It’s back to school time, which means if your kids haven’t already traded in their swimsuits for Trapper Keepers (those are still a thing, right?), they will soon. We know what you’ve been dealing with this past summer. Believe us, we know. And there are just a few things this teacher would like to say to parents on behalf of all educators who are welcoming little hellions and precious snowflakes into their freshly stocked classrooms for yet another year of magical learning, the most notable of which is this:
We get just how exhilarating it is to finally finish a cup of coffee while it’s still hot for the first time in two-and-a-half months, so we’re happy to take over telling Timmy that he has to keep his pants on at school because it’s a public place and it’s frowned upon to take our pants off in public places (particularly at the front of high school English classrooms, but anywhere, really). We realize if you have to say this again before December, you may be sent upstate for a nice, relaxing stay at a maximum security resort, and while during the summer months this might actually sound preferable to what you’ve been going through, we don’t want that for you.
Moreover, we realize that you’re thisclose, sohelpyougod to selling Susie to the circus if she does one more thing like paint the cat with strawberry preserves, and as a result, we’re prepared to remind her not to shove number two pencils in her ear canals, or stick rubber cement in the light sockets, so you can focus on finally getting everything checked off that to-do list, which no doubt stretches to the moon and back by this point.
In addition, we recognize how ecstatic you are to be able to actually see your floors for the first time since June, what with the hoards of toys and piles of dirty laundry that have been littering every square inch of them, so we are armed and ready to reinforce to Billy that empty snack wrappers and balled-up scraps of paper belong in the trash receptacle instead of strewn about the carpeting. Who knows? Maybe that lesson will shape his behavior at home as well, and you’ll never have to pick used gum out of the bathroom rug again. A gal can dream, can’t she?
And now that you’re able to converse with other human beings who actually listen to what you have to say and respond to it appropriately, we will gladly suffer through the never-ending onslaught of “Wait, what are we doing again?” and “What? You didn’t tell us we had to do that,” repeating ourselves 64 times and remaining calm on the outside as our souls scream on the inside, because we know if you are forced to tell Janie to get her shoes off the kitchen table and put them in the closet one more time, you will set fire to the house and move to Fiji. We’ve heard Fiji is nice this time of year, but we’ve also heard it’s really expensive. Plus, your family would miss you. (I mean, how would they ever eat again if you aren’t there to slave over dinner like a short-order cook?)
Most importantly, though, we understand that while you love your children dearly, you have seriously contemplated stabbing the eyeball of whoever decided summer vacation should still be a thing, and need a goddamned break before you completely lose your shit and lock yourselves in the bathroom indefinitely. And while we love your children dearly as well (who in their right mind would go into this business if they didn’t?), we are also no strangers to teetering on the edge of madness—that place to which these kids are skilled at driving us. And as such, we’re gonna need you hold onto those feelings of desperation and helplessness and tuck them away somewhere you can access later. Because when we release them back into your full-time care next summer, it’ll be your turn to write this letter to us.
Just remember to postmark it to Fiji when you do.
Copyright Lola Lolita as first published on Scary Mommy