Dear Diary: Confessions Of A Back-to-School Fool

by Linda Sharp

August 29, 2001
Dear Diary,
Can it possibly be? Only 5 days left until summer vacation is over and the kids head back to school? This morning we went shopping for school supplies, only I was excited this time! It did not bother me to pay an arm, leg, three toes and an eyeball for everything they needed. Why? Because this year I am finally buying for three! Yes, that's right Diary, after five long years, Carson is finally headed to Kindergarten! Real school. Five days a week. Three hours every morning. I have so many wonderful plans swirling through my head. I will be able to reenter the land of the grown-ups! I think I will start with a celebratory massage at the spa after I drop them off the first morning!

August 30, 2001
Dear Diary,
Called the spa to make a massage appointment - DRAT! They will be closed that week, something about "re-energizing the spa karma". Oh well, there are so many other possibilities for me to consider! I know! I'll call the girls and arrange to meet for breakfast after we drop the kids! Then a leisurely stroll through the bookstore so I can pick up that new bestseller Oprah was touting last week. Ahhhhh . . . lying in the hammock under the shade tree, iced tea in hand, leisurely reading with no interruptions. I get goosebumps just thinking about it! I honestly think the last time I read anything uninterrupted was the instruction sheet for my sitz bath after Carson was born. More tomorrow Diary, someone is in the bathroom hollering for toilet paper...

September 1, 2001
Dear Diary,
Called the girls and they are all excited about a breakfast get-together. We joked that we would not try to cut each other's pancakes or wipe one another's chins. Today I signed up for a Pilates class three mornings a week! I have no idea what that is, but if it's good enough for J. Lo's buttcheeks, then count mine in! I can just see me, svelte and encased in spandex, bopping into Starbucks for an after class latte'! I spent this evening preparing a cake for tomorrow's neighborhood Labor Day party. I decorated it with raspberries, blueberries and Cool Whip to look like the American flag. Can it be that my own freedom is but two days away? Oops, have to go. Someone is throwing up downstairs - probably Kendall. I told her not to eat that extra tub of Cool Whip . . .

September 2, 2001
Dear Diary,
Happy Labor Day! Well, the party was a success - everyone loved the cake, except Kendall who said she will never go near Cool Whip again. The kids are all excited about school tomorrow. Me, I'm fairly bursting. While the girls picked out their first day of school outfits, I picked out my first day of freedom outfit! No sweatpants or jogging suit - black dress pants, new sweater, snazzy new sandals. Look out world! A woman is arising from the ashes of a Mom! This evening I was so antsy, I actually packed their lunches for tomorrow. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve . . .

September 3, 2001
Dear Diary,
What bad luck! Amy's third grader woke up with chicken pox, Denise's husband forgot his briefcase and needs her to bring it to him, and Kristi was sick all night (she did eat a lot of that cake at the party...). So we have to postpone the breakfast. Good thing actually. When was the last time I wore those black dress pants? High school? I couldn't get them past my calves. And the sandals were starting to rub against a hangnail on my little toe. Put on my sweatsuit and tenny boppers and took the kids to school. Started to go to the bookstore when my cell phone rang. Carson forgot her lunchbox, so I had to head back to the house and then the school. Decided to stop at Walmart and pick up some toilet paper and this week's National Enquirer. Stopped to buy milk and bread and get the car washed. By that time, I had to head back to the school to pick up Carson. Oh well, I had the Enquirer to read in the carpool line.

September 4, 2001
Dear Diary,
Forgot I had a dental appointment to get my teeth cleaned, so I missed my first Pilates class. Oh well, I read in the Enquirer that J. Lo doesn't do Pilates anymore - she likes Tae Bo. Called health club, cancelled Pilates class, Tae Bo class full. Figures. Consoled myself with a drive through Milk Shake and the leftover breadcrusts on the counter at home. Have to go now, Culley volunteered me to cut out three hundred construction paper maple leafs for a class project.
September 5, 2001

Dear Diary,
Drove past the spa today. The "karma" looked just fine to me. Then I noticed there was a van outside that read, Tom's Toilet Technicians - ahh, that kind of karma. Heard from Kristi, she feels better, but the doctor said it was food poisoning - possibly Cool Whip that had sat out too long. Oops. Rescheduled breakfast for next Friday. Sat on front porch and contemplated my new freedom (and the 14 paper cuts on my hands from the construction paper) . . . where is the glamour? The excitement? The days spent lying in the hammock? I'll tell you a secret Diary, the house is too quiet and I miss the girls. Today I signed up to be a classroom helper three days a week.

They say "there's no fool like an old fool". I think it should be "There's no fool like a Back to School fool."

Copyright 2000 by Linda M. Sharp. Reprinted with permission. 
Linda Sharp is an internationally published humorist who writes regularly on the joyous and frustrating world of parenting. Her work appears across the Internet and wraps around the globe in parenting publications from Canada to Malaysia.
Linda is co-creator of the award winning website,
Sanity Central — A Time Out From Parenting! Located at http://www.sanitycentral.com, it is totally irreverent, hysterical and packed with enough laughs to brighten even the weariest of parents! As a mother of three children (four if you count her husband), she firmly believes that laughter IS the best medicine. She may be reached via email at lsharp03@aol.com.