It's back to school season, I need A Plan. Since we're dealing with little kids here, I'm gonna start small. My goal: How To Keep Rockstar From Loathing New School.
It's about 2 weeks from De Day* so here's some of what we're working on:
1) Breaking Out The Big Guns! A.k.a. Every Darn Disney Cars School Supply Thing I Can Find. Thank God for single-minded obsessions, for once. Will probably eventually search out stationery too. Rockstar now carries the bottle at left (below) everywhere around the apartment and makes a show of smugly sipping from it in front of Ms Rockstar. Someday he shall be old enough to search this post and discover she might actually - wait for it - not be very into Lightning McQueen *gasp*
Shock! Horror! Blasphemy!
(What? You thought schoolwork? Hah! Only a set of Cars math cards because Rockstar insists on sitting in our regular cafe hangout with the dad rather than walking with me and the dog - he doesn't want to share Kings at Saturday brunch with Ms Rockstar (hot summer with bugs - she's staying in the restaurant where Kings camps out with laptop because your new baby getting her first bug bite <various gesticulations to ward off evil> is far worse than say the first nick on your new car. Never had a new car. My virtual un-new car can get totaled for all I care but let a bug sink its obnoxious mandibles/ proboscis/ whatever bug body part in my child's skin and I shall seriously start searching for projects I can donate to, towards making the species extinct) - so I jumped at the opportunity to sit him down and do something constructive.)
Somewhere deep within me lies an anguished cry: My son would rather do homework with his dad than go for a long walk outdoors with meeeee! But if he'll practice something I'll live. I suppose. Y-eah, not really serious - at some point you're so swamped you just think Oh good, less work for moi. I shall come back from a walk and see a bunch of cards filled with the correct answers <snort> in my dreams. Oh, and then because there were Cars on the cards The Rockstar couldn't wait til Saturday to try em out.
Anyway. I'm sure I'm not the only one ok, that was the very last set of Cars cards I could find, AND we go to that fairly well-stocked store at least once a week. I bought both sets of Cars tupperware and both remaining water bottles. Why? Because if Rockstar loses one in the early days at school, I've got a spare (can't remember exactly how much but they were quite cheap, I was surprised, since they're "official" Cars merchandise).
What? Let Rockstar learn the value of protecting his stuff? How can I spoil him with spares? Uh... These are <pause of reverence> McQueen snack box things. Have you read anything about my child on this blog?
But seriously, I did consider not "spoiling" him with spares. It's why as at this writing Rockstar isn't aware of them. Reason I've squirreled spares away is in case if he loses something in the early days he goes so inconsolably nuts as to do something like refuse evermore to bring snacks to school so as not to lose McQueen snack boxes. 3 weeks for an Amazon.com sold-out in HK McQueen item to ship over. 3 weeks my son doesn't eat in school. (<sheepish> Well on the plus side, with that personality he's taught himself to play fairly passable chess through trial and error on his iPod? <bit defensive> He can stand to lose stuff and feel the pain of his carelessness when he's already decided New School Rocks.)
2) Snack Audit - Now, this one I can push a bit. We spent some time in the aisles at Bumps to Babes while Rockstar decided what he'd uh, agree to eat in school. (Via our agreement that if he gets to choose, he has to eat it when we pack it. And if he doesn't choose responsibly, he may not get to choose at all. AND if he "is fine with (too few options)" he has to be prepared to eat the same thing every day.)
Very pleased with the smoothies. Because he would previously only have a particular smoothie in a particular restaurant. He has forgotten he took the babyfood versions when he was much younger. Now he likes the packaging. So do I. Thank you, Ella's Kitchen. Organic too. Sold.
Rockstar only eats the fresh stuff, he doesn't eat fruit string, dried fruit etc. Not even raisins. He only eats raisins other people give him. I have a big bag in the fridge to prove it. So now apparently I eat raisins. The "freebies," my son will eat. We never finished the candy from last Halloween, but oh, the bowls of courtesy candy at customer service counters in various malls and Changi Airport are constantly sought. This is like when my mum enjoys cosmetics and skincare stuff I give her more if I tell her I got them for free. Someone should find a way to make money off this aspect of human nature.Babybel cheese (Hah bit unrealistic, the mummy's hands are perfectly french-manicured :D)
3) Snack Box Recce - per school instructions, we're supposed to make sure they can open all their snack boxes, wrappers etc. Rockstar spent some time "practicing" filling his new McQueen water bottle and closing it tight. McQueen Rocks makes my job that much easier. So McQueen Rocks. Please don't tell my son there is a fashion designer by the same name who killed himself after his mother died, after shows famously titled things like They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
Gonna Ziploc lotsa stuff too - sandwiches, cookies, breadsticks..... Maybe even let Rockstar stick some of his gadzillion McQueen stickers on the bags... He has so many freebie stickers from his last school bus stint.
And note to self: Break seal on smoothie single-serve pack each morning because Rockstar didn't manage to do it when we tried it out, but can get it open once the seal is broken.
4) Breakfast - Probably gonna have to be a cereal bar or something, because from summer camp experience in the morning, Rockstar'll wake to my holler YOU GOING TO SCHOOL OR NOT??? like, 15 mins before the bus is due and eat something while walking to the bus stop. Oh, but then twice it was a large leftover slice of Hawaiian pizza. Can't believe he got that in him before the bus arrived. Twice. Really depends if it's something he wants to do, doesn't it...
But a working mum shared this tip - she spends weekends cooking and freezing porridge, vegetables, etc because she doesn't trust the helper to go to the trouble of preparing the food properly for her two kids, one Rockstar-aged and the other a two year old, especially when kids only eat small portions of each. Some foods, like squash, she freezes in ice cube trays and the helper breaks off little chunks during the week (cuts down waste too, since little kids eat only a bit) and boils em up so her kids get a varied meal offering.
5) Uniform Recce - making sure Rockstar can change in and out of his gym kit by himself (tiny buttons on school shirt). We haven't started dress rehearsals (sorry) yet, but we will. I haven't bought a perm marker. Every time I break out the uniform Rockstar bossily reminds me I haven't written his name/ class on all the clothing items yet. We start dress rehearsals when I get the marker pen, so he shuts it about labeling everything.
Totally indebted to the mummy who taught me to use flushable wipes...
5) Toilet Hygiene - The people who invented Andrex flushable wet wipes must have kids and be totally freaked about all that unsupervised public toilet usage, flushing activity with toilet seat still up, and little hands touching everything. And if I pop Mucky Pups Hand Sanitizing Foam in his bag will he remember to use it?
"Actually, no." Ok, I'm gonna see about putting the foam bottle into his lunch box outer bag right at the top and hope he washes right before eating anyways.
Did I miss anything? Yeah probably. Hope I remember and will add it here if/when I do...
*"De Day" = staggered school start. Something like for 3 days the kids come to class like 10 per day only, which I guess is so teachers get to know them better, then after those 3 days they have a full class...