DFWChild / Articles / MomLife / Mom Blogs / Christmas in September

Christmas in September

I love the smell of paste in the morning. I love the scrunchy sound of the lunchbox Velcro giving way to receive the Bagel Bites for midday nourishment. I love to see uniforms all crisp and clean in the closet.

It’s the first few days of the new school year. Forget Christmas. This is the most wonderful time of the year.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my children with all my heart, but within the first 48 hours of this summer I had: cheered at a baseball game, chauffeured to and from basketball camp at the rec center, scheduled two playdates, played Marco Polo twice, slathered sunscreen on three wiggly kids at least seven times, flagged down the ice-cream man, tried to act cool at the pool as I peered over the magazine I was using as a prop to check out my teen’s flirting techniques, witnessed one grand mal hissy fit thrown by my youngest and cleaned up barf once.

I started the countdown to the first day of school around mid-August.  By then, they were kind of sick of me. I was kind of sick of them. That’s when I reached deep down into my Mommy bag of tricks for a few more ways to occupy their minds.

No. 1. I reminded them of their summer reading assignments. This suggestion is always met with them performing a full on happy dance. I jest. After my oldest finally completed his required reading, I informed him that now we would check on corresponding the writing project. “Using the notes you took during your reading …” I began. “What notes?” he asks.

No. 2. I pulled an old standby. I told them that I threw five quarters into the backyard, when I really tossed four out there. Mean, but it works. This can be used in tandem with the “Hey kids, how many times can you run around the house? I’ll clock you!” challenge. Then simply walk back inside and lock the door.

No. 3. We went blueberry picking out in Edom. We left as early as possible to avoid the hottest part of the day, grabbed buckets and headed out to the field. After about 20 minutes they started to whine. “It’s hot out here. There’s a bee. I think I saw a big snake.” I gently reminded, “Children, picking fruit is the way some people make a good living. They work from sunup to sundown. Live their life for a bit and be thankful for school.”

No. 4. I threatened to release them into the wilds of White Rock Park to run with the coyotes. Not really. They would have loved that.

Let’s suffice it to say, they were ready to swing through the classroom doors. Which brings me back to school and what I love best about it (besides, um, them attending it): uniforms.

While at the mall picking up the requisite white polo shirts, I couldn’t help but notice a frazzled mom and daughter trying to compromise on a back-to-school wardrobe. The fashion-forward offspring sauntered out of the dressing room with one possible ensemble. “No,” the mother swiftly declared. That’s when the HuffStompAndRoll ensued.

I bought more polos.

Getting ready bright and early on the first day of school, my growing tween walked out of his room wearing fresh Ralph Lauren stock and capri pants — huh? How could he have grown that much since last month? Up to the attic I went to find the box-o-uniforms to grab the next size up. Meanwhile, my teen packed the lunches and decided that mini corn dogs would be his entree of the day.

My youngest, who was decidedly pumped up to be entering elementary school, completed 16 laps around the kitchen table screeching, “I’m going to first grade!  I’m going to first grade!”  Later, when I met his teacher, I inadvertently blurted out, “I’ve been praying for you all summer.” Nice first impression don’t you think?

The afterschool report was interesting. Mr. First Grader Christopher has already lost his Transformer lunchbox, Teen Tim regaled us with war stories from football practice and Middle Son Matthew informed us that the newly renovated boy’s bathroom smells like meatloaf.

And off we go for another year!

Linda Marie Ford is a columnist for DallasChild and the founder of It’s Good to be the Queen, an online party for moms of boys.