Even though we're all grown, fully functioning adults at this point, there's still a familiar antsy feeling that pops up at the end of summer, aka back-to-school time. Some people may feel like the day their kids head back to the classroom cannot get here fast enough. (Seriously — I actually have a friend who has been counting down the days on a chalk board in her kitchen since May.) But I know for me, the experience tends to be a bit more nerve wracking, and you can usually tell by taking a quick glance into my back-to-school shopping cart that is usually full of an unnecessary number of crayons, boxes of pencils, floppy folders, and no less than four bottles of wine.
But no matter how the end of summer makes you feel, I'm willing to bet that a lot of my fellow parents are pretty much all thinking the same mixed bag of thoughts ranging from excitement to flat-out panic. And since there's absolutely nothing wrong with coming to grips with your own emotions during this crazy time of year, we partnered with Mini Babybel to go in-depth about a few of the totally normal thoughts you might be having before you send your kid off on their first day of school this year. Anything sound familiar?
"Do I have a weird kid?"
Listen, I'm fairly choosy about the people my kid spends his time with. And while the selection criteria isn’t too strenuous (it only requires that they find his admittedly bizarre behavior at least slightly endearing), you never know just how weird your kid is until you run into their kindergarten teacher at the grocery store. Embrace it. They're perfect.
"What can I pack in their lunch that they won't trade?"
Hmm, either I can set the alarm a few hours early to cook fresh sweet potatoes and roast an entire turkey to make sure he has the World's Best Sandwich in his lunchbox, or I can save those precious hours for sleep and go with the tried and true ham and veggie pita, carrots, and a Mini Babybel. Yeah, consider the decision made.
"Honestly, how do I not own a real camera?"
There's nothing like showing up to school on the first day and seeing other parents with their legit cameras and memory cards to remind you that you've documented your kid's entire life on a smartphone. They probably even have external hard drives and backup files at home somewhere, and they definitely aren’t worried about whether or not an 18 percent battery charge is sufficient for the task at hand.
"Am I really qualified for this?"
I was just getting used to the whole “parenting a toddler” thing and now I have to parent a real kid. He’s not old enough for this, is he? Wait, am I old enough for this? Should I bring along some ID, some medical records, a marriage certificate, and my most recent tax return just in case? What are the requirements for this parenting gig again?
"OMG germs. Germs germs germs."
That story-time rug doesn’t look like its been steam cleaned in the 24 hours since I was here for orientation. What’s the cleaning schedule like around here? There has to be a parent-approved, classroom-cleaning schedule online somewhere. I'll just print it out for my kid's teacher. I'm sure they'll appreciate the gesture.
"Do the other kids know their ABCs?"
What are kids actually expected to know before their first day of school? Are we talking a few scattered letters of the alphabet and maybe a number or two, or was there a summer reading list sitting in my spam folder that I totally missed?
“Am I sure they're ready?”
They know how to use the bathroom by themselves, they can communicate most of their feelings, and you haven’t heard them say a curse word in at least six months. Your kid is totally ready to take on the world on their own! Well, at least for seven hours under the careful supervision of a very qualified teacher. Of course, if it turns out really bad, you can always just try again next year. Maybe you’ll have found a good camera by then?