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back to school 2015
Best o’ the Bitch, Humor, Parenting

Ask Bitch’in Suburbia: Back to School 2015

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Hey kids — it’s that time of year: More pencils, more books, and presumably more teachers’ dirty looks. But then again, who could blame them? In a world of Common Core, overly involved parents, undersized budgets, tests to teach to, and a lack of necessary tools (especially time and trust, not to mention those new fangled devices called computers), it’s impossible not to look at least a little pissed off.  Lucky for everyone, your friendly neighborhood Bitch’in Suburbia has the cheat sheet ready with all the snappy answers you need for your back to school questions. Just raise your hand and read on…

Dear Bitch’in Suburbia,

I have this recurring nightmare: I’m in a classroom, and the teacher hands out a test. Everyone around me dives right in, but I can’t read the words. Then the bell rings, and I’m still not done. I wake up every morning in a sweat, and I barely have the energy to get my kids off to school. What do you think it means?

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Best o’ the Bitch, Humor, Parenting

Ask Bitch’in Suburbia: Back to School Edition

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It’s that time of year again, but fear not: Your friendly neighborhood Bitch’in Suburbia has a freshly baked batch of advice on how to survive these first few weeks of drama and trauma as you (oh, and your kids, too) go BACK TO SCHOOL.

Dear Bitch’in Suburbia,

I have a terrible confession to make: I was never one of those parents who pushed her kids more than what was appropriate to their grade level. For example, I didn’t teach my oldest son to read before he started Kindergarten, I never had him tutored, enrolled him in after school enrichment, or signed him up for summer school. I thought this was fine and would help him lead a more balanced life. But now I look at his schedule and he’s in all “regular” classes, and I can’t help but worry that all these years I’ve been giving the boy a hall pass. What do you think?

Signed, Epstein’s Mother

Dear Epstein’s Mother:

Do you really have to ask what I think? If you didn’t have your son working on his dissertation from your womb, then you’ve already lost the battle, the war, and any chance at his intellectual salvation. You didn’t mention what grade he’s in, so for the sake of argument I’ll assume it’s not too late — maybe he’s going into second grade? Because second grade is the line of delineation. That’s when children are assessed and deemed gifted or not. That fancy colored folder determines their fate though the age of 42 or so, when from then on in they can slip into mid-life crisis and forget their tortured, failed youth. If he’s beyond second grade, consider cutting bait — literally, cut some bait and teach the kid to fish. Then at least he’d stand a chance at getting his own reality show because did we learn nothing from Deadliest Catch? There’s a money-making niche out their for your child if you just start looking NOW.

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back to school
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Back to School Daze

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Here’s a word problem for you in honor of “Back to School”:

Johnny’s Back to School night starts at 5:30 sharp and is 12.6 miles away from Johnny’s home.

Jenny’s Back to School night starts at 5:30 sharp and is 1.6 miles away from Jenny’s home.

Johnny and Jenny are siblings. They have one parent available to attend both Back to School nights. How does one parent get to both Back to School nights at the same time?

Bonus: Johnny also has a mandatory meeting that starts one hour into Back to School night. There is still just one parent available for another 53 minutes. How does Johnny get to his meeting?

Answer: This is not a math problem. This is an existential problem. Please refer to Kierkegaard for Dummies, page. 72, “Back to School & The Absurd: An Eternal Loop of Despair” for more information.

Surely I jest… and yet, no matter how old I am, there is a certain poignancy to summer’s end. Even as an adult, despite the lack of schedule and thus predictability that kicks my Faux-CD — an obsessive need to create order from chaos (not recognized by the DSM but easy to spot by parents everywhere) — into high gear, I still get knocked on my ass by the first week of school.

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Parenting

Back to School

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Let’s play a little word association — when I say “Back to School,” what do you think of?

Seventeen magazine’s annual homage to cute sweaters, trendy jeans, and must-have boots? The excitement of sniffing new markers? Fall leaves crunching underfoot? New classes, new friends, new beginnings?

Back to school for me is like a phantom limb. I remember so well what that eager anticipation felt like, but it’s been eons since there’s been any delineation of time of year and related sensations. Part of it I can blame on my geographic location (Southern California, where I live, is notorious for year-round good weather and I, the eternal New Englander, yearn for humidity and thunder storms like a wilted flower), but most of it has to do with the reality of modern life.

Like hopped-up gerbils, we and our kids frantically spin the wheel of duty, obligation, and responsibility. We churn like butter, regardless of solstice or season. There’s always a summer reading list, packets to be completed, and standardized test prep joints teasing us like industrious gigolos with lower prices on their summertime packages.

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