mom

Middle School Prep- Triplets Style

My triplets already started middle school this week. I know every parent would be tempted to follow that statement with: "My babies are getting so big!" Or... "Where does the time go?" but I'm not surprised that my kids just turned eleven or already graduated from elementary school. This middle school thing is just another blur to me which is a small part of a much bigger blur that began somewhere around 2005 when I first got pregnant. The night before school started-- middle school eve, erev middle school-- each of my kids prepped for the big first day in his or her own inimitable style:

Carly called all her friends whom she knew were going to be attending that school to find out what they would be wearing and to compare schedules. A half hour-long conversation with each ensued as follows: "Who do you have for home room? 1st period? 2nd period? 3rd period? 4th period? 5th period? 6th period? Are you taking the bus home? What bus are you on? Which stop?"

Jacob called his friend Michael. I walked into the room about a minute after he'd asked permission to call him. As he put the phone down, I inquired:

"He wasn't home?"

"He was home. We're done."

"Is he in any of your classes?"

"I don't know. I forgot to ask."

Hayley's middle school eve prep consisted of studying human behavior in the technology age, aka watching a Catfish marathon on MTV.

They each then packed their backpack. The teachers were very good about providing us with a list of supplies to be brought in the first day. Nobody offered any suggestions however on how a sixty pound child was going to hoist a seventy pound backpack up on their shoulders and schlep it around all day. Apparently every year when sixth graders are faced with the challenge of mastering a combination lock, they collectively go catatonic and stroke out in the first week of school. So this year, the school decided to avoid the overwhelm of the locker trauma the first week and save the whole debacle for a future week. So in the meantime, I have my three Quasimodos stalking the hallways looking like they've been sentenced to a week of hard labor.

All of my kids were very concerned about getting lost in this new, cavernous school. The school provided a map of the floor plan. Jacob's excellent with maps so he happily grabbed one and followed it meticulously on the first day like he was on a treasure hunt.

Carly wasn't leaving anything to chance. She practiced over and over in our house. "I go out here, then I make a left, then another left, then I cross the hallway..." creating landmarks to remember along the way. (Hopefully the school has a hall closet and a stain on their living room carpet. Otherwise, I fear she's screwed.)  Once she mastered the actual locations of everything necessary on the map, she practiced walking around to get the pace of her gait just right to ensure that her hair would rhythmically move to and fro in the breeze she'd created behind her. I didn't dare mention that it would be harder to get her speedometer up to 12 miles per hour with 200 other kids in the hallway.

The only chance Hayley had of knowing her way around was if the principal was cyber-dating someone on Tinder and MTV had a camera crew inside the school to interview him.

A few weeks ago, before school started, the school had a boot camp to show the kids what to expect and to meet the teachers. Then the week before school started, they had an open house to get them even more acquainted. Then they gave them maps of the floor plan and they'll do a locker clinic. I don't know. When I was in Junior High, there was no prep. The front doors opened the first day and everyone poured through them and tried to get to their classes without getting trampled. I do remember getting some support. I didn't know which way to go to get to my locker. The guy mopping the floor pointed it out.

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Back-to- Year Round What? When? Now?

Back-to-School time always sneaks up on me. If you've read previous posts, you'll know that I'm typically between two weeks and eight years behind on everything. And this "policy" of mine, for lack of a better term, doesn't discriminate: It applies equally to doing the laundry as it does to filling out camp registration forms to putting sunscreen on my children. But this year, turning around and finding that back-to-school time has sneaked up on me and smacked me in the ass isn't really just because of my "policy".  Do they have year-round schools where you live? I've never quite gotten the hang of those. And I'd better get the hang soon... because my kids will be starting one in two weeks.

I've been avoiding this whole year-round school thing like the plague. If you're totally unfamiliar with it, you probably still understand it twice as well as I do. Basically, the kids go to school for about nine weeks, then have three weeks off... all year long. So if you want to go to Maui in the off-season, you're great. If you take an annual trip to your grandmother's in Cleveland in the summer, you're screwed. It took us a good three years to find a summer camp for our kids that would be for all of them, all three of them, all at the same time, for the whole summer... all of it. Now, we're going to have to figure out what to do with them every nine weeks. What can I do with them that doesn't cost a fortune? Let's see. How many card games do I know? Maybe I could learn magic. Naaaa... I don't have to entertain them every minute. That's what the tablets and TV are for.

As if the whole year-round calendar idea wasn't confusing enough, there are four different tracks. So you could have one kid in elementary school who's on track 1 and gets out of school next week and doesn't start again until September. Then you have a kid in middle school on track 3, who goes back tomorrow and one in high school who went back two weeks ago.

I heard on the local news that there are some kids here who graduated last Friday and then started their new school this Monday. I'm not kidding. So you're like an elementary school kid on Friday and a middle schooler on Monday. Hurry up. There's not much time. Better get that puberty thing over-with on the weekend. That and learning to open a combination lock. It's like the school system is run by a soap opera writer. Monday the woman's pregnant; Wednesday she has the baby; Friday it's in third grade.

Back when my kids started elementary school, we switched them to a traditional calendar school because there was no guarantee that even all three kids-- triplets mind you-- all in the same school mind you--all in the same grade (at the moment anyway) mind you-- would be on the same track. I could see me dealing with that.

"Look, Ms. Principal, I know one of my kids is supposed to come back to school today. I just don't remember which one. Here, this one's been the most annoying the past couple of days. Just take her."

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If you'd like more laughs at your children's expense (or at least my children's expense), please sign on to my bimonthly Laughing IS Conceivable newsletter and/or take a look at the new edition of my little, fun summer-reading eBook- For parents right now, in that 4th season of the year...

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!)

 

It's all about that 4th season of the year that only parents of school-aged children have: When one school year ends and the other is about to begin... Camps vs keeping them busy all summer loooooong with lame local festivals or bowling or pools. And then, before we know it, we're thrown into the whole back-to-school melee of back-to-school lists, supplies, shoe shopping, clothes shopping, doctor appointments, haircuts.... & then carpool vs bus & new teachers with that new teacher smell.

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eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P/

(available on all Amazons & Nook)