When we first moved to town the boys had a preschool teacher who would regularly send home all their creations with a note attached: Parents, please pay attention to how you “recycle” the kids’ artwork. Nobody wants to see their creations in the trash.
And each and every time one of my kids tearfully pulls a crappy crayon stick figure drawing, or a piece of paper covered in three glued-on foam triangles out of the garbage (“Mummy, how could you?”), I wish to God I’d listened to her.
I particularly hate this time of year because for a week the kids come home with their backpacks full of stuff that has no business being anywhere other than the trash. Sometimes you get a teacher who has the kids make a portfolio of their greatest hits, but more often than not, you get manilla folders stuffed with spelling lists, math worksheets and endless partially-filled composition notebooks. (Are my kids colossal underachievers? Is there a child out there who has ever filled one of these notebooks?) Believe me, I love seeing what my kids are doing at school, I just don’t understand why everything they touch has to find its way back to me like a homing pigeon.
This is what my recycling looked like today:
I have to take it out or risk being caught. And even though I save a good amount, I am certain that one of them will ask me for that one work-sheet I trashed, or the one story that didn’t quite make the cut.
I made my last lunches of the year last night. I am sure at one point I cared what I shoved into those lunchboxes, but I think I gave Francie a diet coke, an unpeeled carrot (hey, if it’s good enough for the rabbit), some chocolate chips, and a handful of pistachio nuts. There’s a part of me that’s relieved that school is over because I’ll be freed from the yoke of lunches, but as a friend pointed out to me today — I still have to feed them when they’re home.
I hope they like diet coke and pistachios.