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Back to School Blues (It’s Not What You Think It Is)

September 12, 2012

I know I’ve been remiss with my blogging duties lately, and for that I sincerely apologize. (Ok, I know no one cares I haven’t written a post in over a week, but I feel bad I’m not living up to my blogging potential.) But it’s hard to be funny when you’re down and out and when you’re investing renewed energy into getting your kids to pass grade school and when your computer dies. That last one made posting particularly difficult.

I’m not sad because my little babies are leaving the nest, going it alone in the big, wide world of preschool or even kindergarten (my kids have already moved up the ranks of elementary school). Or because they are moving on without me, growing up faster than I am ready. No, mostly I’m sad because I can no longer send Crazy out of the house looking like this:

All summer long we dispensed with grooming. I don’t believe Crazy brushed his hair once the entire three months he was off from school. Every day he rolled out of bed, tangled rat’s nest atop his head, and strode into camp exactly as is. His camp if you haven’t heard was the happiest place on earth (probably because I was paying so God damn much for it). And for all that money I felt hair brushing should have been included. Teeth brushing, too, for that matter.

I’m not saying he didn’t brush his teeth all summer. I’m not saying he did either. I’m not saying anything about teeth. (Alright, alright. He brushed his teeth. I wasn’t willing to surrender that battle because I fear dental work and, more importantly, dental bills). But the crazy hair on Crazy looked cute at least according to me, and it opened up a whole five minutes of free time in the morning. One less task to do, one less argument to have before 9:00 a.m.

My daughter went through a similar brush-free period, but with her long hair, she looked more homeless than free spirit. It wasn’t such a good look for her, and while I did my best to discourage it, my disapproval only makes The Kid more resolute. It was just best to give up and deal with convincing the world at large that my child wasn’t actually homeless.

Crazy though had never looked homeless until this summer. And although he showered nightly and went to bed with perfectly normal hair, in the morning he always awoke to the matted fuzzy mess. I don’t know what went on in that room overnight – whether he held wild, third-grade raves in there or snuck out to hit the bars for a night of hard drinking, but in the morning the kid always staggered out of his room looking like it’d been a rough night. Fortunately, his new look wasn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed with a quick visit to the barber before the start of school.

The Kid’s homeless stage, sadly, lasted for a good deal longer. Until about now. But it all changed one recent, miraculous day at Target. We were shopping for some back-to-school supplies when The Kid wandered down the health and beauty aisle and asked me to buy her a brush. It’s not like she didn’t have one already. She has a brush. She just wanted a new-fangled, ergonomically designed, fancy brush in turquoise. While I generally don’t like buying stuff we don’t need, it was only a couple of bucks, and that day I was feeling generous. Five bucks later The Kid’s homeless days were behind her. Now, I can’t get her to stop brushing. That brush goes with her wherever she roams. I even think she sleeps with it. If I had known a $5 Target hairbrush would have put an end to this whole homeless-chic style I would have bought it years ago.

I know I should be happy school days are here again, but it only means I have to make sure my kids look presentable. Aside from the hair stylings, I also have to make sure they have clean (and matching) clothes to wear instead of sending them in the same swim suits and camp-issued t-shirts every day. That means I’ll have more laundry to do. That means I’ll probably need to do it multiple times during the week while also cooking dinner and doing homework and running the kids around to various activities. I’ll also have to make sure the kids’ backpacks are packed and they leave on time and they wear the right attire on the right day and that whatever they are wearing, it’s all very fashionable. It means I’ll never be able to send Crazy out in this:

Just kidding. That’s not him. That’s my little niece. But Crazy would make such a cute flower baby.

No, no more fun and games. It’s time to get serious.

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