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Monday, September 3, 2012

Tip Tuesday--Back to School Chaos

We have now completed two and a half weeks of school and I'm thankful for the first holiday.  It's been an interesting start and not without plenty of chaotic moments that really reached it's hilarious peak Thursday the 23rd, and then caused me to rethink how things were clearly not working and make a new plan. 

I've enjoyed the summer break of not driving to Austin everyday since my neighbor K is doing the driving for me by taking J with her to the daycare where she works during the summers. It's a wonderful break and I am ever so thankful to her.  

Reality set in mid-August and we were back to our normal school year routine, except that we were struggling to find what that routine was.  The 23rd was the worst of it.  This year we have a rolling backpack for the first time, but it rides in the trunk as we make our daily pilgrimage.  So there were days 'that week' that J didn't get the right supplies into the car with us.  

There is also this zipper binder that has sent a stack of notebook paper flying as the binder rings closed too quickly.  

Finally, the homework folder which has a daily sheet that needs to be signed.  

Thursday morning almost as we pulled into school J realized that he had forgotten his homework folder.  He knew the penalty for such an offense, five lost minutes of recess, but the teachers are trying to teach the kids integrity by admitting when they get it wrong and not making the penalty too harsh.  

That same morning he narrowly remembered his zipper binder from in the car. 

Thursday afternoon, as we talked about the day I found out that the homework folder had never made it home the day before.  Oh, whoops.  

Then he asks what are we having for supper.  I had no idea.  I know isn't that crazy?  Exhaustion was beginning to take its toll on both of us.  In complete exasperation he says, mom you should really plan out a menu so you don't have this problem.  Thank you son for your wisdom.  

Thanks to an early bedtime Thursday, for me not J, I had a little more energy by Friday morning.  Then it was problem solving time.  I decided that we both needed a checklist.  Both J and I like them, so why not?  

It only needs to run M-F.  After the first week I already had to make some adjustments, but it made things OH so much smoother, plus I had to correct a spelling error.  Here's a closer look at two of the days.  

J only takes lunch on Thursday's so that needed to be on the checklist.  Last year take his lunch day was Monday and I did forget to send a lunch to school with him the first week.  Yes, I do recognize that cinched the deal on me NOT getting mother of the year.  It's always something.  Thankfully I was able to send an email to the cafeteria and she fed him anyway.  

So there ya go.  One week down with a more civilized, ordered life, and yes I do have a menu plan again.  

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