What kind of ‘back to school’ parent are you then? Do you even HAVE kids at school if you haven’t bought 16 new note pads, some brand new bags and 400 pens, highlighters, pencil cases, rulers?
None of which are the right ones, naturally. That new rucksack just isn’t the right shade of black. You think I’d know better having now had a child in the education system each year since 2008.
So we’ve seen from the kids going back there are several different types of parenting going on. Some kids have been sent in with masks, visors, wipes, antibac gel. Others dropped off by parents skipping away going home to do whatever they want.
Some have hugged and kissed their offspring before weeping solidly until their safe return, their only distraction being the debate whether or not to convert to home schooling from here on.
Their situation will be assessed and decisions made after a full week back. And on a weekly basis thereafter.
My parenting is slightly different. I currently hold more concern for the teachers due to how feral our kids have become during lockdown. I cannot wait to blitz the house and am looking forward to the possibilities a child-free household presents. Imagine being able to vacuum the living room safe in the knowledge it might not be a bombsite again by the time I return from replacing the hoover in the cupboard?
For the first time since March the house may not look like there’s been a struggle, or I might go to the bathroom to find a toilet roll already there. Who knows how many uninterrupted naps await? Or how many programmes I might be able to watch? Watch right through without having to rewind to hear what’s been said?
Think of the sandwiches I can make on work tops that don’t require wiping down before use. Telephone conversations without teenage input. If you’d told me five years ago that a highlight would be doing the weekly supermarket shop on my own I’d have laughed.
The choices are almost unlimited and I’m quite giddy choosing where to start.
Back to school has brought with it the joys of the back to school shop. The outing that starts off with a pair of shoes tried on in shop one. No use. A remarkably similar pair tried in shops 3, 4 and 5. Still no use. On to shop 6. Do we have a winner? Reluctantly yes. Should I mention they are exactly the same pair as the ones in shop one? Well almost exactly, the only difference being they’re £5 dearer. Am I prepared to go back to shop one for the sake of £5? Absolutely not. And let’s not start on the ‘right shade of black’ backpack…
I’ll admit I thoroughly enjoyed this extended time with our kids but it hasn’t been without challenges. With himself working throughout, things have been taken for granted and now that we’re back to ‘all systems go’ this can no longer go on.
Through parenting teens you come to learn that although they can programme the remote, the dishwasher remains an unconquerable conundrum. They sleep like their lives depend on it and waken only to eat a full adult portion meal, but become STARVING again in less than 15 minutes.
These independent teens want to be treated as grown-ups until they need a lift somewhere, or some money. Eldest kid has started her driving lessons now which should reduce Mum’s taxi trips somewhat but if her penchant for becoming a backseat driver continues she may find herself on a lifelong car ban.
I’ve passed my test. Way back when in 1993 when cars didn’t tell you what to do. I put in my time and earned the right to listen to Radio 2 in my own vehicle and choose what lane I want to be in!