far they aren’t that brave. Dang it.

Then there is the hair issue. Boys are not allowed to have hair longer than the mid-point of a collared shirt, ear lobes must be visible and bangs must not interfere with vision.  Try telling this to a girl. We all know that wouldn’t fly. Tell me this, how is it ok for a young lady to have hair touching below her collar, over her ears or  bangs swooshing gently across her forehead but it’s not ok for a young man to have this?How does this interfere with learning?  What happened to equal rights? This is America right? Just this morning my sophomore-to-be went over to the school to pick up his new schedule.  “Dress Code Strictly Inforced” they said, or no schedule for you.  He came home empty-handed. Apparently his bangs were  “touching his eyebrows”.  Really?

Its going to be a long year….again.

I’m already pissed and school hasn’t even begun.

Crap. To top it off now I’ve got to get up from my favorite summertime spot and  go shave off somebody’s eyebrows.






3 responses »

    • Ah, nuts….kilts are cool! I wore one in high school; being the worst highland dancer ever. They only let me be a part of the group because I loved it so much.

  1. Yea! Good stuff! Give me a poster and I’ll picket the school district office! We had to dig into our college account to keep up with the costs….too often unnecessary. The schools can’t afford glue and crayons??? Are you kidding? Where did the money go that the HORRIBLE LOTTO was supposed to provide for the schools? Ok, I WAS laughing when I read this….really. But the memories of my frustration every year got to me. You didn’t mention the dozens of times you have to fill out the same information for each kid. I finally typed up my own medical/permission slip on the computer and printed it out every time they went on a field trip or game. ~ I took my granddaughter to pick up her school packet. We walked in to the library, told them her name and they gave us an envelope. She needed to be dressed appropriately for that? And yep, if she has eyebrows, I couldn’t see them under her bangs. ~ FUNDRAISING? I wish all parents would rise up and say, “NO MORE!”
    Keep at it, Janelle. You just might change our part of the world. Um, are you sure your favorite son wouldn’t go for a kilt?

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