Sorting Schoolbags by cartoonist Maeve O’Keeffe

Cartoonist, Cork

Sorting schoolbags can be stressful!

Sorting schoolbags can be stressful!

It’s back to school time this week.  I’m ‘up the walls’ trying to label and cover schoolbooks, stitch up frayed school jumpers, sort out lunchboxes, ensure the kids have enough pencils, biros, erasers and so forth in their pencil cases.  Damn! Forgot to get rulers and set squares, not to mention more hardcover copybooks.  Does the list ever end?  There’s that calculator I didn’t get and Junior’s novel for English class that was out of stock.  What else?  Must stitch on name-tags to his new school jacket – don’t want that to get lost in the first week.  

The kids are still in bed, enjoying their last morning of holiday freedom before it’s back to the routine of early starts, juggling subjects, lugging books and homework.  Or at least, me as mammy nagging them to do it!  This is a special time as Junior, my youngest, will be starting Secondary school.  I can’t believe we’ve finished with Primary school.  A new start is exciting and luckily, some of his friends are also going to the same place which should make the transition easier.  But heck, it’s expensive.  He needs a completely new set of books for thirteen subjects.  Subject curriculums change and old editions of perfectly good textbooks won’t do.  With this scenario, old books typically can’t be handed down, so the cost mounts up.

Daughter has surfaced.  “Great, you can help by covering your own books,” I state.  “Oh, do they HAVE to be covered?” the bleary-eyed teen moans.  Grrr!  I give the lecture about “These books have to last you for two years.  They cost a lot. LOOK AFTER THEM.”  Do mothers have to do everything?  No way.  Brace myself.  Deep breath – be not afraid to confiscate game consoles, embrace nagging mode and get the kids to sort their own schoolbags!

Yep, back to school is an expensive and stressful time, but whatever about the kids starting back, it’s especially stressful for the parents!

Maeve O’Keeffe, the Frazzled Mammy!   ©Maeve O’Keeffe 2014

Maeve O’Keeffe is a Cartoonist, Illustrator and Journalist in Cork, Ireland 

Contact by e-mail or tweet @frazzled_mammy

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