There was a very joyous occasion at our house recently, one that I know many parents share in: School is BACK IN SESSION!!! Can I hear a big Whoop-Whoop?!!!!
I have vowed that this year is going to be different than all the previous years - namely, that THIS year will be the one where things run smoothly. You know: kids' chores will be done by the time I get home from work so that I can get dinner going sometime before midnight, homework will be done sooner rather than the now-familiar panic attack that usually hits around 11:15 P.M., kids will be IN bed by 9:30 (okay, 10:00 at the latest), and evening school events will not send the entire schedule into Titanic mode for two weeks after the event.
"Organization is key!" I said in my self-induced, euphorically organized dream-state. In preparation for this totally-awesome year that I'm so sure that we're going to have, I bought one of those large dry-erase boards that stick to your refrigerator. I bought the four-pack of colored markers with dreams of color-coding for each child, a neatly gridded day-by-day calendar smartly charted out for each one with chores, homework, and events right at hand. I'll never double-book or **cough cough ** forget a child for hours on end (see here) again.
Anyway, I bought the beautiful white board and colored markers, attached it to the fridge, drew my first week's worth of boxes for each child and went to bed, happy in the knowledge that I was WELL on my way to the goal. School was a few weeks away at that point, so I'd have plenty of time to iron out the wrinkles and get my "system" all worked out.
The next day, after coming home from work, I glanced lovingly at the board on my way in from work. Only now there were no longer clearly-defined boxes, but boxes with smudged lines. "Someone" had taken their finger and systematically erased small portions of each and every box, so now it looked more like a line of ants marching around each day.
"Oh well," I thought to myself. "I can deal with that."
The next day I came home to find new changes. This time the lines were back in totality, except now there were little men drawn on, some climbing staircases into the box above, poking their heads into their siblings box to see what was going on, some shooting bullets at their chore listing. I really wish I'd gotten a picture before it was erased, because it really was quite the work of art, in an ultra-modern, ADHDish sort-of way.
Day 3 brought a total erasing of all my carefully drawn quadrants and was replaced with a full-color rendition of the Utah Jazz basketball logo. While beautifully done, it really wasn't quite what I had in mind when I purchased the board.
Last Thursday school finally started, so I was excited to put it to actual use. I drew a big star around the date and gleefuly proclaimed"1st day of school!" That evening, I came home to see something now written on Friday in small letters: "Braden drops out of school."
Tonight, as I waited for dinner to cook, I readied myself to redo the calendar for the coming week. Only someone had beaten me to it, and there was already something scheduled for Monday. I knew this calendar would catch on! However, upon closer look, I found the following message:
"Braden unwillingly gets forced back into school. Ha-Ha."
It may not be entirely fulfilling the purpose to which I had hoped, but it has been quite the entertainment, and at least he's getting some creative writing practice in!
P.S. Savannah didn't finish the kitchen until after 7:00 p.m. tonight, and dinner wasn't served until 9:45 p.m. Insert deep sigh... The year's still young, right?
Aug. 23, 2009