It’s that time of the year again. Back to school. As a stay-at-home dad, this is a sad and happy time for me. Sad because I won’t be spending as much time with my boys, happy because I won’t be spending as much time with my boys. There really is such a thing as too much together time. My ears ring even when they aren’t with me from them screaming and yelling so much. Then again I honestly can’t believe how fast summer came and went.
In all seriousness, this is a time of heighten emotions, new experiences and most of all changes. As a parent, in an attempt to retain my sanity, it is important to me to get my boys into a routine. The first week for me is always a bit nerve racking. Do I have everything packed and ready? Lunches? Check. Backpacks filled with extra clothes for my youngest and snacks for my oldest? Check. Most importantly, do I have my kids ready, fed, and prepared for their new adventures at school both mentally and physically? Umm…check? How does one even know if they’ve succeeded in preparing them anyway?
I always wonder how they navigate the world without me by their sides. I try everything I can to pry even the basics from them. What did you eat for lunch? I dunno. Who did you play with at recess? I dunno. What are your new teachers like? I dunno.
Every once in a while, I can get one of them talking, but even then it’s a little difficult to keep the conversation going. See it’s not just me that the beginning of school is nerve racking for. New teachers, new classmates, new homework. Ugh, homework. My oldest is in an “academic” school (read daily homework even in kindergarten). There are times I sit down with him after school and even with a free hour or so to settle in he is still fried. He can’t seem to focus and it’s obvious he’s had enough. I take pity on him those days, glad the “daily” part of the homework is more of a guideline than a turn it in tomorrow type thing. I’ve explained to both of them that the work they put in now will benefit them in the future. Cue eye roll and sigh from the 6-year-old. When exactly did I turn into my own father?
On the plus side between school, homework, play, and regimented bedtimes (thank goodness for regimented bedtimes) there isn’t enough time to watch TV during the week. On the negative side, the start of school also means all the new little germs the other kids have discovered over the summer get to come home with my boys, and vice versa. Sharing is caring, after all. Right?!?
On behalf of the LA Dads Group, we wish you and your kids the best of luck transitioning into this new school year!