Ready for school? Take this quiz and see.

The department stores have been ready since the middle of May. The clothing catalogues have been ready since early June. The teachers have been ready for close to 72 hours now.  How about you, mom? Are you ready for BACK-TO-SCHOOL?

Here’s a quick quiz to find out how much gin to buy:


Clothing! Are you ready?

(a) Your school doesn’t require uniforms, but you do. Your children’s outfits for the next three months are chosen, monogrammed, pressed, and shrink-wrapped (with alternates for unexpected nippy weather) in a special digitized wardrobe that automatically yanks garments out of rotation if anyone in (ugh) public school is seen wearing them.

(b) Each kid owns enough clothes to go all week without wearing anything with holes, obvious stains, or beer slogans.

(c) You really need to stop stalling and get the winter clothes sorted and put away.

Lunches! Are you ready?

(a) You spent the summer perfecting the spreadsheets that tell you when to place bulk orders at Whole Foods so that the everyday staple pantry items (quinoa, bulgur, kefir, quingur, bulfir, and kefoa, which is pronounced “feh”) dovetail with the seasonal produce you expect to harvest from your garden, which you water using barrels that collect your hot yoga sweat, which, not to brag, is quite organic.

(b) You have a general idea of what your kids like to eat, and you try to pack it for lunch. If they don’t gobble up every bit of their packed lunch, they can always fill up on PBJ when they get home.

(c) You give yourself a gold star every time the school doesn’t send home a note saying, “Braedonica only had a pickled cocktail onion and a baggie of dog food in her lunch again. Please remember nutrition matters for young brains, sadface!”
By gold star, you mean “martini.”

Transportation! Are you ready?

(a) Yes, there is a bus that will pick up your child and bring her home, but, chérie, yellow is just not her color. So you’ve hired a dedicated Lyft driver for the morning and afternoon commute. He only drives an Audi, though, and that’s how it’s going to stay until a certain little offspring nudges that GPA up above 3.8.

(b) You’re going to be the mom waiting at the bus stop in a robe, or occasionally that mom driving frantically to school in a robe. So you’re not morning people, so big deal.

(c) You are seriously considering buying an RV and just living behind the school’s swing set until next June, because you’re really, really, really not morning people.

Homework! Are you ready?

(a) Per the training your child has received since he was at four months’ gestation, he doesn’t even want to play, snack, rest, or goof off until homework is completed, double-checked, initialed by both parents, autoclaved, and stowed away safely in the lightweight titanium binder etched with “For Your Consideration, Magister.”

(b) Your kids know they are expected to keep up with their work. They also know that Mom will forget to ask if they have homework half the time, and they only really have to do it when Daddy comes home before bedtime, because Daddy Always Remembers. Doing a little over half their homework earns them a solid C-, which is their version of the American dream.

(c) You know what we do for homework around here? We endure. That’s what we do for homework. Initial that, pal.

Extracurricular activities! Are you ready?

(a) It’s so hard, isn’t it? You beg and plead for the children to just relax and be kids, or at least choose an after-school club that is just plain fun, but every year it’s the same thing: “Motherrr, we simply can’t turn our backs on our commitment to fostering functional STEM literacy among the unwed pregnant cat population. Be the change you wish to see, Motherrr!” they say.
You worry, but you’re also proud. So proud.

(b) Each kid gets to do one thing, and that’s it. There’s only so much extra driving and extra check-writing you can stand.

(c) Extracurricular? As in besides school? They want us to do a whole other thing? Does weeping quietly in a corner count as extracurricular? Because we can do that.

Traditional Beginning-of-the-year Teacher Gift Ideas! Are you ready?

(a) Wait, what?
(b) Come on.
(c) Kill me.



If you answered mostly (a), you are so ready, it’s already next year, so why not stay home and read back issues of GOOP by the light of your own intense awesomeness?
If you answered mostly (b), you are like 90% of the population, so relax.
If you answered mostly (c), you can hang around with my awful kids, and we’ll all feel better.

Image by ThoseGuys119 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

A version of this post ran in 2016. So sue me. 

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10 thoughts on “Ready for school? Take this quiz and see.”

  1. I let my kids wear whatever they want to school. All that I require is that they are clean and behave politely. I gave my 7th kid a noogie yesterday and there was sandy grit under my knuckles. I said, “but you just took a shower!” He rolled his eyes and said, “yeah, but I didn’t try that hard.” I love and hate summer.

  2. We have school uniforms in Australia. Public, Private don’t matter- they all wear uniforms. Only the Steiner schools wear their own clothes (but they also don’t step on bugs or ants or believe in grades because it “limits” a child 🙄).

    We are currently in the drudge of the middle of the school year (our school year goes by the calendar year not the northern hemisphere “Financial year”), because our summer is in December.

    Our dilemma with uniforms is the Sunday night ironing of blouses and shoe polishing and the notes you get home telling you the tights your daughter is wearing are the wrong shade of navy. *Sigh* Cause you know getting the right shade of navy blue will prepare them for he real world.

    Oh, and our school doesn’t have a Canteen, only the occasional sports fundraiser pizza day etc… But everything else is same same. I think my kids are sick of meat lovers Dominoes pizza.

    Found the extracurricular one most relatable. With 4 kids with activities ranging from ballet to basketball and soccer, I honestly think Ive driven around the world 3 times. But admittedly,I mix it up- drive them in the mornings, catch a bus in the afternoons. But not in my robe cause my mum scared the hell out of me when I got my drivers licence as a young adult “never drive without shoes or in your pyjamas incase you get pulled over by the police and have to do a Alcohol Test and the Officer asks you to get out of your car and walk in a straight line- he (or she) will see you in your pyjamas! 🙀).”

    But seriously, keeping up with the kids and their school requirements is a full-time job! Simcha, I don’t know how you do it with more than double the number of kids I have. Hats off.

  3. For just two weeks of my life – call it a bucket list item, if you wish – I’d love to be able to answer mostly (a). What an adventure that would be! What a mind-blowing experience!

    And I think I wouldn’t call it “two weeks” during those two weeks. I think I’d say “fortnight”.

      1. We don’t have goats…but we have chickens!

        Gosh, I’m two weeks into our ‘school’ year, and my kids aren’t really on anything approximating a schedule. It’s preschool, so I’m getting away with it, but yeesh.

        My husband teaches at a public high school, so we have some of the ‘school’ drama too. Im trying to get back into the habit of making enough of supper that there’s leftovers for him to take for lunch, and I’ve actually got to stay on top of the laundry. Stakes are slightly higher for us if he shows up to school in a beer slogan shirt. 😛

        1. Schedules are overrated. I prefer the term “routine without a clock.”

          Besides homeschooling, my husband and I both work at home. Neither of us has ever worked in pajamas. We don’t own t-shirts with slogans or company names as we have an aversion to providing advertisement without pay. Call us old fashioned.

      2. Yes, we’ve done that. Chickens as well. But since animals are a year-round responsibility, there’s nothing back-to-school about it.

  4. School uniforms are actually awesome if they are not overly-complicated. Navy blue polo shirt (short or long sleeves), khaki pants or shorts. A skirt option for girls if they want it. There are logo sweatshirt/fleece options if desired, but not required. And that’s it for us! Plus, it never gets old telling my kids, “First one out of bed gets a blue polo shirt!”

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