You would think when a girl writes this in September, she would brace herself for the end of the year. You would think wrong. Girlfriend did not have time to brace herself. She was too busy teaching her heart out, her buns off, like her hair was on fire. And now? Now girlfriend isn’t just tired. She is t-i-r-e-d. She is exhausted. She is typing in third person and she doesn’t even care, because she has 11 days left until she does not have to speak to or be in charge of a teenager for two glorious months.
You thought seniriotis was bad? I promise you the seniors have nothing, nothing on the way the teachers are feeling, and they aren’t allowed to organize pranks or walk out of class, or take a long lunch because they have never ever in their whole career done it before, and darn it they deserve it! No, we can’t do that. Because we have to be in charge. It is completely unfair. I mean, we have been the adults in the room every single day for 169 days. When is it our turn to act like the children?
Oh yeah. Never.
The only way I can think to explain the way that I am feeling, is that the giant toddler that lives inside of every one of us, is clawing to get out. I am about three seconds from letting said toddler be in charge. And everyone knows that is a terrible idea. You can’t put the raging toddler in charge of anything. You especially cannot put a raging toddler in charge of mostly grown, but seriously lacking in the frontal-lobe-development-departmet hormone surging teens. You may want to stand at the front of your room and just scream NO! nononononono! NO! at them, but as I tell my toddler, that is not a choice. So, how exactly does one loving teacher who is seriously at the end of her rope, manage to calm the toddler inside down long enough to keep her job for the clean slate that is next
September, (ugh), August? By parenting herself, to the max. When the toddler is in a mood, everyone knows there is really only so much a person can do. And it IS that bad people, I am just trying to parent myself until I can get to beditme, I mean, summer.
Choose Your Battles – As I sing to my kids on a regular basis, You can’t always get what you want. I know you want to function like the fully grown up person that you almost always are, but right now, we are in survival mode. So, (as our van currently plays on repeat) let it go. Feeding your kids cereal and yogurt on the back porch and letting your dog lick them clean will not kill them. Your kids will love it. Wearing those pants that are pajamas but can totally pass as slacks is totally allowed. Drive-thru to get coffee four days this week, even if you and your car-pool agreed that was a Wednesday only activity. You can only tell the toddler no, so many times. Only say no to the desires when said desires will get you fired.
Check Your Schedule – Everyone knows a well rested toddler is a happy one. Take all unnecessary appointments out of your schedule. Re-schedule for June or July. For the love of all things holy, treat bedtime as sacred ground and keep it. Lie to yourself and tuck yourself in a half hour early for your own good. You really need it and it is in everyone’s best interest.
Make The Toddler Giggle – Sometimes, when you get ragey, the only thing left to do is distract yourself. Do whatever it takes to give yourself a laugh. Watch that video you love (again! AGAIN!). Do a dance, listen to your favorite song, run a lap naked and giggling around your house after bath time. Getting the toddler to giggle makes said toddler forget all her previous woes. When something stops working, try something else.
When all else fails, Bribe the toddler – Sometimes you have to, you are at a wedding, you are in public, you need them to take their medicine. EVery parent knows that sometimes you just need to bribe your kid. Take this parenting advice and apply it like no tomorrow. Wine, ice cream, cold press coffee, access to Twitter, just bribe yourself. It is fine. It isn’t forever. Just until grades are due and you don’t have to worry about saying something that might get you fired. (For every hour you manage to not say anything questionable, go ahead and give yourself five m&ms.)
Pull it together fellow teachers. We are almost done. We can do this. We can be the adults for eleven more days. Then we can bribe ourselves with as much wine as summer can handle. Cheers.