Getting Ready for Back to School in 60 Easy Steps

1. Place booklists in a safe place in June.

2. Forget where the safe place was in July. Tear house apart to find one stuck to the fridge and the other in your handbag.

3. Realise four minutes later that you had taken photos of them in case you lost them.

4. Smugly purchase twistables and a pencil case in Tesco the first week of the school holidays.

5. Order schoolbooks online before the early ordering discounts run out. Get confused comparing all the early ordering discounts. Forget to hit confirm until the day after the discounts expire.

6. Order what uniform bits you can online while the order early discounts still apply.

7. Remember that you’ll be on holiday when they will arrive so contact the supplier to change the delivery address.

8. Get the other uniform bits locally. We went to our preferred local supplier on a sunny day 20 minutes before closing time, so the place was empty. Win.

9. Remember that your kids will HATE the feeling of scratchy jumpers at 5.30pm when they are tired and hungry and have only worn shorts and t-shirts for the last month.

10. Don’t decide to quit when you’re ahead and bring them schoolbag shopping the same evening. Or attempt to.

11. Leave prospective schoolbag shop with screaming child who threatens to phone the police if you don’t buy him a toy right now.

12. Go home, the smugness of having the uniforms bought in July only slightly marred by the crying child and the hungry toddler who insists on helping with dinner.

13. Take delivery of the books from the postman.

14. Feel super organised.

15. Get commissioned to write an article about back to school sharing your tips. Laugh. Agree to do it and a photo-shoot too.

16. Buy school shoes on the morning of the photo-shoot in July a nice, sunny day when the shops are empty.

17. Feel shocked when the boys choose sensible shoes that I don’t need to argue about. (Thanks Jack Nano)

18. Buy green sparkly runners for non-school going child as she really wants them, needs waterproof shoes and they are AMAZINGLY cute. (mostly the last one).

How could you not buy these?

19. Tell children not to test their new school shoes on the nice shop lady’s couch.

20. Confirm to children that they don’t actually need to test if they are good for climbing couches. Or walls. Or shop fittings.

21. Notice less than half price pair of sandals for self in shoe shop as I am about to pay.

22. Try them on while children run up and down the shop and jump from couch to couch.

23. Vow never to buy shoes for self in the company of three children again.

24. Admire very cheap sandals on my feet, note that I should reapply nail polish, decide to purchase sandals.

25. Agree to buy schoolbag child requests in shoe shop rather than ever have to bring three children out of the house at the same time every again.

26. Delight when the shop assistant shows the child that the schoolbag is battery operated and has lights that flash.

It is a pretty cool schoolbag alright

27. Recoil in horror at the amount of money requested for the three pairs of shoes, one pair of less-than-half-price sandals and a battery-operated flashing schoolbag.

28. Hang the biggest paper bag in the world on the buggy. Then remove it as each child now wants to carry their own shoes since the toddler is still wearing her sparkly ones.

29. Herd children towards lift to go to Food Court.

30. Buy lunch for all for less than the cost of a battery-operated flashing schoolbag.

31. Delight as the children find a play area and all start colouring together nicely.

32. Order a frappuccino as a congratulations for getting the jobs done.

33. Draft blogpost in head while queuing for the fancy iced coffee drink, waving to children playing delightfully.

34. Look down at phone. Look up and notice toddler standing on wall that is much taller than herself, and shout at her to get down.

35. Run to save her as she wobbles.

36. Ignore dirty look from man in golf jumper in queue behind me as I abandon queue for child related reasons.

37. Ignore dirty look from man in golf jumper in queue behind me as I rejoin queue.

38. Order delightfully fancy iced coffee drink.

40. Greet child who runs over to advise that the toddler has “dung”.

41. Remember that it’s been a few days since she has. And that the nappy-bag is in the car.

42. Ignore cranky comment from man in golf jumper in queue behind me as the cashier had tried to get my attention while the dung news was being relayed.

43.  Pay for fancy coffee drink and smile sweetly and man in golf jumper as I walk away.

44. Drink fancy coffee drink quickly, and out of sniffing distance of toddler.

The delicious drink

45. Herd children back to car-park.

46. Pay for parking and agree that eldest child can hold parking chip coin token required to get out of car park as long as he holds it very tightly.

47. Change “dung”, fold buggy, strap three children and self into car.

48. Ask eldest for chip coin.

49. Try not to explode when eldest says that he can’t remember where it is.

50. Get out of car, remove buggy and search for chip coin.

51. Get slightly annoyed with eldest. Raise voice.

52. Notice man in golf jumper from foodcourt approaching in car park.

53. Make eldest search around his seat again.

54. Ignore man in golf jumper’s dirty looks as he gets into the jeep that is parked next to my car.

55. Eldest declares the chip coin is nowhere to be found.

56. Find chip coin in lining of eldest’s booster seat.

57. Leave carpark. Send text to husband about how great I am.

58. Remember that I still need to get 3 junior grip pencils.

59. And attach the labels to the clothes.

60. Promise self a large glass of wine when they’ve all gone to bed.

The effing chipcoin. I knew once we found it that the blogpost would require it, so I photographed it.


Voting remains open in the Boots maternity & infant awards where I’m a finalist in the Best Parenting Blog category. I’d really appreciate your vote if you enjoy the blog and have a moment.  You can vote HERE. THANKS!


  1. I love being a Grandad!

  2. Pingback: Irish Parenting Bloggers | Weekly Round Up – 16th August 2015

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