Back to School Anxiety Manifested

I am back from a three week hiatus during which I ignored this website, my work life, and my writing and just read, played with my kids, talked to my husband, and tried to tan in the cellulite on the tops of my legs (Why do I still feel that a tan will make me look thinner?! What’s wrong with me?).

But, you all know that school starts to creep up well before the literal first day arrives. My first day back will be Tuesday, August 27th, but about two weeks ago the emails began. I ignored the ones I could and responded to those I couldn’t. I was in North Carolina after all, and between having my kids with me all day long everyday and my mom to talk to all night, I wasn’t on my computer much at all (comparatively speaking).

And then I got home on Wednesday night after a 12 hour drive. I watched four hours of straight TV (True Blood! So cheesy!) until the four cups of Starbucks drained from my body and the vibrating sensation of the steering wheel left my hands. I woke up Thursday to a house full of unpacked bags and I began to CLEAN like the end of days was near and Christ himself was coming to judge my apartment.

This is what I do before school starts. I clean.

And I don’t mean clean like, “Oh, let me do a quick sweep of the house.” I mean clean like, “I am going to crawl under my children’s bunkbeds to wash the baseboards and the entire floor under the bed by hand.”

That’s where I fall on the crazy scale.

In fact, the other night I felt I hit a crazy high and I had to document it. I have a shower curtain in our one bathroom that I LOVE. I think we have had it for five years. It’s black and clear and has animal, flower, and tree silhouettes on it, and it goes perfectly in our black and white bathroom. The kids love it, but it’s not some stupid kid pattern (we only have one bathroom, and I refuse to be accosted by Disney characters or stupidly smiling animals while naked in the morning). I don’t know if I can get another one, and this one was getting mildew-y and gross on the bottom. So I did what any cleaning maniac would do: I took it down, laid it across my kitchen table, and cleaned it with bleach, a sponge, a toothbrush, and a bucket of water.


It totally worked, but as I dug out one of the free toothbrushes our dentist gives us because the sponge wasn’t getting into the bottom lip of the shower curtain, I felt my freak flag alarm go off. “I am totally nuts,” I said to myself. “I am a maniacal control freak….” And I went on surgically removing mildew with the bristels my free Dr. Wong toothbrush.

Tomorrow I’ll tackle the kitchen, where I’ll scrub the grease off the track lighting and the tops of the cabinets, clean the inside of each cabinet, and scrub our trashcan.

Then it’s onto the bedroom on Wednesday (I’m only at work Tuesday & Thursday) and the apartment will be clean. Oh, I forgot the hall–gotta do that, too. My children will be watching a lot of PBS kids. Thank god we live in a 750 square feet apartment.

But the school year’s a-comin’. Ain’t nobody got time for that once school starts.

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