Treading Water

This first week back to school always feels like treading water. Lots of movement and work, and staying afloat, but going nowhere.

I suppose that’s the nature of things this week for most people. You have to get organized to get your little people off to school, but a lot of that means waiting for other people — teachers, school admins, whatever — to get themselves organized. Then they will pass along the information that will enable you to get yourself fully organized.

For me, the not having everything set and organized is hard. I have so much to plan and prep for That Girl that I kind of hate having loose threads waiting to be tied off. A pencilcase that needs organizing. A couple of forms that need completing. An order form for milk here, one for pizza and hotdogs there. Having things floating about the place just means time spent looking or finding or organizing or whatever, and less time getting to the important tasks.

But it’s all part of the start of school. If I were truly organized, at the start of September, I would make sure I have everything I figured I would need close at hand. I’d make a bin containing labels and cheques and pens and whatnot, so I would be ready to go with whatever is required.

Except the “whatever is required” is never consistent, is it?

This year, a note came home that indicated, but did not exactly say, that a pencilcase full of supplies might be required. It said “it’s very helpful to see that many students have come prepared with” a list of items. But it did not actually SAY “your child needs to start bringing these things” and then tell us what those things might be.

I’m sure if your kid has older siblings, and you’ve been through this stuff already, it’s all pretty straightforward. Old hat. But then there are those of us with one child, and we’re hard-pressed to remember our own school days (when the world was young and there was a lot more textbooks ad readers and memorization, and taxes paid not only for the school but all the school supplies), let alone knowing what is required by kids nowadays.

So. Do we need a pencilcase full of pencils and scissors and a ruler and whatever else? I am still not sure. JUST TELL ME ALREADY SO I CAN PUT IT ON MY TO DO LIST.

The chaos is a bit annoying.

Still, it is good to have That Girl back in school, where she is able to socialize and learn and have tons of stimulation and fun. She loves school, and although it might not love her with her quirks and disabilities sometimes, she has good teachers and staff support and friends to play with.

Her first day, she exploded through the doors at home time, full of excitement and wanting to tell me everything about her day. She was so happy to be back and that’s the most wonderful thing for me – a kid who loves school. Me, I was not a fan.

But today — oh, today will not be so fun and exciting, I am sure. Firstly, we had to go to speech therapy this morning, and she was not at her best. She was tired and, not surprisingly, any progress we had seen in recent months vanished from her cranium like so many soap bubbles popping. And I am expecting much the same at school today.

The difference being, we pay for therapy, so it’s kind of important to make the most of it. Which, like everything, won’t be a problem once we settle back into a routine again, but until the chaos of OMG NEW SCHOOL YEAR is done, will be a bit of a challenge.

Meanwhile, my challenges at home are similarly minor but annoying. I need to buy her snow boots and a snow suit, but it is still too early in the season. I need to buy her a swimsuit for swimming lessons, but it is too late in the season. I need to get into a routine of housework and home improvement and regular chores, but I have to chase down erasers and a pair of running shoes and the chequebook.

Do we have enough lunchbox containers? Can she undo the buttons on these overalls? What will her regular homework be? Is there a set library day? Really, she needs headphones?

It’s all minor stuff. BUT IT IS MESSING WITH MY ROUTINE.

And all y’all know how much I love a routine.

But we will get by, buoyed by excitement and newness and a smidge of adventure in the mysteries that Grade 2 holds. We’re not sinking by any means, but the treading water bit IS getting a little tiring.