Back To School Concerns

Back To School Concerns

This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, and, the return of back to school season. You’re probably knee-deep in it already, as New York is kind of late. Detective Munch doesn’t start until next week.

It’s finally time to say goodbye to leisurely mornings in which I don’t have to scream at my son to put his shoes on and then sprint to the bus stop. Of course, as my son enters the second (!!) grade, I have much bigger concerns than getting out of the house on time.

What are they? I’m glad you asked!

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Over-planned Parenthood

Over-planned Parenthood

My son’s impending entry into Kindergarten is causing a whole host of problems in my life. (Not the least of which will be his eventual ability to read the channel guide as I try to quickly scroll past the names of his garbage programs.)

It’s still six months away and yet it’s already negatively impacting my life. There are all sorts of schedules, and schedules mean planning, and I don’t like planning. I’m supposed to know what I’m doing six months in advance? I don’t even know what I did two days ago, and that was two days! Ago! (I went on a bar crawl, so what did you expect? I’m surprised I’m awake right now.)

But I’m a parent. Of a soon-to-be kindergartener. Planning has become an unavoidable part of my life. I mean, it’s even part of “planning” an escape.

It’s like I’m being mocked.

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School of Block

School of Block

When I was a kid, The Karate Kid was one of my favorite movies. If I’m totally honest, it still is. I see it listed in the channel guide and there’s no way I’m not watching the tournament.

Growing up, I was so enamored with the uplifting tale of Daniel LaRusso’s war against the neo-Nazi community of Southern California that my parents thought I might want to take karate classes. And I would have, if I hadn’t been so terrified of landing in a Cobra Kai-type school with a Vietnam-traumatized sensei who would force me to be racist and do push-ups on my knuckles.

Come on, I was like eight years old. Which I thought was a little young for martial arts. Except almost 30 years later, my son is taking them, and he’s three.

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Toddlers and College Students: Same Difference

Toddlers and College Students: Same Difference

I loved college.

While there are always exceptions, it’s almost hard not to love college. For many kids, it’s the first taste of freedom, a hint of real life without any of the “real” part. You live on your own, you hang out with big groups of friends, you have unfettered access to the opposite sex. Sure, you have some “responsibilities,” but with a little common sense it doesn’t take much to maintain them and still have plenty of time to just have fun.

When you’re in college, you don’t yet know what you don’t know and, as a result, life is blissful. Everything’s in front of you. It’s not until you graduate and spend a few years in the real world that you realize how good you had it.

Being a parent is a different kind of education – one that kind of works in reverse, in that it’s a bit of a grind and you don’t see a lot of the payoff until much later – that’s only if your kids don’t grow up to be assholes. But a good fifteen years removed – and no, I will not be attending any reunions so don’t paw at me with your dirty little guild – I am able to see some similarities between the life of a college student and that of a toddler.

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