At My Kids’ School, I Need a Teacher Scorecard

For my kids’ school, I need a teacher scorecard. It’s not to score the teachers. It’s to keep track of them. Every year, a week before school starts, we used to get a phone call from each of my kids’ teachers introducing themselves. No more. Now we just head over four days before the first day of school and look for “the list”. Or in our case, having three kids in one school… one grade in fact… : “The lists”. Which kid has which friends in their class? Which kid has which enemies in their class? And most important: Which kid has which teacher… and for how long? Hence the need for the teacher scorecard.

baseball scorecard3

Let me say that I think all of my kids have had very good teachers so far (with the exception of one who was a newbie and in over her head.) But something’s just not right about this school. It’s their last year there so we’ll ride it out… I guess… Is it just me? You be the judge. Continue reading

I’m Just in it for the Field Trips

Call me selfish, but school to me is all about the field trips. More precisely: It’s all about me going on field trips.

I tell people I go on my kids’ field trips, because my mother never did and I want my kids to be able to remember those experiences. That’s only a half-truth. Yes, my mother rarely went on field trips and I wish she’d gone on more. But the whole truth is that when my kids come home with a flyer about one, I wave it in the air and say: “Oh boy oh boy a field trip!” every single time. The other truth is: My kids would rather I not go. In fact, my daughter’s exact words before the last one were: “Do you have to come to every single one?”

field trip in museum

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Back-to-School Shoe Shopping

Ah, Back-to-School shoe shopping time. The annual ritual of my children choosing footwear for me to trip over in the living room for the next six months.

It’s only the best for the Foxes. Payless– Where this time of year the aisles look like, well, like somebody blew up a Payless. Do they have any employees but that one cashier? It’s the cafeteria of shoe stores. You serve yourself then go over to the counter to pay. (Once on the way into the store, I held the door for a lady on the sidewalk. She said: “Thanks but I’m not waiting to go in. I’m in line to pay.”)

backtoschool shoe shopping messy aisle

As you might know I have three children… Triplets in fact. So you would think out of the three, in every situation, even when we go back-to-school shoe shopping, at least one would be normal. And one is. Continue reading

“Optional” Back-to-School Supplies

Without a doubt, “optional” back-to-school supplies are my most favorite back-to-school supplies on the list.

I’ve got to buy for three kids here. Three kids in the same grade. I’m a very generous person: I offer myself the triplet discount every chance I get. The only thing that makes me suck it up and buy at least a few of those things on the lower half of the list is that I don’t want the teachers to get stuck buying them. But as much as I can, when an item is marked: “Optional”, I choose the “No” option. And, I’ll tell you a little secret: Sometimes,  I ignore the words “mandatory items” altogether thus making the entire list of back-to-school supplies “optional”. This is how it works:

long list

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Dreaded Back-to-School Supplies list-P1

Where do you keep your dreaded Back-to-School supplies list? I keep my dreaded back-to-school supplies list in my pocketbook–right next to my suicide note. In fact, I don’t even need a suicide note. Anybody who would find my lifeless body face down on the floor of a “superstore” with the crumpled dreaded Back-to-School supplies list in my hand would read it and understand:

back-to-school supplies aisle


3- 1 inch binders- red, black, white

4- 1 1/2 inch binders- red, white, green

3- 2 inch binders- light purple, yellow, dark purple

5- packs of mechanical pencils

27 folders–must have plastic covers- 7 blue, 9 orange, 3 pink, 7 polka dot, 1 red, white & blue stripe (will be used for Memorial Day project in May)

1 calculator

1 pair of scissors

1 stapler

2 packs of staples

6 packs of dry erase markers

whatever whatever… whatever whatever… whatever whatever…

Every year, ten minutes into the back-to-school supply shopping excursion, I want to kill myself. But how should I do it? Take the mandatory scissors and stab myself in the neck? No good. I need scissors to open the package of scissors. I’d have to remember to bring my own pair of scissors with me to the store…Would it be considered an assisted suicide if I begged my husband and children to run over me multiple times with my own shopping cart?

To keep myself as sane as I’m ever going to be during this process, I have a clear, organized strategy… Continue reading

Planning a Birthday Party or 2 or 3

Have you ever planned a kid’s birthday party? Or 2? Or 3… at the same time? So this week is my kids’ 10th birthday party. Yeah, notice that apostrophe after “kids”. It’s intentional. There are three of them. Triplets… by design. Not my design mind you… Certainly not my husband’s. Anyway…they’d each like to have their own separate birthday party. Why not? How hard can that be? I’m sure David Tutera could pull it off between commercials. Maybe the three parties can be tied together with a theme: “Authenticity”. I’ll schedule the parties just like the kids were born: All within three minutes.

kids-at-arcade-150x150 thumbnailkids in pool thumbnailplayground-climbing Continue reading

Kids Keep You Young… Yeah, Bullshit

kids_alone_jpg_CROP_cq5dam_web_1280_1280_jpegYou’ve always heard that kids keep you young. I want proof. Are there actual studies on this? I think not. I know that I’ve conducted my own studies and am here to report to you that it’s all a big myth. I admit, the core group I’ve focused on has consisted of a small informal gathering of neurotic people.

Case Study #1: My father-in-law. He has had neck and back issues for most of his adult life. To what does he attribute his cervical demise? One might guess a massive car accident that he had years ago that kept him in the hospital for months. According to him, that doesn’t even compare to teaching his children how to ride a bike. Apparently, 40+ years ago, he ran through a park a couple of times, hunched over, one hand latched under the bottom of the seat, trying to keep up with three toddlers peddling feverishly on Schwinns and, as a reward for being a loving parent, he’s now almost a complete cripple. Every time we gather to visit him in Florida, my husband or sisters-in-law can rarely walk past him in a hallway or on their way into the pool without him yelling his mantra: “You ruined me! You ruined me!” Continue reading