I finally reached my breaking point. It was when I heard my son’s second-grade teacher say via Zoom “Okay now, please get out the paper clip we sent home with your parents in the school materials bag last week.” Wait.just.a.goshdarn.minute! Did she just say, “Please find the PAPER CLIP!?!” OMG! Have you even SEEN the mountain of paper, pencils, pens, paints, markers, and books that have overtaken my school-that-used-to-be-a-home! With FOUR (4) kids home-schooling it seriously looks like an episode of “Hoarders” in the dining room which is now the 2nd Grade classroom! Frantically, I helped my 7-year-old search in vain for this needle-in-a-haystack. Like Old Testament Job (but without the beard), arms outstretched, I prayed that the paper-clip would drop into his book bag like Manna from heaven! Actually, I was mostly motivated by fear and shame of having to be that parent whose ginormous face appears on Zoom, with 5-days of facial stubble, frazzled, wearing yesterday’s t-shirt, admitting what a complete disorganized circus I am running at home.
Another example that I am, indeed, the Ring Master of the home circus is that my kitchen is now the high-school PE gym. I literally have my 14 year-old daughter doing walking lunges past the refrigerator!
“But Dad, this is high-school PE at home!“, she said slightly out-of-breath.
“But, this is the damn kitchen for Crissakes!”, I retorted.
“But, I’ve got to do this before my next Zoom class!” she replied as she was crab walking past the open dishwasher. Seriously!? What’s next? Burpees on the countertops!?
I admit that I secretly think about turning the tables one day. Like after we defeat COVID and the kids go back to school, I am thinking about just taking a Lay-Z-Boy recliner and setting it up right in the middle of 7th Grade English. My daughter would be in the front row completely mortified as I kick back, shoes off, and reach down into my Yeti cooler and pull out a beer and start watching Netflix just as the teacher begins to discuss Shakespearean literature.
And, I’d be like, “Hey, kids, yeah, I’m your new SAHD teacher and today we’re going to be talking about the literary concepts of ‘irony’ and ‘revenge’. I’m just going to sit here and binge watch ‘Breaking Bad’ while you discuss amongst yourselves, okay!?” “Oh, and I’ll be gone in about 9 months. Okay. Good talk. Now, does anyone have a bottle opener? Anyone? Anyone?“
Ha! I look forward to that Bring Your SAHD-to-School Day with glee! But, in the meantime, does anyone have a damn paper-clip I can borrow?!