Helpful Hints for Back-to-School

As the leaves begin to change and the air cools off,  we say goodbye to summer yet again. Gone are the days of long, lazy afternoons and sleeping in. Gone are the family trips, and cookouts. Hello football and apple cider!

Of course that means one very important thing: Back To School!

In case you feel a tad stressed and under-prepared, here is a list to help you get your Back-to-school experience off on the right foot:

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  1. Be sure to spend big money on quality supplies: Because the supplies are meant to last the entire year or longer. And you can bet it is money well spent because your child would never throw those supplies in a desk, scribble all over them, or leave them on the school bus. That never happens. Don’t bother trying to find simple items in a rather mundane color. A royal blue folder just won’t do. Besides, the Disney Channel threw up on the school supplies aisle anyway. Drop the extra $1.25 on the notebook with Thor on the cover. Or Elsa. Or whatever new Disney tween star is hip. It’s worth the joy in your child’s eyes, when, two years from now, they will never admit to liking that show anyway.
  2. Buy clothes  with room to grow: Again, these clothes need to last. I recommend buying 5 or 6 sizes bigger. That way in two months when their shoes don’t fit and have holes in them, or their pants don’t fit and have holes in  them, or their shirts don’t fit and are covered in marker and spaghetti stains… and mostly likely have holes in them, you won’t slap yourself in the forehead for not being more prepared. Seriously, is there a contest amoung young boys to see who can wear out the knees of their jeans the fastest? Or do they just go at them with the Fiskars scissors? (Side note: get Fiskars, because you obviously don’t love your child enough if you don’t get them the name brand FISKARS.)
  3. Take one last trip/outing as a family: Because nothing says “I’m ready for school” like one last sunburn. Be sure to make it very clear to your children that it’s a chance for you all to spend time together and definitely NOT something to keep the kids occupied so they stop driving you crazy until you get the sweet reprieve of school. After 2 hours at the waterpark, expect that they will come up to you and say, “I’m hungry.” “I’m tired.” or “I’m bored.” Please refrain from throwing you child off the tallest water slide. It’s frowned upon.
  4. Be sure the children get a good night’s sleep: Did you need an excuse to send the children to bed at a reasonable hour? Thank you school! Gone are the days when kids stayed up late; summer’s over, y’all! Remind your children how important it is to be well rested and prepared for each school day. And try not to do your happy dance as they’re walking up the stairs. Not only is it not cool, but it’s a dead giveaway.
  5. Send them off with a healthy balanced breakfast: The morning of the first day, you wake up early to fix  your children a delicious and healthy breakfast. They are welcomed into the kitchen by the smell of bacon and the sizzle of french toast. You even made fresh  squeezed orange juice. You feel so content having filled the bellies of the babes entrusted to you, you vow to do this every morning. It’s not that hard. Fast-forward two weeks and your chucking poptarts at their backs as they fly out the door for the bus. Bonus points if you hit ’em in the head.
  6. Bring tissues: Because, you know, allergies. Nothing more.

There you have it. Back to School doesn’t have to be such a stress. As long as you’re well-prepared you can relish the moments you have with your children and marvel at how quickly they really do grow.

If I could part with one more suggestion: Wine. You have two options with this:

  1. Give to your child’s teacher. He/she will greatly appreciate it, especially if your child is, er, difficult.
  2. Drink it in celebration of the start of another school year. Not immediately. Try to wait until you get home. Let’s have some self-respect.
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