Manic Mom's Mental Myriads

Stop by and have a laugh from Manic Mom's Mental Myriads on Motherhood, and some other stuff too, but mostly motherhood, wifehood, thoughts on writing, etc. No politics will be discussed here or geography, and I will not be solving any mathematical equations. Just some BS on whatever I feel like blogging on...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

School's In Session - Now What?

From the time our children are born, there is one common fear all parents have. We dread the day our children leave our homes and head for school. And I’m not talking about college here. I’m dreading kindergarten!

Now that my oldest son will head off in that screeching, fume-blowing, pumpkin-colored bus, I’m going tell myself a few things. It’s really okay that the bus doesn’t have seat belts and that a complete stranger is driving my child to school, and there could possibly be bullies on that bus waiting to pounce on my little guy.

I will simply inhale deeply and do some of those breathing techniques I learned in prenatal class that never really worked during labor. When I’m calm enough, I’ll hop into the minivan and follow that evil-child-stealer-school bus. I will see for myself that my son actually made it to school. I will heave a huge sigh of relief and remind myself cheerfully that in just 4 short years, my youngest child will also be heading for kindergarten and I will have 2½ whole uninterrupted hours to myself every day! Always planning in advance, I’m starting to wonder what I will do with all of the free time I will have.

The options are endless.

I can begin to sort through the stuffed boxes of photos that include pictures from three children’s births, baptisms, summer vacations, and 12 different themed birthday parties. I should have listened to my husband when he told me we could fake our third child’s first few birthdays just by showing him his siblings’ photos and telling him it was his party. I should really start this project soon before I can no longer tell one child from the other in the photographs. At least I’ll know my daughter is the one wearing a dress in the pictures.

Next on my “Things-To-Do-With-My-Free-Time-When-The-Children-Are-In-School” list is brush up on current events. I will do this by spending lazy mornings watching television. I will resist the urge to find out the number of the day on Sesame Street. Instead, I will watch The Today Show where I will inevitably wonder what happened to Matt Lauer’s hair and the other half of Al Roker?

Another project I can tackle is that kitchen junk drawer. It’s a wonder what I may find in there. The last time I cleaned it out, I found expired coupons from 1999, 4 undeveloped rolls of film that I still haven’t had developed, 2 sets of keys that I had no idea what they went to, and a book of 29-cent stamps. The next time I think I’m losing my mind, I’ll remember to check that drawer!

And while I’m in this cleaning frenzy, I may as well hit the underwear drawer and get rid of those 12 pairs of nylons I kept just in case I was ever motivated to dress in something nicer than jeans and a t-shirt. I should probably throw out those milk-stained nursing bras that no longer have any elastic. And I guess I should just admit that I’m never going to wear that racy, lacy thong my husband bought me one long-ago Valentine’s Day.

Next, I’ll call up a charity or childcare center and tell them I am finally ready to part with the Exersaucer, crib, highchair and changing table. I’ve gone through all of the stages: denial, grief, and lastly, acceptance. I’ve come to terms that my 2-year-old no longer needs (or fits into) an Exersaucer.

When the children are all in school, I will take a daily shower where I will shampoo and condition my hair. I won’t have to jump out to stop the kids from fighting, only to have them say, “Mommy, why are you naked?”

Each day, I will eat a warm breakfast (Toaster Strudels do not count!), read the paper and do the crossword puzzle. Heck, I’ll have the time – I’ll even grind the beans for my coffee. Wait. I don’t drink coffee.

Next on my list: start drinking coffee.

I look forward to making a phone call without having to threaten or bribe the children before I dial. I’m sure the recipients of my calls will also appreciate me not yelling into the earpiece, “Quiet! Mommy’s on the phone!”

Lastly, when I have some free time to myself, I think I’ll spend quiet moments sitting on the front porch swing. There, I’ll tick off the minutes until that big, gruesome bus rumbles onto the street and deposits my children into my waiting arms.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I wrote this and it was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 2003. If you would like to share it with your blogger readers, please feel free to copy and paste - just let me know if you are doing so!

I actually got a lump in my throat and cried when Ajers and Diva got on the bus this morning. On my way back to the house, I ran into a male neighbor who is sending off his youngest of three to college tomorrow. It tore me up when he said it's heartbreaking and to cherish and enjoy every single moment because it truly does go by so quickly. But now, it's Tukey time! We are off to power walk to... of all places... Krispy Kreme! (And Tukey just said to me: "I'm having the funnest day ever and ever!" I guess he's not sad he's got me all to himself today!)

Hope your children's first day of school is a memorable day and that you are cherishing these beautiful times with them, in and out of school!


At 10:44 AM, Blogger eatmisery said...


At 5:17 PM, Blogger Caryn said...

That was a great article, Stephanie. Tim and I don't have kids yet, but I'm dreading the day they go off to college. I bet it will be heart-wrenching.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Heart-wrenching? Here's a little peek for you:

- you can have sex on the couch for the first time in 20-something years.

- you can walk around the entire house naked if you want.

- you can masturbate when it's not nap time.

- you will have the energy to masturbate when it's not nap time.

- you can walk around the house saying, "shit! Ass! Fuck!"


It was actually a really nice article :) At first, I thought you wrote it. but, until I have little monkeys of my own, I can really only imagine.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Joel--I DID WRITE THAT ARTICLE! I guess I should have said I wrote it and it was published in the Philly Inq. So now I will go back into the edit page and make sure you all know!

Loved your comments, and although I don't have sex on the couch anymore -- not since Hubby's college roommate's girlfriend and her parents walked in on us, and Hubby ran for the bedroom leaving me there spread eagle with jeans around an ankle -- but that's a post for another time -- still we manage bathroom sex occasionally.

Naptime ended two years ago, hence no masterbating during naptime.

I DON'T want to walk around the house naked--too many mirrors.

And how am I going to have sex on the couch during a school day when Hubby is at work? ; ) Hmmm... pool boy possibly? Or lawn boy.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger buddha_girl said...

*sniffle* You made my day with this one! My sister emailed me with tons of details about her two hellions going off to school this morning. I'm a teacher and go back to work on Monday. I've never had a summer off...this one was due to the fact that I had my first child one week before school let out.

Knowing that I'll have to leave him with someone else when I'm at work on Monday is KILLING ME.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Ack! You did write it! Well, well done... now I feel like a putz :P

The previous poster mentioned the kids going to college, not just school, so that allows for freedom 24/7.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

J--you're not a putz, at least I don't think you are! I appreciate the male audience and perspective you offer to my blog. And the 24/7 freedom would also mean 24/7 loneliness :(

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Caryn said...

When you mentioned walking around naked, it reminded me of the last time I did that. I was in the bedroom, getting clothes to wear after a middday shower (you can decide why I was showering then) when I noticed the curtains were not closed all the way and there was a pickup truck parked just outside the window! A pickup truck that didn't belong to us. A moment later someone knocked, and my husband (dressed by then) answered the door. It was an old friend who had been in the area and decided to just stop by. And, worst of all, they mentioned that they had seen me through the window! There was no doubt they knew I was naked, too. Thought I'd die.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger ishnindy said...

too funny!!! i absolutely love your writing style! you get right to the point. thanks again for leaving a comment on my blog - i've enjoyed reading yours and it's already bookmarked! so, i'll be around and watching how the kids do in school, if you ever start drinking coffee (just start now!), and you next xanax trip, ha.


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