Stasha at Monday Listicles asked us to make a list about school. Quite frankly, we have been too busy to have time for the requisite cartwheels and high-fiving, but we see you, Carpool Moms, celebrating with your barely concealed glee and we say, “Meh, we’ll catch ya next year.”
We COULD have made lists of the back-to-school necessities which almost required a bridge loan. With 5 kids back to school this year, Erin’s monetary expenditures over the last month rivaled the GDP of some small countries.
We COULD have gone on about the myriad ways in which we procrastinated at the business of back-to-school and how that came back to bite us. Thank goodness for overnight shipping and generous return policies!
We COULD have poked fun at the Pinterest boards full of Bento boxes, healthy lunches, and back-to-school ideas all of which anyone living with an actual child has no time to do.
But like we said before, things have been a little hectic around here so our Monday Listicle is going to showcase what we’ve been doing since the kids went back to school.
Channelling our inner Paul Harveys, “This is the rest of the story.”
1. Ellen spent last week as a New York City nanny for a New York minute to her 3 year old nephew. She saw how the other side lives, this time as a City Mom rather than a Country Mom. She hung at the Central Park Zoo and the American Museum of Natural History. We might have lost her to this urban oasis if she could hang in Central Park all day, the temperature never went below 55 degrees, and the taxi prices weren’t about to go up 17%. And, oh yeah, her family in Maryland falling apart without their fearless leader.
2. Two days before school started, Erin got a job! After a 14 year baby-raising hiatus, she is officially back in the classroom as a teacher. It’s a dream part-time gig at her kids’ school. In fact, the only better job for her might be driving the karma bus, but as it seems that THIS gig actually pays, she is pretty happy about this new change.
3. Barely unpacked from her nanny gig, Ellen repacked and headed out into our local environs to play camp counselor for a week with the sixth-graders at her daughter’s middle school. Apparently, a summer spent kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and camping with her crew and all of ours wasn’t enough—she wanted to do it all with other people’s tweens. To further underline what a rock star move this is, we are sharing this card with Ellen’s philosophy on camping.
4. On the home front, Erin showed her homework center who was boss. She was not going to be taken down by chewed up pencils and errant pencil grips anymore. If you have a handful of kids, you know this was no small feat, so we are mentioning it. And yes, we would appreciate some nodding in solidarity and even a little shout-out for taking the time. Erin’s kids are not nearly as impressed as they should be.
5. In a similar vein, Ellen liberated her Tupperware drawer. She cleared out ALL of the old and replaced it with ten dollars worth of matching Rubbermaid. Don’t judge. You know you wish this is what your Tupperware drawer looked like. Feel free to pin this on to your “Genius” board.
6. Erin bought new brakes for her car, because while a “Soccer Mom with no brakes” sounds like a great punchline, it could get ugly and dangerous pretty quick.
7. On the SAME day, Erin bought a new water softener system, because if things are going to get ugly, they might as well get expensive and messy and stressful as well. Thank goodness we keep wine and Cheez-its around for just these occasions.
8. On the other side of town, Ellen’s lawn mower broke with her lawn half-mowed. These things tend to come in threes. But usually to the same person. Perhaps Ellen and Erin are spending too much time together.
9. Because Erin JUST got her job, she is still on the hook for some of the volunteering gigs she was doing BEFORE the big change. This means that she spent the better part of a week hunting down suppliers for 100 lbs of mushrooms and 80 lbs of cabbage for her kids’ school, hounding local businesses to sponsor her cub scouts’ pushcart race, and helping her son who is in the final stages of finishing his Eagle Scout project. Don’t tell her that she needs to slow down. Don’t tell her that she needs a break. She knows. She KNOWS.
10. Oh, and a fair amount of time was spent working on the blog, which was not an afterthought AT ALL, but the thing we talked about in every spare moment NOT driving kids to practice, helping them with homework, and doing all of the other things we did since school started.
And now you know the rest of the story.
Erin and Ellen
By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski