Thursday, August 06, 2009

It takes less planning to go to the moon…

…than it does to get four kids back in school.

I am hating this week. Hating. It. All the Denizens start school next week, which means that this week is the week when I start getting enormous packages in the mail – or worse, tiny postcards telling me to come on down anytime between 8:15 and 8:45 / 11:15 – 2:45 Monday, Tuesday or Friday (except every other Friday, which is Furlough Friday) (why no, we can’t put actual dates on that…it’s just every other Friday and you get to find out whether this is an ‘on’ or ‘off’ date by showing up and finding the doors locked! Or, not!), or, 9:00 – 11:27 Wednesday, OR, failing that, 1:29 – 3:18 Thursday, to pick up the packet.

Pickup truck with 8’ bed recommended.

Each of these packets contains approximately 62,000 pages I am supposed to fill out with the same information. Name, age, address, phone number, emergency contact information, mom and dad name, phone numbers, employer, blah blah blah . {flip to next page} Name, age, address, phone number, emergency contact information, mom and dad name, phone numbers, employer, blah blah blah.

Huh? Didn’t I just give you all that?!

Now, it may occur to one that this is stupid and also lame and that one is not going to enable the Crazy here by filling out the exact.same.information fifty-seven times.

One had better not act on this thought. One had better dutifully fill out each and every single line. Do not write “please see above” or “same” or “for the love of Mike, why don’t you people just look at the previous page?!?!”

They will send you a whole new packet OH YES THEY WILL!, telling you that the previous paperwork was not filled out appropriately and thus was discarded and/or lost.

It’s like they’re punishing you for attempting to shirk your work by making you write, “I will not attempt to apply common sense to the school enrollment process” six hundred times after school. Seriously.

Did they see a dentist? Dentist needs to fill out this form. Vaccination report, with scary flyers about how many kids in our district contracted Vampirism last year due to LACK OF VACCINATIONS ooooooooooh, SCARY!!! Pediatrician needs to sign here, here aaaaaand here. (The pediatrician’s office charges me $15 to do this, by the way. For each child. Sigh.)

And I have to do this for each Denizen. PLUS, of course, Captain Adventure has all kinds of extra fun and excitement. Copies of his IEP. Bus schedules. Last second teacher changes. Asking me fifteen times if he is potty trained yet - like the answer is going to change if they just keep asking. (If. Only.)

I guess my problem is that know that it is possible to put together an online form where I could go input all this information, for all the Denizens, one (1) time and have it populate out to all those flip-flangin’ forms for them to print at their convenience (and far more legibly, I might add) (but without my occasional artistic doodles, which would of course be a sad, sad loss to the art world).

But think of all the other things they wouldn’t have to put up with…like having to figure out what I mean when I say that the language my children speak at home is “American.”

Oh, it may have its roots in English, but the language we speak in these here parts ain’t no proper English no more. (Ugh…OK, that actually kind of hurt me to type…casual relationship with Proper English and all, ‘ain’t no…no more…’? Owies…)

Anywho, and be that as it may, I suspect the middle school will understand perfectly when I say the language Eldest most often uses at home is Long Suffering Sigh, with a secondary languages of Eye Roll, Shrug, Grunt…a.k.a., American Pre-Teen.

And then we have the added fun of the Swine Flu thing…oh wait, I forgot to say that properly…the SWINE FLU AAH! H1! AAH! N1! AAH! SWINE FLU! AAAAAAAAAAH! thing.

If I see one more flyer about the seriousness of how seriously they are taking the serious business of serious sanitation and serious planning for the serious probable school closures, I may just puke.

Oh wait. Better not. They’ll think I have SWINE FLU AAH! H1! AAH! N1! AAH! SWINE FLU! AAAAAAAAAAH! and then the Den of Chaos will be under quarantine for sixty months or something.

I appreciate the head’s up that the school may be closed without warning for three weeks or more if a “serious” outbreak occurs. But seriously – you can stop now. Anybody who hasn’t gotten the memo at this point isn’t going to get it because they live in a cave.

Meanwhile, in spite of having sixteen pickup truck loads of paper stacked up all over the house, do you know what I do not have?

Room assignments. Classroom supply lists. No way of knowing which kids will need binders and paper, and which will need notebooks, and which will need composition books. #2 pencils? Dry erase boards? Pens? No pens? Colored pencils? Crayons?

I don’t even know what time Eldest will be starting in the morning. Or getting out. She’s in GATE, which may (or may not) have a different schedule than the regular student body, which apparently may also vary depending on each individual’s class schedule.

I also do not know what time Captain Adventure's bus is going to swing by to pick him up Monday morning. Can they give me a clue, a hint, a sign, A TIME?!

Oh no. The driver hasn't done her "trial run" yet. She has until Friday.

You know, the last weekday before he goes back to school...?

Sigh. They just love giving my poor, drab little life a few splashes of color. Isn't that sweet of them? (At least I was able to confirm that he IS on the list and WILL be picked up, unlike summer session where they sorta-kinda FORGOT him...)

Still. You know. Only six more days to…


Unknown said...

In contrast to all the swine flu/sanitation info, I received a bulleting in a teacher publication about having a "green" classroom. One of the 5 suggestions was to do away with anything disposable--cups, utensils, etc., and collect a set of reusable eating accessories for the classroom. While this may be green, it also strikes me as being very germy, particularly since we don't have any way to actually wash them properly. I suppose we could use hand sanitizer. . . .

Stephanie said...

I bet if you put together that online form yourself and charged, say, $5 a pop for other parents to use it, you could pay for all of your school supplies from now through high school graduation. Because you are not nearly busy enough already.

Jeanne said...

my question is, what did they do with this same info, for this same child, for the same school that I have filled out 4 years in a row????? Could we possibly keep the info and maybe save a forest or 2?r

Rena said...

yep, just got my papers yesterday. Exact same forms for the exact same school for the exact same child. Because obviously I have nothing better to do with my time.

But lets us remember how this redundancy is probably keeping some poor secretary employed. She gets to input all this data.

Jenn C. said...

Wow, this makes me very glad I have one kid. Who goes to a school where we do only have to fill out one form. I'd tear my hair out if it was for more than one.

froggiemeanie said...

School doesn't start for my eldest till September 21st. SEPTEMBER TWENTY-FIRST! They have 'staggered entry' for kindergartners so she doesn't officially start till then. Can I have my rubber room now? On the upside, I haven't yet received any forms to fill out.

Steph B said...

You have just completely reinforced my decision to continue homeschooling. At least until I go bonkers and run screaming down the middle of the road around the middle of November. Then I may want some forms to fill out. Or not. :-)

knitinsage said...

this stuff drives me crazy. i have actually used those address labels you get free in the mail to stick onto forms. especially the ones with separate address sections for the child, mom and then dad.

for field trip forms, which involve getting out the medical insurance card for EVERY SINGLE TRIP, filling in the number, etc., i have a solution that no one has complained about yet: i have scanned in the family insurance card, typed in my usual disclaimer about calling a plastic surgeon for any facial injury, scanned in my signature (yes i'm that lazy) and printed all that on shipping labels. every time one of those forms come home, i just peel and stick.

there. i have defied the man. ;-)

Sungld said...

I think knitinsage has something there - that sounds right up DenOfChaos' alley.
I would remind you to take a deep breath, but you are probably already hyperventilating. Sigh.