Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to school they go!

Summer vacation . . . finally, it's over!

I'm assuming that most of my parent readers are currently:
a.) getting a long-awaited pedicure
b.) finally taking an uninterrupted shower
c.) taking a nap
d.) all of the above, simultaneously (good on you, multitasker).

For my part, I have gone to coffee with a friend


gone to lunch with a friend.

This isn't boding well for my writing routine, but hey, everyone needs to eat and preferably with friends.

Let me tell you a little about the last days of summer vacation with my kids, just to put my sigh of relief into perspective (and remember, my son had a head injury just weeks ago -- it didn't get much better, but thankfully, not much worse).

As soon as my son was stitched up and recovering, I headed off to the BlogHer conference in Chicago.  On my last morning there, my husband called to tell me our daughter had lice.  Remember how we had a family lice crisis not that long ago?  Well, my daughter had it worse this time.  In fact, for two weeks straight - no exaggeration - I washed and combed and combed and combed my daughter's hair.  Every.  Freakin'.  Day.  RID three times.  Cetaphil once.  Coconut oil with a Saran Wrap mummy cap overnight (basically, I wrapped her head in layers of plastic and said, "Sweet dreams, Pumpkin.").  I combed with a nit comb.  I combed with a standard plastic comb.  I combed with the lights on and the lights off.  I combed with my readers and looked like Homer Simpson balancing his checkbook.  I combed without glasses.  After two weeks, my daughter (who is 9) and I were both in tears so I called our doctor and asked for help.  A weekend and $55 later, we shampooed my girl's head yet again, but this time with crazy poison prescription shampoo called Sklice.  It worked.  And just in time for school to begin.  Whew.

We didn't suffer any more bodily harm over the past couple of weeks, but I may be permanently damaged from the noxious shampoo, the hours of standing and crouching and staring at hair, and from a sore throat induced by yelling at my kids to stop wrestling and arguing whenever I didn't plan an activity (like combing hair).

Last week I asked my son to stop talking for 5 minutes.  He began asking me a question immediately after my request.  Last week we played the "quiet game" in the car.  Both of my kids "paused" the game to ask questions (my son) or deride my son (my daughter).  Last night, I bribed my kids not once, but twice to stop fighting.  The first time was at Target: they both earned a junky snack.  The second time was at home during dinner (they each earned a quarter -- thank goodness they don't know going rate for bribes).

So, yes, it was bittersweet sending them back to school this morning.  They are both growing up fast and they were both nervous and excited to have new teachers.  I was proud and nervous, too.  But I am hoping that with the kids back in school my brain will bounce back from its attention-deprived summer, that my shoulders will resettle in the down position, and my kids might actually be too tired at night to say, "I'm bored," and argue about who gets the couch and who gets the squishy chair.  If not, I may bribe their new teachers to make them run a few more laps at P.E.

I'll load them up with junk food and quarters.