I’m staring into the gaping maw of another school year. And as it turns out, I’m not as stoked as some of those back-to-school ads, showing parents merrily wheeling through the school-supply aisles, would have you believe.
The kids were moderately excited to go back. Child 2 hounded us to check the school portal to find out who his teacher will be since the day after school let out. Child 1, although not champing at the bit to get back to the grind, is also social and happy to get into the new year where she will finally — FINALLY — be the top dog in the K-8 school she started as a kindergartner.
But me? I wasn’t so ready to send them back.
For one thing, I’m not tired of them yet. This is because I have mastered the art of not having them around so much in the summer.
How to avoid your own kids
Here is my patented system (which I will teach in more detail in a weekend seminar for the low price of $199):
Step 1: Have relatives you can pawn them off on.
Step 2: Ship them off to these relatives for as long as they can stand each other.
Step 3 (and this isn’t for beginners): If you have more than one kid, stagger the visits so the children aren’t in the same house all summer. I call this the Bicker-Free Solution.
It’s like summer camp, but cheaper, and lets me do things like remodel the kids’ bathroom while they’re away and dig out their bedrooms with a backhoe.
There WILL be a Problem
But another reason I’m not hyped about another year of school is this lingering dread: What will this year’s Problem be?
There is always a signature yearly Problem.
One year it was a lice infestation that kept popping up. I imagined the kids just rubbed heads at school all day or had weekly hat-sharing parties.
Another year was Long Season of the Bully.
There were also the Invasion of the Distressing Digestive Issue and Nine Months of the Migraine.
Of course, let’s not forget the Year of the Chronically Lost Homework, followed by Younger Sibling of the Year of the Chronically Lost Homework.
And because my kids are getting older and I want to respect their privacy, I shall refer to last year only as the Year of the Problem That Shall Not Be Named.
It’s always something.
Which, I suppose, is only natural. No kid skates through school with a whistle and a smile. And I think if I’m honest, I probably have it easier than many.
But couldn’t we try to have a Problem-free year? Just this once?