Thursday, September 26, 2013


I’ve been out of school for a few years now, but every so often I still have THE DREAM. I arrive at school and suddenly realize that I haven’t studied for the big test that has somehow completely slipped my mind. All these years after graduating, why am I still having nightmares about homework and test taking?! Recently it hit me: Parents have homework too 

Case in point: my math skills were put to the test when my son came home from school with a slip for ordering school pictures. The task seemed simple enough. After all, I only wanted to order a couple of pictures for us and the grandparents. Then I noticed that you could not purchase anything a la carte without getting one of the packages. And somehow none of the packages included what I wanted. And with each price increase it seemed as if all I would be getting were more wallet-sized photos. (Meanwhile, the last time I saw someone pull out a wallet-sized photo was around the same time I purchased my trusty StarTAC phone). I had to do some quick calculations to figure out which package would be the best bang for my buck. The cheapest option only got me a couple of the pictures I wanted, plus eight wallet sized photos. Did it make sense to order more a la carte, or should I just purchase the more expensive package that came with a lot more photos that I really didn’t need? After putting my limited math skills to the test I think I may have accidentally ended up purchasing one 5x7 and 79 wallet sized photos for $299. But the photo package also came with a brand new StarTAC phone, so everyone was a winner.

As a parent you are also constantly quizzed on creativity. Throughout the year these tests present themselves in various forms, such as during birthdays when you have to bring in a fabulous snack for school, plan the ultimate party and find the perfect present. They also pop up during holidays such as Valentine’s Day when you must prepare cute little Valentine’s for all of your child’s classmates. But the final exam is definitely Halloween. Forget about creepy ghosts and goblins, if you really want to be scared out of your mind try putting together a unique homemade costume for your child(ren) every single year. Extra bonus points if you come up with a family theme. A++ for finding a hat that will stay on your child for the duration of trick-or-treating. (Let me save you some time. This hat does not exist). Thankfully, I have already had an honest conversation with myself and admitted that I will never be the mom who whips together the amazing Halloween costume from a few random things that happen to be lying around the house. So the pressure is off (a little).   

Another challenge that parents face is proper nutrition for their children. It doesn’t help that there is an obscene amount of literature available online about every single thing that can harm your child if ingested. Most of these articles close with, “While there is no conclusive evidence that this will harm your child, there is also no evidence that this won’t harm your child.” Perfect! Meanwhile, for the first time this year I have to pack a snack every day for my son to take to school. Before school started I dutifully headed to the supermarket to stock up on some goodies. On his first day, I sent my little man off to school with a few organic carrot sticks and a mini bag of pretzels shaped like Planes (Dusty, his favorite!) I felt proud all morning knowing that my son had been sent off with a snack that was the perfect mix of wholesome goodness and timely playfulness. Then at school pick-up my son informed me that I had forgotten to pack a drink. I gently reminded him about the adorable pretzels shaped like planes and he not so gently reminded me that he really could have used a few sips of water that morning. Fail.

Finally, let’s not forget all of the physical education we have to endure as parents of young children. I spend my days schlepping around a heavy car seat, throwing overflowing diaper bags over my weary shoulders and lugging a hefty double stroller in and out of my car trunk. My one-year-old spends his mornings demanding to be lifted up, then put down, then up again…finally I put him down for a nap and my four-year old decides he wants to play basketball, baseball, volleyball and tag, in that order. I always knew that parenthood would test my emotions, but no one prepares you for how physically demanding it will be. Seriously, why aren’t the pounds just falling off of me?! (No, seriously, why?!?!?)

What homework does your child bring home for you? Do you usually pass or fail?
Your homework for the day: follow me on Twitter and 'like' me on Facebook.

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