If you read part 1, you know that school started for my kids three weeks ago and that thus far their “regular”school bus driver was present and accounted for precisely five of those fifteen school days, having taken a smattering of days off, culminating in a full blown week-long scheduled vacation. This leaves me wondering whether announcing that she was our “regular” school bus driver wasn’t referring to her bowel habits and not her work habits.
So today she was back from her vacation. Well, maybe she was. She didn’t come back to work though. Is she coming back or isn’t she? Did she flee to destinations unknown? I have no idea if school bus drivers have many advancement opportunities but I didn’t think they had any embezzlement opportunities.
Meanwhile in her absence, my kids’ bus route has had various revolving school bus drivers.
In my newest little eBook, I have a chapter called:
“The School Bus Situation: Because every year there is indeed ‘a school bus situation’.” This is no exaggeration. My triplets are just starting sixth grade. The first week of school is always that adjustment period. Teachers are getting to know the kids. Kids are getting to know the teachers. Where do we sit? What time is lunch? Now that they’re in middle school there’s even more to get used to: Where’s my locker? How do I get to my next class? What time does the bell ring? And this period of adjustment extends to the bus drivers. Where’s the stop? Who’s at the bus stop? What’s the bus route? The only difference is: By the end of the first two weeks, teachers and kids have pretty much settled in… and “the school bus situation” is just getting revved up.
The first day of middle school, the triplets were asked to stand up and tell a little about themselves. My daughter got up there: “My name is Carly Fox. I’m a triplet. I hate being a triplet.” She was heading back to her seat when she turned around. “Oh, and I also hate my last name.”
Way to go on the positive self-talk, Carly. I looked up the number for the school psychologist and added it to my phone contacts so I’d know it when it came up.
My triplets already started middle school this week. I know every parent would be tempted to follow that statement with: “My babies are getting so big!” Or… “Where does the time go?” but I’m not surprised that my kids just turned eleven or already graduated from elementary school. This middle school thing is just another blur to me which is a small part of a much bigger blur that began somewhere around 2005 when I first got pregnant.
The night before school started– middle school eve, erev middle school– each of my kids prepped for the big first day in his or her own inimitable style:
Messy kids. I have three of them and I might know why. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not a tidy person. I don’t like to look around and see things in disarray. I don’t like an unmade bed or dirt, filth, or grime, but I’m naturally a messy person. People who are messy like to say: “I’m messy, but not dirty. There’s a difference.” I agree. There is a difference, and I’m both.
I’ve been married to my husband for 13 1/2 years and I have no idea if he’s messy or not. It’s because no matter how messy he might be, I’ll always out-mess him. He always cracks before I do. If there are dishes in the sink or a pile of newspapers on the counter, he can’t take it before I can’t take it. My “can’t take it anymore” threshold is disturbingly high for mess. So this is the example I’m setting for my triplets.
I’ve been observing them for eleven years now. What I’ve witnessed is perfectly natural. I just haven’t decided whether they’re naturally messy kids or naturally lazy kids.
Back-to-School time always sneaks up on me. If you’ve read previous posts, you’ll know that I’m typically between two weeks and eight years behind on everything. And this “policy” of mine, for lack of a better term, doesn’t discriminate: It applies equally to doing the laundry as it does to filling out camp registration forms to putting sunscreen on my children. But this year, turning around and finding that back-to-school time has sneaked up on me and smacked me in the ass isn’t really just because of my “policy”. Do they have year-round schools where you live? I’ve never quite gotten the hang of those. And I’d better get the hang soon… because my kids will be starting one in two weeks.
Last week I discussed how slow-moving we are in this house when it comes to getting things done. I mentioned that when we picked this 4+ bedroom house ten years ago, we had specifically done so, so that each of my triplets could eventually have his or her own room, I could have my own office, and that would leave a total of zero rooms available for anyone to ever even consider coming to live with us. My husband Lloyd and I don’t really care what relatives think of us as long as they don’t think of us as the couple with the spare bedroom.
When many couples buy their first house, they get something with a bedroom or two not knowing exactly how many children they might end up with and go from there. But since I had just, eight months before, given birth to triplets and told the doctor during the c-section: “So, while you’re in there, you might want to tie those up. In fact, make it a double knot just to be sure ” and then at my six week check-up: “So, how’s it going down there, Doc? Everything still tied nice and tight?”, my husband and I had a pretty good idea of the maximum number of bedrooms we were going to need for at least the next decade or two in our new North Carolina home.
A week or so ago, I whined about planning a kid’s birthday party or, more specifically, my triplets’ birthday party (parties) and how demanding they are and how they each want their own party, in its own location complete with three totally distinct cast of characters that they call “friends”. True they walk all over me but I don’t think it’s my fault. My mother used to tell me that when I was in kindergarten she asked whom I would like to invite to my birthday party to which I responded:
“Who in your class?”
“The whole class. It wouldn’t be nice to leave anybody out.”
Before you mistake this for a heartwarming story, you’d have to have known my mother and her wind-up to the story every time she retold it:
“So I, like a moron, invited twenty-three 5 year olds to my house.”
Have you ever planned a kid’s birthday party? Or 2? Or 3? At the same time? So next month is my kids’ 11th birthday party. Yeah, “kids'”. There are three of them. Triplets… and 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 during the commercials. Maybe I’ll schedule the parties just like the kids were born: Three minutes apart.