the summer of our discontent

We are a week away from the boys going back to school.*

*Information that might be helpful for you if you are new around here is that Holly’s kids go to school 3 days a week and she home schools them 2 days a week through a school set up for such a schedule.

{deep sigh}

summer of our discontent

I should clarify that the deep sigh was uttered by three boys.   Well, further clarification {and a confession} would add that the deep sigh was accompanied by a scream, foot stomp and a shout of “you can’t make me go back” by a certain Nirvana 4th grader who has recently reconnected with his inner 2 year old.

The deep sigh was not from me.   I am looking forward to furthering the education of my children.   I am looking forward to the fact that they will spend 8 hours a day 3 days a week separated FROM EACH OTHER.

It is a phenomenon that I noticed last summer.   The boys simply spent too much time together.   By the time school starts they are in a pile in my living room kicking, punching and arguing with each other.

For hours.

For days.

It reminds me of caged animals.

I promise I haven’t locked the front door.   They are free to leave.   They are free to spread out.

When it gets ugly, I send them to different rooms.   Encourage different activities.   Demand re-direction.

Upon their release, it is magnetic.   They bounce together again due to forces I can not understand.

What magnifies the discontent, is the process of back to school.   Times have changed.   I have changed.

When I was in grade school, I remember fondly school shopping.   It was the one time a year that I had the choice of ANY two outfits in the entire department store.   Any two!   That was a big decision.   Whatever I chose would follow me all year long.   We would add colorful knee patches where necessary.   We would add a bit of trim to cover any hem extension.

The first day of school was always devoted to the favorite outfit.   The second choice outfit was destined to never be exposed to that hallowed event.

My boys wear uniforms.   My boys have no joy for the back to school shopping season.

They revolt with even the hint at clothes shopping.   They grumble when I send them up to put on last year’s pants so I can evaluate and measure to order this year’s online.   There is no fun.

Then there are the books.   I don’t remember buying books for classes until college, but the boys’ school has a list that would rival any University…and I am multiplying that by three.   It requires every shred of my organizational fiber to complete this task.   I have trained for years, and this is the true test.

My biggest hurdle is my natural tendency to procrastinate.   I wasn’t the girl staying up late studying for the test the next morning.   I was the girl setting her alarm clock for 4 am to get up to study for the test THAT day.   A little pressure makes the game more fun.

In home school world, I seem to be the exception.   It appears that the dominant home school gene is early preparedness.   This was revealed to me on the first year I shopped for Ryan’s books at the local home school store in August.   They didn’t have anything on my list.   The clerk {and former home schooler} gently mentioned to me that the other moms had picked up their children’s books in July.


What is the sport in that?

And even though I am armed with that information, I just can’t bring myself to pick out textbooks mid-summer.

The boys need books.

I will accept that challenge and add my online shopping skills to the necessary list.   I can add overnight shipping charges with the best of them.

And so my children, after much angst WILL return to school in a week fully clothed as outlined in the school’s dress code WITH the appropriate books.

Oh crap, I forgot about school supplies…


  1. Holly, I think we were separated at birth.
    Procrastination is a lost sport. 🙂

  2. by august 1st, my boys favorite hobby is picking on each other. they also have a game called “ouch” – the first one to say ouch loses.

    i am soooo ready for them to be away from each other.

  3. Oh I have just stumbled across your blog and its just wonderful ! I have 3 boys aged 8,6 and 3… and boy oh boy (oh boy)… I love sharing and hearing stories with other boy mums and had to giggle out loud at the magnetic, boys together, attraction that brothers have.. GAH why cant they just play alone…. its certainly quieter that way !? anyway I will enjoy following you, happy days x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.