I woke up this morning — completely hung over after getting up at midnight to register the kids for swim lessons — and realized we only have three weeks left until school starts. That’s just crazy! I feel like this summer has flown by. Between bad weather, planning for Blog Out Loud, and the shortened summer due to the early start this year, we’ve accomplished next to nothing that we intended to do this year. Almost no house projects, almost no day trips. I need to get it together, or we’re going to miss out on the beach, the park, and the pool altogether.
And, I really need to get on that back to school shopping, too. This year we have a Grade 1 student in the house (I can’t talk about it too much or I’ll cry) and we have a shockingly big shopping list to attend to. I feel really new to this school thing, in that I kind of thought that the school was supposed to provide things like notebooks, pencils, and scissors. Apparently not, though. I keep telling myself that the school will take all our supplies and our $20 and then use the actual school budget for fun things like field trips and science kits. They will, right?
Although I welcome the return of the school routine — I like getting into a groove where we do the same thing every day — Sir Monkeypants and I are already feeling a lot of pressure from the fall schedule. Things started with the swim lessons. Last year we did swim lessons on Saturday mornings, and gymnastics on Sunday mornings, and those were our weekly extra curricular activities. This year, we can’t get all three kids in at the same time on the weekend, so we’ve signed up for Thursday evening swim classes, gymnastics on Sundays. Sir Monkeypants has swimming on Tuesdays and I’m booking Mondays and Wednesdays as my own workout nights — that is, unless we decide to sign up Gal Smiley for piano lessons, which she has been begging for, which would have to squeeze into a weeknight somewhere.
We also wanted to do skating lessons, like last year, but the only time we can fit those in is on Wednesdays at 4:30. Sir Monkeypants thought it would be fun to take a Tae Kwon Do class with the Captain, and we could maybe do that Friday evening or Saturday morning.
Plus, we’ll have homework, and we’re still trying to teach the Captain to ride his bike, and we’d like to do something with the Little Miss. and OH MY GOD, my head is going to explode.
It’s just TOO MUCH.
In the end, we decided to commit to swimming and gymnastics only, and to leave the rest of it to sort itself out when we figure out what we can handle, and what we can afford.
But we’ve glimpsed here a small sliver of our future lives, and it’s nutty. Right now, the kids do the activies we pick out for them, and they’re all doing the same thing at the same time. What happens when they begin to voice their own preferences? When they are all doing something different every day of the week? We want our kids to be able to try things they are interested in. But how much is too much? What is the right balance?
Nevermind the managing of the impossible schedule and the cost of all these programs. How will we manage to just find some family time? When will the kids just play? When will Sir Monkeypants and I have time together?
It just seems overwhelming. Anyone out there with older kids who has some tips, let me know. How do you make it all happen?