There’s no denying the fact that as parents, our emotions about back-to-school come in waves. At the beginning of summer, we’re so excited to have our littles home and have so much summer fun planned that we can hardly contain our excitement, but as soon as those fuzzy feelings wear off and kids start to fight and… well, be kids… we start to look toward late August or early September with much more appeal. In fact, sometimes we’re ready to kick them out the door. I’ve realized over the years that the process of preparing my son for back-to-school has been nothing short of similar to a horror film. Here are 10 ways.
1. You never know what’s lurking around the corner
Let’s be real here. We get to the store and they have their huge back-to-school area all laid out for our perusing pleasure, but we never really know what’s lurking around each corner. Will it be a disgruntled mom who can’t find the pencils her kid’s teacher requested five packs of? Will it be an empty aisle, devoid of the graph paper your daughter needs? You just never know.
2. You can never find exactly what you’re looking for
There’s a moment in every scary movie when the main characters are looking for something very specific and they just can’t find it (typically causing someone to get hurt). When searching for school supplies, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc., someone is almost always disappointed. Maybe one child couldn’t find the right color leggings to match the shirt they wanted to wear on the first day or the store ran out of the dictionary they were required to have for a certain class. You can never completely win with back-to-school.
3. There will always be a fight scene
Maybe Mom is having a meltdown in the middle of the store (no judgment) or maybe the kindergartener is so over the endless shopping for school supplies and holding a protest of their own. However it manifests itself, a disagreement is gonna happen.
4. You can feel people trying to creep up on you
During back-to-school preparations, you will have at least one moment when you pick up the last of something that another mom is after. You can feel her lurking behind you to see if you set it down. Just run.
5. Sometimes, someone gets hurt
Opening up all those packages and getting all those supplies organized in your kids’ new backpacks will most definitely result in a few paper cuts, so you should probably pick add Band-Aids to your ever-increasing shopping list.
6. You’re almost never prepared
7. Someone always has to go back for more
In every scary movie, the characters run out of something crucial and they have to risk their lives to go back and find it — you will be doing the same at back-to-school time (albeit on a slightly safer level). Your child will come home from school on the first day and tell you even though you thought you got the right binders, they turned out to be a half-inch smaller than the ones you really need. Yep, you gotta hit up Target again.
8. There’s a mad dash
The main difference here is that in a scary movie, the actors are running away from something. In back-to-school reality, we’re running toward something: school supplies. There is undoubtedly a mad dash as all parents and kids in the entire world race to get everything before it disappears.
9. It’s an emotional roller coaster
Scary movies always start out hunky-dory and then transition into true horror, just like back-to-school. It’s an emotional journey, people! First we’re excited, kissing our babes as they run for the bus. Then we’re hopeful, waiting all day to hear about their experience and their new teachers. When they arrive home and we’re faced yet again with the horror that is homework… well, things get really scary from this point.
10. It will haunt your dreams
Whether you’re taking on your child’s stress about the first day of school or nervous that the alarm won’t go off in time, there’s no denying that back-to-school season haunts our dreams. Why does this happen? Because it’s on our minds so damn much. It’s up to us to think of all the finishing touches, make sure all supplies are purchased and that we bought the right brand of nut butter that each kid likes in their packed lunch. It’s exhausting — and the horror doesn’t stop after we’ve closed our eyes.