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Sunday Dreads: 10 Reasons I Hate the Back-To-School Countdown

We’ve all had the Sunday Dreads in one shape or another. It’s early August, you’re clambering on the beach, blissfully happy despite balancing a mountain of beach gear (chairs, blankets, buckets, shovels, book that you won’t get to read, sunscreen and the pound of sand attached to it, snacks, plus any and all children you may have with you because they don’t like walking in the sand), and you blow out a flip flop. No, worries, you think. I’ll just go pick up another pair on the way home. And then you get to a shop only to find all those nifty neon orange and pink flip flops gone, replaced by chunky fall mahogany fashions.

Then you start to freak out. It’s only a month, weeks for some, until school starts. You’re buying school supplies, you’re getting class letters. Holly Golightly got the Mean Reds, which can only hope to compare to the Sunday Dreads. Here are the reasons why I cringe at the back-to-school countdown.

  • The School Run 1 of 10
    school run

    EVERYONE is trying to get to the same place at the same time. And many of them are moms who somehow wake up before this early morning ritual. How do they do that without someone under 5 feet tall throwing food on them? It makes the camp run look like a walk in the park, which for many it often is. Or better yet, no camp and lolling around in PJ's until it's time to go swimming. Either way, fighting your way to school in morning traffic STINKS.

     

    **Photo Credit: Morguefile**

  • Vacation, All I Ever Wanted 2 of 10
    vacation:dread

    You realize that if you haven't planned that incredible summer vacation you imagined in April, it's not going to happen now.

     

    **Photo Credit: Morguefile**

  • Homework 3 of 10
    M3352M-1009

    What's theirs is yours. Anyone who tells me they don't need to be involved, i.e., spend the evening back in school probably also has a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge to sell.

     

    **Photo Credit: Morguefile**

  • There Goes the Sun 4 of 10
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    You didn't notice the days begin shortening by roughly a minute each day after the summer solstice on June 22nd, but suddenly it hits you: it's getting dark an hour earlier than it was then. And soon, it will be so dark when you wake as well as when you arrive home after extracurriculars that you're surprised you aren't growing mushrooms on your forehead.

    **Photo Credit: Morguefile**

     

  • Home, James 5 of 10
    driver

    And those endless hours of driving/strolling/subwaying around town to whatever it is your little one is into this semester. I'm all for the enrichment, exercise, and mental release provided by after school activities, but when you start to view navigating your city as a logistical nightmare on the level of a Green Beret raid on a ruthless dictator, it gets old.

    **Photo Credit: Dreamstime**

     

  • I’m Gumby, Dammit! 6 of 10
    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Flexibility will be gone. In the summer, everything's a free for all. If your kids do go to camp, most offer flexible weeks to accomodate any traveling. School won't be so happy if you tell them you need a week off to go waterpark hopping. Which brings me to...

    **Photo Credit: Morguefile**

  • Night Swimming 7 of 10
    night swimming

    Or day swimming. But especially swimming outdoors will soon be history. The REM song starts playing in my head and it makes me ludicrously maudlin every time.

    **Photo Credit: Dreamstime**

     

  • The Head of the Class 8 of 10
    h

    Remember those class lists I mentioned? Well, right now, the teachers are going over them together. And nobody goes unchecked. Did your kid go through a shy phase? A wild one? The fidgety fives? Smart but sarcastic sixteen? Whatever they are, last year's teacher will convey this fact to this year's teacher. And the labels begin.

  • Reenactors 9 of 10
    reenactor

    No, my kids aren't dressed as pilgrims from the Lost Colony of Williamsburg (neither Virginia nor Brooklyn), but watching them prepare to go back to school reminds me of my own crippling Sunday Dread. During the school year, it started just after SNL's closing credits and had me in a huff until noon Monday. In the summer, it started after fireworks on the 4th.

  • My Kids 10 of 10
    family

    I don't just love them. I like them, too. And every year they're out of the house for longer stretches of the day. My youngest is 2, and I already have the Sunday Dreads about the day they leave for college.

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