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Mo On The Go

Super Six: BTS Tips

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It's coming...and I can't wait! I loved spending a crazy amount of time with my kids this summer but it feels like it is definitely time to get back to reality.  This year three of my four kids will be in school all day. This is beyond exciting!

Truth be told, we've been getting ready for back to school since July. The backpacks are packed with every supply you can think of, the shoes are sitting gleaming at the front door, just waiting for their big debut, and the clothes are picked out. Thanks to Target for making it so easy to please four very different kids.

Many stress over BTS, so here are my super six tips to make everyone's BTS fun and not frantic.

Tip #1 - One of my kids is SO excited to being going back she has literally been bouncing around this week. For this kid there is no looking back on summer and she is pumped.  She is also the kid that wants to do every activity in the book - dance, swimming, art, music, horseback riding - you name it she is up for it.  Unfortunately, my VISA and my life can't handle that many commitments so we've limited the after school activities to two.  A friend made a great suggestion too, if an activity takes up more than one night it counts as two activities...I have very smart friends.

Tip #2 - Too cool for school. That's my oldest, until you get him shopping.  This boy can shop for anything. Gee, I wonder where he gets that from? This can lead to a very expensive BTS so BEFORE we hit the stores for supplies, clothes or even snacks for lunches, we have a little chat about what we really need and just how much we are going to spend.  I find these little chats in the car BEFORE you go into a store work really well to set everyone's expectations in advance.  Makes me a slightly less mean mom in the end, I think.

Tip #3 - Drop and run. My third baby starts JK this year. Like the first two, she can't wait and is ready to take on the world...oh those poor teachers.  Maybe I should send a bottle of wine for them on the first day.  Kids who are super keen and perfectly happy arriving at school can pull a fast one and turn into a sobbing mess if you don't drop and run.  Ask any teacher - they don't want parents to hang around, you will just make it worse.  Trust me I know how hard it is to leave your baby crying with a stranger but they will be okay and they will have fun.  Repeat after me: "they will be okay and they will have fun." Keep this mantra up and head off to drown your own tears in a latte.

Tip #4 - For the daycare wee ones. Stock up on paper tissues, as the germfest has begun.  Make sure everyone in your family is eating and sleeping well.  It never fails that the runny nose on your toddler will turn into an epic cold once it hits you.  Reinforce the importance of everyone washing their hands, especially when they first arrive home.  I am not a germaphobe at all, but I have seen many a parent go down sick in September thanks to the daycare cold. 

Tip #5 - Stay at home little guys. Ah, the wee ones too young for school who now find themselves missing a sibling or three.  Without other kids to play with guess, who they will be looking at to entertain them? That's right, you! Be prepared and sign the pair of you up for a class. Check out local libraries and bookstore for free storytimes (and please share the ones you find here on WeeWelcome.ca so other parents can find them too).  A break from being the one mom or dad show can really make the day more fun for both of you!

Tip #6 - Yuck. I hate to even think of this one but it is the sad truth of September. It is lice time. Kids gather all summer at camps and activities and they share lots of things with each other, including nasty little bugs you will cringe at finding on your child's head.  So what to do? Check your children's heads often for the first few weeks of school.  If you find a tiny bug, or the nits (little yellowish-white eggs, that stick to your child's hair about an inch from the scalp), don't panic. You knew this day was coming.  First thing you do is get a metal nit comb, this is one tool they should just hand out to parents on the first day of school.  The second thing you do is get some thick white conditioner.  Wet your child's hair and put in tons of white conditioner, then sit your child on a chair in good light and start combing.  As you comb the conditioner through the hair it will help the comb slide nicely pulling those gross eggs and bugs along with it.  Wipe the conditioner off the comb after each swipe on a clean white towel.  Look for little yellowish-brown specs, those are the nits. Trust me, you will know when you get the lice bugs.  Once you don't find anything when combing the child's whole head, you are done, well for the day.  You now have the pleasure of repeating this bonding time with your child until you don't find any nits or lice.

Are you looking forward to your kids going back or do you wish summer was just a bit longer?

Disclosure: Our friends at Target sent my kids the seriously cute back to school clothes featured in the photos in this blog.  As aways the tips are all my own.  Except the one about the two activity limit, that came from my friend and mom of four Kathy Buckworth.

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