It’s back to school tomorrow! Yay! Both my kids are finally going to be in school full-time this year. They have staggered starts because they’re in different schools — Jesse’s school day is 7:50 to 3:02, Nick’s is 8:50 to 3:35.
No typos. Those are the real school hours. I have no explanation.
The staggered times reduce the scope of my freedom, but still, it’s a good thing. After a decade, approximately five days a week I will be minion-free for six hours. What to do, what to do? No doubt, grumble about it.
As the school year begins, here are the two things that are really sticking in my craw.
1. People asking me whether I’m going back to work.
Seriously, don’t ask me that. I’ve spent a decade in the company of children. I am neither marketable nor interested. Also I need a vacation. I’ve spent a total of five nights away from Jesse since she was born. Two of them, I was in the hospital giving birth to Nick. Doesn’t count. I still had a kid with me, and also, childbirth. Three of them, I was in California because Mom had a stroke. Those are the only three days I’ve been away from Nick. Also doesn’t count. I’ve had technical vacations, but they’ve been with the kids. As any parent can tell you, going on vacation with little kids is not rejuvenating.
Another reason I won’t go back to work? Jesse. Just… Jesse. High-needs child = low probability of success in a job requiring that I keep regular hours. I need to be available to her when she has need of me, no questions asked. And for that matter, I’d like to offer this same service to Nick.
No no no, an income-generating job is not to be my fate. Instead, I’m giving myself a stay-cation. I’m going to spend the next couple months slumped on the sofa in a housecoat and hair rollers, martini glass in one hand (full pitcher nearby) and a cigarette in the other, watching NCIS reruns and burping occasionally.
Okay okay, I’m making that up. This is the 21st century — replace the cigarette with my iPhone.
I’ll try to stop drinking by about 1:00 pm so that I can drive safely and pick up the kids without the noticeable stench of booze on my lips.
2. School lunches.
I hate making school lunches, but I have to do it. Jesse’s egg allergy is prohibitive; I can’t let her eat the “hot lunch” offered by the school. Nick’s need for real food is prohibitive; I can’t let him eat the school-offered lunch either.
Making school lunches right now is a head-scratcher, because I have no kitchen. I really can’t do much. I certainly can’t do this shit, from a website called “mommy’s fabulous finds, everything mommy loves!”
Lunches so clean and pretty!
But they are not fabulous, and they are not everything I love. By the time my kid carts one of these pristine containers to school and dumps it in his or her locker, and then drags it down to the cafeteria and pries off the lid, it’s going to look like the inside of a garbage can. That yogurt in the bottom right will have smeared itself all over everything else; it’ll look like vomit. The ritz crackers on the bottom left will be soggy from touching the meat and cheese kabob for four hours at room temperature. And that pretty red strawberry? It will stain the kabob disgusting pink colors, guaranteeing that no ordinary kid will touch it without gagging.
Bon Appetit has weighed in on school lunches. Their editors think kids would actually eat a roasted broccoli and mozzarella sandwich.
Men are from Venus, Women are from Mars (do I have that right?), and Bon Appetit is from the Dumbbell Nebula some 1,360 light years from Earth.
And also this: “Spread a slice of toasted raisin bread with nut butter and raspberry jam. Top with bacon and sandwich with another slice of toasted raisin bread.”
BAHAHAHAHA. Remember that scene from The Princess Bride, where Vizzini the short bald kidnapper drinks the poison cup and then laughs insanely until he suddenly falls over dead? That was me going through the Bon Appetit lunch list. Only I’m not bald.
I especially like the way B.A.’s photo of the raisin-raspberry-nut-bacon sandwich includes weird jam drippings that look like blood spatters. That’s exactly what my head would look like after my kids bash it in because I sent this shit to school for them to eat.
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Well then, I’m off to an excellent grumpy start. Wish me luck delivering my kids on time to their first day of school tomorrow.