Back to School Time!

“Its the most wonderful time of the year!” Does anyone remember those Staples ads? It is, for many reasons, the truth.
With teh start of the school year, which is earlier here than in other places, it is time to get back to normal. The lax days of summer are coming to an end and it is time to get back on schedule. The endless summer nights are over, bed time is back, and it is enforced, nightly reading resumes and the video game time is reduced.
I have been called mean, told I am not my son’s friend anymore, and have been told I don’t want him to have any more fun ever. Yes, I am mean mommy. Why? Because I want him to be ready for school to start again. I don’t want to be getting him back to a regular school schedule and routine the day before school starts.
It takes a child 10 days to get on a routine, so we have started the routine again. This has been hard for my son this year, especially since he has a lot more friends than he had in the past, and he wants to get in as much playing time as he can. But it has also been a relief to him, too. He has been getting tired of playing with the same people day in and day out. Some of the friends have been getting attitudes and just expecting him to come out to play, and asking me for an explanation when I say he can’t or doesn’t want to come out. I don’t have to explain myself to 8, 9, and 10 year olds.
In getting ready for school to start again, the hardest thing on my son has been cleaning his room I cleaned it to start the summer, and then washed my hands of it once ti was done. He has been told he will start school with a clean bed room no matter how it has to be done. So, if it is not done by Saturday, I will black bag it.
It was also time for a hair cut. Over the summer, we skipped a few. But, it was time for the back to school hair cut now. And he did not like it one bit! When I give him a hair cut, he cries, but when he goes to a barber shop, he is fine. How traumatized he is, mommy did his hair cut. To make it easier, I gave both son and husband a hair cut yesterday. My boys are so handsome when they get hair cuts! Even though husband had me trim his beard, which I don’t like doing (I like the beard, lol).
Son is also angry because he has to get back to showering every night. During the summer, we are lax about that and he only showers once every few days, but for school, he will do it every night before bed.
No more late dinners, no more lazy nights with no bed time. We are getting back to our routines, son showers at 8, lays out his uniform for the next day after showering, and 8:30 to 9 he spends a half an hour reading before bed. The tv is turned off from the time he gets out of the shower until bed.
It is time to make sure his alarm clock is working, even though I get him up for school, he likes having the alarm clock, it is time to be sure his radio in his room works since he likes to listen to music while doing his homework, it is time to make sure he has the supplies at home for homework he needs. After school snacks need to be stocked and it is time to prewash all uniforms.
It IS the most wonderful time of the year! A back pack has been purchased, school supplies have been sent, registration forms have been filed out, and it is that time of year again! The start of school also signals the approaching holiday season with birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas right around the corner! As soon as the back to school sales are over, the local Wally World will begin to roll out their Christmas overstock from last year, signaling the earlier and earlier start to Christmas shopping season!
What a great time of year! There is a crispness to the air, or at least there soon will be, and the colder temperatures are on the way! I can’t wait!

School Lunch Guidelines…

Ok, so whenever you hear a debate about school meals, you hear that they need to be provided, and there needs to be a program for people to get these meals for free (breakfast and lunch) because this is the only way some of these kids get to eat a hot meal during the day at times. Some of these kids, yes, that is true. I have heard several parents around me who have said they are so broke and have no money to feed their kids, and they don’t really care as much about grades, they don’t care that the kid might be failing or falling asleep during class, or disrupting the classroom, in their minds, it is easier for them to just send their kid to school to let the school feed them.
Now, my son does eat breakfast and lunch at school, he eats the hot meal they provide, but we pay for the meals. It is his choice to eat with his friends because he is in different classes and does not always get the opportunity to see them during recess. This is a choice, and I always have a snack for him when he gets home in the afternoon.
But, now you have these kids who you have already admitted this may very well be the only food these kids get all day. In many cases, there isn’t even a slice of bread for them when they get home. Most children around the country are not lucky enough to come home to a parent who is there with a snack and/or supper cooking when they get home. So many of them go home to an empty house with empty pantries and fridges. So many of these kids don’t even have a glass of milk available at home.
Cue school meal reform. Their pet issue, childhood obesity, has taken over and has caused them to consider extreme measures. Now, instead of providing a meal program that will actually feed these kids, the kids these very people advocate for and say they need to reform lunches so these kids are able to eat and be full and be available to survive without malnutrition and starvation on only these two meals serves in schools, what do they do? They put in a MANDATE LIMITING CALORIES! Does that seem like idiocy to anyone else?
Instead of giving these kids enough to eat, they would rather limit what they can eat, offering additional “Fat Free Skim Milk” to those who “need more calories” instead of actual food. And it has to be fat free skim, because everyone knows an extra pint of whole milk will lead to childhood obesity.
Instead of taking a look at the issues, both childhood hunger and childhood obesity, and figuring out the underlying causes, they just throw more laws at it, trying to regulate it away instead of really solving it. They call for limiting the calories in school lunches, they call for a limit to the fat free skim milk, they call for cutting after school athletics, they call for limits, limits, limits.
How about this for a simple solution, instead of spending all this money trying to find the reason/solution to childhoos obesity, put that money back into after school athletics and even PE classes. Instead of just telling kids to get fit and healthy and counting on a video game most of their parents can’t afford (yes, Wii Fit) to make them get active, teach them how to properly exercise, teach them how to stay fit, instead of mandating it and just expecting it to happen or putting their BMI on their report cards (the BMI is another issue completely, according to the BMI charts, John Cena is obese). Force these parents to be parents, it is our responsibility as parents to get out kids outside to play, away from the video games. Don’t encourage the kids to stay inside in front of a video game.
Put PE back in the schools, let the kids learn how to exercise, don’t require reams and reams of paperwork to make the schools have no liability for a child who plays an afterschool sport. Teach the kids how to make healthy choices while at school. Don’t limit calories for a student who, as you admit, is only getting the meals the school provides. No child can be healthy and survive well on 1,000 calories a day.
I am willing to bet that, as soon as more filling and better meals are available at schools, the kids will be more alert during class, they will have more energy to play and run around during recess, they will be better able to focus and test scores will go up.
That is just my opinion. Will it change anything? Probably not, but I guess I am doing something right, since my son is fit and healthy and well fed.