And with school comes PTA, no, not PTSD, but PTA.
Do you know what PTA means?
I always thought it meant "Parents to Avoid" because the first meeting I went to, it was like going to a bar on a bender. I walked in there thinking, "this is 15 minutes of my time" walking out 2 and a half hours later, waking up the next morning realizing I signed up for three different committees.
Then I realized it meant, "Pass the Alcohol" because you need quite a few drinks to get through these meetings. Mary Lou and Dara arguing about the size of the plastic penguins for the fundraising giveaway for an hour when they finally settle and you think you are free to go someone says, "OK, time to move onto new business!"
Oh and yes, Pass the Alcohol when it comes to fundraisers. You'll need a good buzz to ask your coworkers to spend 1,476 dollars on wrapping paper and keep a straight face because believe me, your child with want the 1 1/4inch penguin rewards for fundraising.
It could also mean, "Psst, They're Active!" This means use every avoidance possible. The minute any type of volunteer activity comes up during a PTA meeting, get out of there as quickly as possible, even if it means pulling the fire alarm! If you volunteer for one, then you're part of THAT call list, not the PTA - parents to Avoid but Parents That Act and you'll never get off that list, even when they switch schools, I moved counties and schools and one parent came up to me saying, "Are you Kelly? Everyone at School So and So said you are amazing, would you like to come to the school at 445am to setup for Teacher Appreciation?"
I paid my dues as a PTA Mom, I was that parent, the "go to" parent, setting up the omelet chef at 430am for Teacher Appreciation, putting together snacks for the class because some dumb ass forgot it was their Holiday on the Parent Rotation Calendar. Getting out of my car walking up to the jacked up truck with the twin American flags flying in the bed, not worried I could be a victim of road rage, but knowing it was my duty reminding the Jackass "Dude! We all got the call that you cannot make a left into the school parking lot at any time during carpool. You're screwing up our carpool line!"
If you don't want to become like me, then remember. The first week of school is when PTA smells blood in the water. They find every new parent at the school starting with a friendly, "What's your name? Who's your child at the school? What grade? Do they like their teacher?"
Then fifteen minutes later you are chairing the cookie dough fundraising committee and team Mom over the Shooting for the Stars Homecoming dance which means 1,987 stars, 16 pounds of glitter for the floor and hiring the actor for the talking moon that levitates across the dance floor.
If you want to volunteer, make sure you know what you are getting into. One year I volunteered for the Book Fair, sounds pretty easy right and I love books. After signing my name, I was given the binder of how to setup the book fair, yes the binder. Took a class in cash control, became a notary and learned a second language for the Spanish section of the book fair.
If you get caught in the front office by that PTA Mom, Do what I do.....
"Do you want to join the we know you're busy but want you to spend the rest of your time at the school committee?"
Me: "Uh, I'm working part time, I don't think I can do it. Can I be a $15 honorary member?"
Her: "Oh we don't do that. If you don't have time because of work how about the lets spend every evening at the school working on some dumb shit committee?"
Me: "Wow that sounds tempting but maybe the $25 I'm trying to get out of this member?"
Her: "Well that sounds good but we always need help on the don't clean your house clean the school and playground weekend duty?" She smells the blood in the water, she'll know I'll cave.
Me: "How about the $100 I'll do carpool line once a month member?"
Her: "Perfect, I'll write you down. What's your email so we can send you emails of all the wonderful upcoming volunteer events at the school?"
Me: "Thanks! Here's your check. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org"
See, it works every time!
Coming up next PTA and the School Dance, yeah, we have to go there, my PTSD is kicking in with this Trigger.
Welcome to back to school!