Thursday, 3 September 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL


Whoever came up with the idea of schooling one’s children was a genius – and no doubt, a parent of many children (apparently one of the oldest schools on record was from the Shishi Middle School in China 143–141 BC. God bless the Chinese). Hmm, how do I legitimize sending my children somewhere (in a supervised capacity of course) so I get a break and they actually do something of worth that doesn't involve driving me nuts, playing Minecraft or obtaining swimmer's ear?? Yes, of course, we teach them stuff in a structured environment - preferably in large building with an even larger gate -  and do it for as many hours as possible!! Eureka!

Can’t you just see the first conversation about determining the length of the actual school day: “Let’s create a place where children can go and learn and play for a couple of hours each day….Actually why not make it a half day….To hell with that, there is so much to learn, let’s make it ¾ of the day and throw in some after school activities to make the parents happy! Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer holidays and the King had a riotous time doing this that and the other, but by summers end, every parent has that look about him or her. You know that, ‘if someone doesn’t take my kid for me I’m going to implode’ kind of look. Let’s be honest, there is only so many ‘why’ questions I can answer per week until my brain starts to feel like it's going to melt. By September, it’s up to a teacher to navigate the curious rapid-fire assault of wonder that is my son’s brain.

Not to mention, the holidays are also awash in consumption, frivolity and NO discernible schedule in sight (as it should be really). Hence by summer’s end, if you see one more ice cream van you slip into some sort of PTSD episode and start clutching your wallet as you run the other direction screaming, I swear, I don't have any change!!  The other pro and con of summer days is their sheer length. I love cherish summer activities with the King, but when he starts going to bed at 9/10 o’clock every night come summertime, I start looking for a more powerful night cream and a pillow to rest on.

Luckily, at the moment, he is a kid that adores school (oh school, I love you so much) and at the first sighting of his male posse, he ran and joined them in tightly knit huddle – this is what I love about 5 year olds, they are so not about cool and all about showing their emotions however they see fit. And then you see the shift in parents all around the neighborhood. That summer look is quickly replaced by the other look of ‘YES’ my kids are back in school and I can actually use my brain look and get stuff done…followed by the ‘oh sh*t look, my kids are back in school and I forgot how nuts it gets….you see, you can never win.

Alas, the King is officially in year one and hopefully they will have him reading War and Peace by month’s end (I kid, I kid). Then again, if he is counting grains of sand, I’m fine with that too as long as they keep him until 3 o’clock and teach him something aside from the schedule of the ice cream vans around our neighborhood.



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