Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Back to School Avalanche

The avalanche is coming.  There have been tremors all summer but once the calendar turns to August I hear the warning rumbles up close.  Moms  everywhere are sensing it and finding themselves turning to their husbands with the call to "brace yourself!" on their lips!

I knew the kids kept growing over the summer months....can't escape it when you're the focus of weekly back to back height comparisons.  The summer inches get mercifully masked in sunshine, shorts, flip flops and the casual life of "nobody cares what you look like anyways when you're tan!"

And then.

One of my sweet, taller children spoke the dreaded words in July.  I shushed her of course, and guided her back to her swimsuit in a feeble attempt to protect the summer magic.  It's undeniable now.  The avalanche is upon us.  Nobody has jeans that fit....and I can clearly hear the ticking countdown to the first day of school.

Back to school shopping will soon commence...and the avalanche will overwhelm us.  (Did you wince?  I did too.)  We can ignore it and blithely pretend summer will continue forever...but we'll only enjoy that sunshine to 90% of it's potential because we'll know that the trade off is going to be an ugly and expensive Labor Day weekend trying to throw everything together before the big day.  The other choice is to get started now.

Sigh.

When you have 8 children, 6 of whom are daughters who have strong opinions about their appearance, the first option....although it would leave me with a great first day of school tan, would be suicidal.

One of my personal favorite parenting mantras is "Not my monkeys, not my circus."  Or.....a more mature mother might say....."It's not my responsibility, dear daughter, it's yours.  I'm sure you'll do just fine!"

I'm thinking this back to school closet avalanche is a great way to watch my kids corral their own monkeys!  Who's going to school anyways??  It's not me!  Who grew out of their jeans?  Not me either (thank goodness!!)!  Who's going to be an adult someday and need to have the skills to approach a big project and handle it before a due date?  My kids!!  I have decided to officially dub my children "Masters of Their Own Monkeys" for this project.

Now I know there's no way for me to get out of this scott free.  My mantra may not ring entirely true for this one.  While my kids may own their own monkeys, I think I might own this circus.  So I'm going to accept the role of ringmaster and support the kids as they each wrestle their monkeys in their own rings.  Here's my plan...

My kids have the common American curse/blessing of an abundance of stuff....this includes clothes.  So first things first means we've gotta get an inventory of what each child has that actually still fits and is worthy of being worn for more than painting clothes.  As they try things on and sort out what fits and what doesn't, they're going to use this handy, dandy little tool to learn a lesson about "needs vs. wants"  and how to approach a large personal project!


(You can download a copy of it HERE!)

Now.....as the bags of discarded clothes arrive in my bedroom, and the sorting and re-distribution begins....I'm determined to approach my ringmaster duties cheerfully knowing although it is my circus.... at least the monkeys are all staying where they  belong on this one!

What tricks, mantras or methods do you use to battle the "Back to School Avalanche??"

Happy back to school!!






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