The Chocolate Lady

Friday, August 22, 2008

The great emotional conflict that is "back to school" time

It's that time of year....the time when I wonder how in God's green earth homeschooling mothers survive, because they dont have "back to school" to save them. The time when I am so ready to drop me kids off at the front door of their new class rooms, because they have worn my last nerve into a tired fray (not sure what a tired fray really is, but in my mind, it's like a piece of ribbon that has all the little threads coming apart...get it?? that's my nerves!!)

To be honest, Beauty is nothing but a beauty. Yesterday, in Grande Grandma J style, I declared to the children that it was "clean the van" day. Pooper immediately went into a melt-down. Beauty smiled and said, "ok." Talk about two different worlds. It's like Pooper heard, "you will live in a dungeon and never see friends, tv, computer or pokemon again, and your only food will be brussel sprouts." and Beauty heard, "You are the world's most amazing daughter and I love you more than all the flowers ever made." Truly, I said one thing, and they both reacted so differently.

So, Beauty and I spent 4+ hours cleaning out the van. No, we didnt do deep cleaning of the seats, or even attempt to rid the mats of crusted in bananas or fruit roll up. It simply took that long to take out all the crap. And when we were done, the large, trash can was 3/4 full (it started empty) and there was at least 4 loads of laundry (that's what you get when you dress and undress from swim team in the car.) There were plenty of happy meal toys, princess shoes and sippy cups......all of which Beauty happily put where they belong in the house.

Periodically, the king of complaining would come down to see if we were done...and when he saw there was still work to be done, he retreated far away, to his room.

When we finished, I stared at the trash can, and the pile of clothes, and imagined that it had all been dumped into the 3 x 4 space that is the inside of my van....Im sure if Oprah had ever seen my van, she would have done an intervention, people would have cried, a team of experts would have saved me....really!

But we did it, and as a reward, I told Beauty to grab her piggy bank, which she filled with all the loose change found during the clean up. She also was rewarded with staying up 1/2 hour later tonight, to watch the new Cheetah Girls movie. She was happy. :)

Anyways..not sure why I got off on that tangent about the van...but, what Im trying to say, is soon it will be time for my kids to go back to school. And I will miss them. And I feel guilty that I dont want to be with them every single, solitary second, because I do....but, while my heart wants to hold them close, it's my nerves, my nerves that cant quite take it.

This morning, at 7:23 am, Pooper approached me, with his velvet, magicians, top hat on his head, and his magic card trick in his hand.

Pooper: Mom, you know how a lot of people walk by our house in the morning? (lots of morning dog walkers around these parts, and we are close to a trail and the dog park.)

Me: yeah

Pooper: Well, Im going to do some magic tricks when they walk by

Me: (giving him a once over look, in his magicians get-up, and trying not to giggle) sure honey, great idea, they'll all love it!

Pooper: So, Im gonna go walk around outside now, to do some magic for people.

Me: Not NOW, it's only 7:23 need to wait.....


Me: (my brain seizing up, unable to handle the contention so early in the day) FINE GO!

Later, I went and checked on him, him with his tall black, velvet, top hat. He was standing with his cards, and my plastic mixing bowl...which was labelled, "Tips, $5 or less"....AWWWW, what a sweetie, he didnt want people to go broke watching his show, so he said "or less" ...such a caring boy. His bowl was empty, but his imagination and his tender heart, both so full.

Ill miss my kids this year...both of them.....but it's the best thing, for all of us, for all of my nerves....God bless "back to school" time!


Andrew Clarke said...

Hi, I used to be a teacher so 'back
to school day' used to fill me with apprehension. But now I write.
If you ever read Christian fiction or fantasy, may I suggest one to try? "Outcasts Of Skagaray" can be previewed by reading the sample chapters on If you feel like visiting my blog it's
I would be delighted if you read the book and enjoyed it, but best wishes whatever happens. I too like the Book of Ephesians.

Grandma J said...

You cleanedout the Crap Mobile? Beauty is such a good girl, but in reality, I think she heard me tell you I would clean it out if I could keep any money I found. I'm dying to know what her take was!
I'm curious, did you happen to come across my red flip flops?
Tell Andrew I will go out front with him one morning and be his assistant. He is so cute!

Veronica said...

lolololol never a dull moment.

Rebeckah said...

I just want to say I completely understand the dirty van situation. Once upon a time, my car was spotless, it was washed and waxed and a delight to ride in...and then there was Kaish. And now, things accumulate in that car like nobody's business. It is CRAZY! CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY : ). I can't even imagine it with 3 children. I am glad you got the project started! Three cheers for you and Beauty! Did you see that I did that post you wanted me to do about my life history? I just did it recently, but it showed up the same day I did the first one. It was wierd. It isn't terribly interesting, but I just wanted you to know that I did in fact do it : ). Do you start school this week? We start September 2 if there is no teacher strike.

Mom on the Run said...

Great story. We went to Ocean City, MD, last month. As we were pulling out of the driveway my husband placed a US flag colored scented tree on my rearview mirror. I was very offended. I mean the van had been cleaned by me. I smelled nothing unsavory. I hummpphed for aa few miles, but did not remove it. It's still there, but I have decided that it is a decoration. I added a lei to the rear-view mirror as well to hide the scented tree.

jlo said...

Sistah, I share two things with you...although Back to School fills me with nerves, I am glad they get to go and be entertained elsewhere. Too bad I'm not home to enjoy the silence, but that's another story. Secondly, when I go through the carpool line, it is my peers who are helping my kids into the car while happy meal toys, flip flops, trash, and random crumbs come stumbling out of my car. Ahh, good times.

heartshapedhedges said...

Thanks for understanding the van situation, that My Honey just doesnt get. I even showed him that video, "Mom my van" (like, "pimp my van"..have you seen it?? hilarious!) Anyways, I stopped doing the "drop off line" at school, because trash and crap would fall out as the kids emptied out. I would find myself saying, "love you! have a great day, careful, dont kick any trash out" as they got out of the van. Finally, I just started pulling into a parking stall and letting them out so nobody would see inside. THEN, I just dediced to monitor the sliding van door, I open it, then hit the close button (which stops the door in it's tracks...but doesnt close it.) I would leave just enough room for the kids to squeeze out, so that they innards of the car werent visible to all the world. Pathetic!!