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Posts Tagged ‘school’

A Busy Mom’s Guide to School Drop-Off

October 27, 2011 18 comments

Necessary Tools:

  • Armored Car
  • Sling Shot
  • Bull-Horn
  • Ear Muffs
  • Defensive Offensive Driving Handbook
  • “I Brake for Crossing Guards” bumper sticker

When preparing for battle, one must have the necessary tools and a solid strategy.  Elementary school drop-off is no less than war.  The meek do not survive (or their kids are late).  Here’s what you need to know:

  • Know Your Allies – Some inexperienced soldiers think that the crossing guard is the enemy, since she can bring a group of over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, stressed out parents to a grinding halt with her long-range stop sign.  Wrong people!  She keeps our kids safe at frequent risk to herself!  Make friends with her, smile and wave every morning, give her extra space and give her an eye contact check before proceeding.  The next thing you know, she will let you slide by, before she allows the 5 minute parade of scooters, bikes and strollers. 
  • Know Your Enemies – They are any parent who thinks their kid is more important than yours or that where they are headed next trumps your next destination.  They park to close to the right hand turn into school, blocking traffic and requiring you to make crazy swerving maneuvers to get around them.  Another enemy is anyone who disregards the crossing guard – shoot them dirty looks.  If possible, use a bull horn to shame them publicly.  In dire circumstances (or with the repeat offenders) do not be afraid to sling shot your cold Starbucks at their car***.  Hey, your coffee wouldn’t be cold, if they followed the program.
  • Practice Offensive Driving – I use my large SUV (or armored car as I call it from 7:40 – 7:55 am) as a child safety device.  I purposely drive 25 mph (the speed limit in a school zone!!) to slow down the other speed demons who are a danger to the kids.  If they tail gate me, I slow down to 23 mph.  It’s “offensive” driving because I find their disregard for children’s safety offensive.
  • Set The Example – My elementary school actually has quite a well-thought out drop-off plan that works when people respect it.  Set the example, work with the program, not against us.  Drop your kid and keep moving, don’t stop to chat while taking space for another little pumpkin trying to get out of the car safely.  Take notice that the darling children who open your car door to let your kids out say ‘have a nice day’ every. single. time.  Thank them!  And tell those sweets kids to have a nice day too!
  • Have a Back-Up Plan – There are days… oh there are days… when the enemy pushes you too far.  What you normally refer to as ‘silly drivers’ in front of your children starts to sound more like an Ice-T album.  Just use the ear muffs!  Don’t let your child hear you lose it!  If you forget the ear muffs, crank your radio and try to swear under your breath.
  • Believe in Karma – I believe in karma and know that karma hangs out with the sheriff and CHP.  One of those three musketeers will catch up with the insane drivers.

In a  delightful twist of demon driving fate, I just opened the following email from our principal:

Please remember to be courteous to students, parents, and staff when picking up your children. It is inevitable that you will have to sit in traffic during drop off or pick up. We ask for your kindness and patience during these times.”

I love our principal, she is a charming lady who carries herself with class and tact.  Her message is perfect and reminds me why I am not the principal, because I would have sent the following:

“It is freaking alarming that some parents show such a blatant disregard for the safety of others.  To those parents that think their time is more valuable than others, think again.  If you have a legitimate time constraint, arrive at school earlier!  Remember, the person you cut off today may turn out to be the one hosting your child for a playdate tomorrow or teaching your child to read in class while you’re causing mayhem on the road!

***Because the world is a ridiculously litigious place, I must inform you that this post is for entertainment purposes only.  I do not encourage or condone any acts of violence or vandalism towards another motorist, even the stupid and selfish ones.  Follow the law!  Especially the one that tells you to drive 25 mph in a school zone and obey all traffic rules!

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Volunteer or Controlling Mom?

October 18, 2011 4 comments

I volunteer in my son’s second grade classroom every other Monday morning.  I think it is important to be present in my son’s education.  I appreciate the opportunity to witness what he is learning, and how is learning, in order to be consistent at home.  Our teachers have the critical task of educating our future leaders and I want to support them in their efforts.

All of the above is true…

But let’s get real…

I want to observe my son’s classmates to determine who are appropriate play dates!  As I help the teachers, I envision each of the kids coming over… 

If I see this in class…

I envision this…

or this…

 

If I experience this,

I imagine, I will have a playdate that goes like this…

Parenting is tough, I want to keep my son from having friends like…

At least not until he’s old enough for me to enjoy the trouble with him!

What ways do you weed out the Eddie Haskells and Dennis the Menaces?

Twas The First Day of School

August 10, 2011 6 comments
T’was the first day of school and all through the home
The kids were ready; teeth brushed and hair combed
 
When the alarm clocks when off, I was prepared for the worst
I pictured cranky, slow-moving kids who might possibly burst
 
But they wore the clothes they laid out and ate breakfast with haste
The consumed what I served, no meals went to waste
 
I planned to arrive early, but secretly just hoped not to be late
So when I yelled put your shoes on, to my surprise, they were great!
 
They stood by the door, shoes on, ready to go.
It was me who was lagging, I had to look good, you know.
 
Dear son’s now a second-grader, so he played it cool
Little diva has one more year til she attends brother’s “big school”
 
We stepped on to campus with 25 minutes to spare
There was time for “how was your summer? and “did you cut your hair”?
 
We said hi to his former teachers and all our of our friends
On mornings like this you’re glad summer does end.
 
Dear son loves his new teachers and had a great day
He set up his desk, did some math and lots of play
 
With school in we have routine and need not invent so much fun,
But that also means now, I am again, on the run.
 
With school comes homework – both his and mine
Then there is soccer practice, dinner and early bedtime
 
So while I’d love to tell you more about the great day that we had
I must pull dinner out of the oven, and be on time to practice, being late is normal looks bad.
 

WHOSE Back-To-School Night?

August 18, 2010 3 comments

I attended back to school night this evening for my son’s elementary school.  Most people think the name comes from children returning to school and parents spending the evening learning about their new teachers and programs.  Those people are wrong.  I am here to tell you it is called back-to school-night because you personally feel like you are back in school.  Here is my evidence:

  • You try to carpool so you don’t show up to a large group of people by yourself
  • You’re afraid to be late and make a bad first impression with the teacher
  • If someone walks into the classroom late, they look flustered and quickly spout apologies and excuses
  • In between sessions, you quickly try to find your friends so you’re not standing by yourself
  • You spend this time comparing teachers and even sharing a few urban legends/ gossip about the faculty
  • There is a rebel group that skips the general session where attendance is not noted

If you’re still not convinced that some parents digress to college students themselves.  Here are some direct quotes from the evening:

  • “I knew I should have brought margaritas…”
  • “Don’t tell my husband I left back to school night early to go get a drink with the girls.”
  • “So I was picking up a tequila bottle off my bedroom floor this morning…”

Finally, I attended an “after-party” aka drinks with a few girlfriends where the following statements were made:

  • “So you’re basically drinking straight vodka?” “No, they shake it with ice, so little molecules of water get in there too.”
  • “I won’t look so sophisticated drinking this martini when I hit the second one.”
  • “Shoot, get the check, I promised I would be home by 7:30!”

So you tell me, was I at back to school night as a parent or reliving my days of youth?  Either way, I balanced informative with fun!

What kind of apple should I bring the teacher?

Sunday Blues

August 16, 2010 5 comments

A fabulous, fun-filled weekend is over and my family and I had to face reality today.  I knew the dreaded Monday was coming.  Mondays smack me in the face before they even start.  I call it the Sunday Blues. 

My Sunday Blues typically kick in about 5:00 pm every Sunday when I start worrying about what I need to do for work Monday morning and how busy the week is going to be.  Yesterday the Sunday Blues kicked in early – at 2:00.  Between my anniversary, my son’s first day of school and other fun stuff, I slacked a bit at work last week – okay, truthfully, I was the Ferris Bueller of the corporate world!  So today I am paying the piper, trying to do dammage control.  What did I blow off last week that I shouldn’t have?  Whose waiting on me for a response?  What important milestone did I not approve?  What executive update did I fail to provide?  I will be spending my morning catching up before it catches up to me. 

In addition,  my husband left for a business trip this morning, which means I will juggle getting the kids to school, working, homework, dinner, soccer practice, baths and back to school night by myself.  Once the week gets going, I do just fine, because I am too busy to worry about it.  But I can’t seem to avoid mourning the loss of our relaxed weekend time and dreading the stress of life as Sunday comes to a close. 

However, in the spirit of trying to stay balanced – I will look for the positives.  I will enjoy the 1:1 time with my kids.  I will run the house by my rules.  I will remind myself how independent and organized I can be.  I will take up the whole king bed when I sleep!  And then I will thank God when my husband comes home and rescues me from the brink of insanity!

I’d ask you to wish me luck, but there are single parents who deserve daily Hallmark cards.  I have friends whose spouses travel every week.  There are military families who juggle so much more.  This is not a pity party, this is recognition of the challenge at hand.  I am ultra competitive and will not let the Sunday Blues predict the outcome of this week! 

As I began writing this post, I was feeling mopey and scattered, now Eye of the Tiger (I am not even a huge Rocky fan) is playing in my head and I am ready to get through it!

If all else fails, Plan B involves a bottle of wine and a babysitter!

Sorry Work, It’s The First Day of School

August 11, 2010 2 comments

My son started first grade today.  My husband and I got early to prepare.  He made my son breakfast, packed his lunch and got him dressed.  I primped.  The first day of school is the one day a year I don’t roll up in my pajamas, work-out clothes or a combination thereof looking like a hot mess.  Why?  First day of school pictures silly!  Then years from now we can look back at the pictures and tell the tale that I was June Cleaver and Donna Reed all wrapped up in one.  The only difference, I also work full-time.

Speaking of work – fat chance of getting ANY productivity out of me today!  Yes, school started at 8:00, but I have a whole first day routine:  After we walked him in, found his seat, took more pictures and kissed up to the teacher, we then we did mommy (and daddy) mingling.  Then we came home and I pretended to be a stay at home mom for a few minutes – I emptied the dishwasher, picked up the house and started breakfast. (Not my normal morning routine.)  Then I checked the dismissal schedule – it’s different in first grade than it was in kindergarten.  Uh-oh – I have a meeting during pick-up time.  Well that meeting is CANCELLED. 

You might be asking yourself, seriously, why can’t you work until pick-up and then once you bring him home?  Hello… when I pick him up, I MUST take him out for frozen yogurt and hear about his day.  As to why I can’t work until then, I will be too busy thinking about how fast he’s growing up and wondering if he’s having a good day.  I will call my girlfriends and see how their mornings went and how they are feeling about another milestone.  Yes, I really can waste a whole day doing this!

So if anyone at work is looking for me – good luck!  My baby started 1st grade today and I am playing the role of June Cleaver!