Day Twenty-Two

It was the day before school began and despite a bucket load of good intentions and precisely 79 days to prepare, I appeared to be massively behind the eight ball. The up side was that Montgomery County Public Schools were in session, so there was no one in the neighborhood to distract the boys. But apparently I had underestimated their ability to distract themselves.
I attempted to begin the day on a high note. I decided that as a means of saying goodbye to the concept of a leisurely breakfast for the next nine months, we would only eat breakfast foods for the entire day. I was not above using breakfast foods as a bribe and the kids weren’t above accepting them.
With a promise of donuts afterward, we left for the Hair Cuttery and the talented Haley Marrs. Haley is the only person allowed to touch Mac’s hair. And she has the bonus of a name that sounds like a planet and a candy bar all rolled into one. Haley has earned her status because of the many heinous home cuts Mac endured.
My first cut was great if he could have just kept his head tilted to the right at all times to keep it even. Mark then had a snafu with the clippers and Mac’s sideburns which made the bowl cut look revolutionary in comparison. The embarrassment was still so raw that it justified obtaining his own personal stylist.
Drew was forced to bring his summer math packet to the Hair Cuttery where I could give him some one-on-one tutoring. It was only on Friday that I had realized that the packet wasn’t completed. In June, I looked at the first two pages and then flipped it over to the last page. At the time, I marveled at his teacher’s ability to get this done in the classroom amid the waning days of the school year.
If I had opened up to the middle section, I would have seen three blank pages of long division and the dreaded addition and subtraction of fractions. I had nightmares about calculating the lowest common denominator (LCD) which I seemed to do every school year. The long division problems, included arrows and a lot of steps I never learned. My kids really are doomed if I am in charge of math homework. Mark used to be “the math guy” until he told Mac that 4 to the third power was 12. When I told him that it was, in fact, 4x4x4 which did not equal 12, he looked at me like I was crazy. He was given his pink slip and never looked back.
Drew had worked on the packet over the weekend but was severely distracted by Irene and her aftermath. This left us with a page and a half and one day to finish it. So I sat amid the shelves of hair volumizer and shampoo in the waiting area and pretended I would rather do math than read the new InStyle magazine.
Reed and I eventually left Drew to his computations while Mac finished up and went next door to get the promised donuts at the grocery store. As with any trip to the store, it took longer than expected and I ended up with a cart full of things Reed convinced me we needed.
After we arrived home and unpacked the groceries, the kids had their donuts and I didn’t steal a bite from any of them. It may have been an all-breakfast day but I needed to show some restraint. I was saving myself for the diner up the street where we were headed for lunch–or should I say “brunch.” I needed to get a training walk in, so I left the boys to sharpen pencils and pack backpacks. I was not foolish enough to believe that Drew was even going to glance at that math packet without me.
While I walked, I went through a mental checklist of outstanding items for school the next day. Hole crap, what did I do all summer? No wonder my kids are procrastinators. I am a procrastinator. I even put off making the to-do list of items to ultimately ignore.
I returned home and found empty packages of paper, pens, markers and every ilk of school supplies littering the floor. I guess I was not specific enough when I left. I simply told them to pack their backpacks. I never mentioned anything about throwing away the wrappers and empty boxes. This parenthood gig is a very literal affair.
Showered and moderately refreshed, I was ready for some brunch. All three boys ordered something called the Lumberjack. It consisted of two pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage and a side of hash browns. All boys asked for smiley fries instead of hash browns in homage to their former favorite from the kids menu. Overwhelmed by their food choices, and despite all my big talk, I ordered an omelet with fruit.
They didn’t mention on the menu how much room the Lumberjack required on the table. And, by the way, does anyone actually eat the pancakes with the ice-cream scooped sized butter blob on it? I spent the first five minutes figuring out how to remove this gargantuan scoop off their plate and find storage for three oversized mounds. With three Lumberjack extravaganzas in addition to a plate full of butter littering the area, it took Drew approximately a minute to spill root beer (yes root beer is now a breakfast drink) on the math packet. If I didn’t know better, I would swear it was a ploy to get me to snatch it off the table. Which, of course, I did after wiping it off. At this point, one more hour without math really wasn’t going to make or break us.
The kids were barely conscious as they stumbled out of the diner and to the car. I took advantage of the food coma to finish up the backpacks at home. Out of all the countless items on the supply list, I never thought it would be the highlighters that pushed me over the edge.
Drew needed two highlighters in standard yellow. Reed needed a pink highlighter and a blue highlighter. But I could only find pink and blue in a multi-pack which also included yellow and green. Mac needed the yellow and green in addition to three more colors that could not be repeated. I finally found a pack of five highlighters in a variety of colors for Mac and put the green and yellow ones to good use crossing off packed items.
Another hour of math before football during which time I tried to come up with another breakfast item for dinner. The Lumberjack covers most of the food groups not to mention a vast array of greases, fats and artery cloggers. I settled on chocolate chip waffles and fruit before we went to football. They could then have a bagel with cream cheese or butter as a snack when we got home.
By 9pm all the boys were in their rooms even if they weren’t asleep. I was organizing uniforms and shoes and thinking about the lunches, snacks, forms and the lingering math packet that still needed attention. I could hear Reed and Drew whispering, knowing they were no where near sleep. I decided to let them be. Because just like me, even with a bucket load of good intentions and 79 days to prepare, they weren’t quite ready for the first day of school.


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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