Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's in the bag!

It’s almost time. It will be here before we know it… the end of the school year (insert ‘Death Star’ music from Star Wars here ;).

Okay, okay, I admit… it’s time. Time for homework to not be an issue. Time to not have to get up early every morning. Time to not have to pack lunches.

And most importantly, time to retire the smelly, disgusting backpacks.

We start each school year with pristine, new backpacks, emblazoned with their names, packed neatly with supplies and a brand new lunch box featuring: the latest Disney tween movie for Josie (you know: ‘High School Musical VI: The Gang Graduates Community College’), and something with G.I. Joe, Ninja turtles or Power Heroes (basically anything that Mommy can’t remember the names of…) for Davis. New water bottles tucked securely in the side pockets, the front zipper pouch housing a healthy snack for morning snacktime, and folders that don’t look like they’ve sat under a wet towel for 3 days.

Fast forward to May… and frankly, I’m a little terrified to open the kids’ backpacks on any given day (more ‘Death Star’ music here).

And I frequently don’t. It is solely their responsibility when they get home from school to take out their folder, file it in their ‘inbox’, put their lunchbox in the pantry, and hang their backpack on their hook in the laundry room (hey, I figure they have to do it at school… they can do it at home, too!)

Sooo, rarely do I even have to look in their backpacks. But on the occasions when I do, I have discovered that Josie keeps a veritable treasure trove in her backpack of ‘beautiful gems’ (otherwise known as rocks), books, tiny stuffed animals, and itty bitty pencil erasers in the shapes of watermelon slices and gumball machines.

Aaaand last week? Why, a shard of broken glass, of course. Yep. A piece of green glass that she undoubtedly spied on the walk home, and decided that she just *had* to have it because it was so pretty and sparkly!

***Sidenote: Now, I know my beer bottles (c’mon… you KNOW I do!), and I’m pretty certain it was from a Heineken bottle (which had most likely been swiped from dad’s garage refrigerator to be consumed in the park by a group of obnoxious teenagers).

But, anyway, there it lay, in the bottom of my child’s backpack, just waiting to send me to the emergency room for a couple dozen stitches and a tetanus shot.

Davis, on the other hand, has a 6 month collection of crushed snacks in the bottom of his backpack. Don’t want to eat those animal crackers, son? Well, don’t throw them out! Just crush them beyond recognition in the Zip-loc baggy they’re in, and throw the baggy back into the backpack. You know how hard it is to get all that sand out of your car after you go to the beach? Well, D’s backpack is full of ‘cracker sand’. Which turns into ‘cracker mud’ when his water bottle leaks as a result of throwing his backpack into the trees at the park. (Don’t ask.)

But yesterday was the worst. I have mentioned that the kids know to take out their folders, homework and lunchboxes when they get home from school. I have made my expectations very clear. Looking back, I guess I should have included ‘wet socks’ on that list.

Because when I unzipped the boy’s backpack on Monday morning, I discovered the socks he’d worn to Wellness Day on Friday. They had gotten soaked in the water games, and evidently he’d taken them off and shoved them into the bottom of his bag… where they had fermented… all weekend. The smell was a heady mix of wet dog, mildew and sour milk. I practically passed out.

Honestly, school better let out soon… between the disgusting socks and the broken glass, these backpacks may just be the death of me. (Does anybody else hear that damn music?! ;)


Jen said...

Maybe next year you need to have a more detailed list of what you want them to take out of their backpacks, or you do the whole checking deal like you do with the toothpaste:) Miss them all and can't wait to see them!!

Shanda Boatright said...

Too funny! Thanks for the laugh. I needed it!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm a wuss and leave his backpack responsibilities to myself, but the not getting up in the morning and the not fighting about the reading homework is just about to drive me nuts. DONE already!

Laurie K said...

I've volunteered at the schools and had to help the kids dig through backpacks like that. Even worse are the ones who come from smoking homes. Yukkkkk.

FYI - For the past couple of years, Nike has made a mesh backpack that has good support. It's a must-have for those wonderful after-athletics clothes.