“Off to France for two weeks,” is the monthly email I receive from my expat friend, who lives in London. Fine, so it’s not every month, it’s every two months, but you get the point. Other countries, well, exclusive private schools in London, have mini-breaks from school every two months. The kids sleep, mom sleeps, there are seven days of reprieve from the constant barrage of teachers, tutors, and administrators at school blasting twenty other things you need to do for each child. Consider it a mini mental health break.
My children haven’t had a single day off of school since March 25th. That’s right. The children who have a long break in October, Thanksgiving four weeks later in November, winter break two weeks after that, followed quickly by Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day and Spring Break, have been locked in school for eleven weeks without a break. Which means I haven’t had a break in eleven weeks.
Our school hijacked five days of spring break this year (without increasing the teacher’s salary which they were super-duper happy about), and added a few days to the end of the year for shits and giggles. And that’s fine. But then it’s not, because the teachers are as crazy as the kids and the moms. When the teacher tells me the kids aren’t behaving on the bus, during the SIX field trips the school planned during the LAST TWO WEEKS OF SCHOOL, I hear “mommy I stuck my finger in the electric socket and it hurt.” I mean. Duh. You are putting sixty thirteen year olds on a Greyhound Bus after eleven weeks of school and expecting good behavior? So please don’t call me and tell me my child is being impulsive on the bus. Because I am the mom who had to get OFF THE TOUR BUS AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS because the mean people made me sit with someone I didn’t like. I don’t set a good example.
Also, don’t ask if I am making healthy breakfasts for the freshman who has exams this week. I am feeding him. And that’s no small feat considering the fact that I have been to the grocery store three times this week and gotten the groceries all the way into my fridge zero times. “Mom, daddy wants to know if you left the groceries in the car or at the store.”
Don’t ask if I have lined up educational activities for my kids this summer. The younger two are currently binge watching Grey’s Anatomy, whilst sipping Fresca and eating popcorn on the sofa, while I try to help the eldest conjugate French verbs.
Have I made homemade, end of the year, teacher gifts? I’ll tell you that, if you riddle me this: is Melania really upstairs or did she finally run back to Bucharest. (I have no idea where she is from and have too many teacher emails to respond to bother googling it).
Did I make the orthodontist appointment? They won’t die from crooked teeth.
My kid’s drum teacher is wonderful, but a bit loquacious. So I hid from him in my driveway last week, while he chatted with the babysitter for an hour. I texted her to please “get rid of him I really have to pee.” Except I texted it to him. And he came out through the garage so I was stuck chatting with him for an hour while I dripped pee in my pants.
We seem to have jumped from winter to monsoon season here on the East Coast so weekends at the beach are out as a) monsoon season b) no access to Noah’s Ark.
So there you go. Five days left of school. Five days when three children have three drop off times every day, three pick ups, several field trips, exams, field days, and graduations. I will be at the right place at the right time, maybe thirty percent of the time. Apologies in advance. And no, I will not be responding to school emails this summer. Health forms should be due in August, not June–so deal with it. My children will be blobs of fake sugar and Skinny Pop come Friday, and I may no longer be able to conjugate English verbs. So happy summer. I’m out.