Friday, September 4, 2009

Here Comes Fall

It's T minus four days until my kids go back to school. Fortunately we've had a bit of a cool snap here in northern New Jersey which makes the idea of school seem logical rather than horrible. We've had a week of weather that makes you grab a sweater and think about apple picking and high school football games. The cool days inspired a bit of organization. Don't worry- it didn't result in full on fall cleaning. We straightened up a bit and returned all of the library books, audio books, and DVDs we've amassed this summer. So long, Artemis Fowl. Fare thee well, Geronimo Stilton. Now I need to dust around the book bench, dagnabbit! The kids and I also made our annual school supply shopping trip armed with lists mailed to us by their teachers. I could get on my high horse about suburban teachers requiring expensive and hard to find items like twistable colored pencils, but frankly that high horse is exhausted. Fortunately, the whole $5.49 twistable colored pencil thing didn't kill the joy I get from sniffing new notebooks and organizing folders and loose leaf paper.

One other side effect of this autumnal weather is that it has inspired a whole rash of play dates. My kids have been hanging out with friends like crazy before homework and soccer practice get in the way. A few days ago, I had three boys building a fort in my yard and three girls playing "Adoption Center" with baby dolls in the house. And while I know it would have made Gloria Steinem wince, I let everyone stay in their little gender role boxes. In fact, I eavesdropped a bit on the adoption center, and it was more compelling than any soap opera I have ever seen! After that, I provided conditioner for a Barbie makeover. Yesterday, it was girls baking cupcakes in the kitchen while little boys ran through the room with paper towel tube light sabers. I tried to mix it up some by having the boys help decorate the cupcakes. They did so while saying, "Sayonara, sucker!" to every sprinkle they ate and by coming up with synonyms for "constipation" and "diarrhea." Won't their language arts teachers be pleased with their verbal skills next week?

Here's hoping that the weather stays cool enough that they don't resent climbing aboard the big yellow bus next week, but not so cool that it ruins recess, because everyone knows that recess is the best part of the day!

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