Next year, Back To School is going to go smoother, (I say, despite the fact that for the first time ever, I will have TWO children going to school.) Whatever, a girl can dream. You could assume that Back To School did not go smoothly for me this year. You would be correct.
All summer I would mention that we should get school supplies, waiting for it to be a priority for other people in my family. It never was. So, two nights before school started I went out to a big box store to get the supplies. I had a gift card and the store was open late. Win/Win, I thought.
Except, I couldn’t even complete 25% of the list there, as everything was totally picked over and out of stock.
I went home feeling frustrated and dejected. I didn’t have time to go shopping and not get what I needed. It had been a busy week and we had a guest staying with us, so I was feeling totally overwhelmed.
The next morning (which, if you are following the timeline happens to be the day before school started), the three kids and I went out and completed school supply shopping. I even got a new lunch bag for Cameron, since he had worn his out last year. I paid for the supplies and headed to the car. Later that night, after the kids were in bed, I pulled the bag of supplies from the car and realized that the new lunch bag had not come home with us.
School was starting in 12 hours. I still needed to label everything. I didn’t have the time let alone the budget to pay for a lunch bag and not have it.
This is pretty much how Back To School went for me. But that’s not all:
- We didn’t wear the new clothes we had bought and saved for the first day of school. The long sleeves and jeans would never work in the ridiculous humidity that has been hanging over Nova Scotia for the past week.
- Cameron’s new Back To School indoor sneakers have laces. My job this summer was to teach him to tie them… Cameron went to school in his old sneakers.
- My kids are used to getting ready to leave in the morning to take their Dad to work. But for some reason, they couldn’t get it together the morning of the first day of school. They fought and refused to listen.
- Logan, my 1-and-a-half-year-old, tipped his chair backwards at the breakfast table.
- He also locked my iPhone immediately before I was going to do First Day of School photos.
- The kids couldn’t figure out that if they would just SMILE FOR ME, the photos would be done in a quarter of the time.
- I almost forgot about the chalkboard.
Needless to say, it took a lot of mishaps to make Back To School look easy.
One of the things we had on our Back To School checklist was getting the kids’ eyes checked. We got it done the Friday before school started and as you can imagine, I almost completely screwed that up too. I had an appointment for both Cameron and Gavin. Life was going swimmingly before the appointment: I had planned a lunch picnic downtown. We played some Pokémon Go and then drove to our local Atlantic Superstore* for the appointment at the Optical Department. We were early so I let the kids nap in the car.
As the appointment time drew nearer, I had the sinking feeling that I might not have the kids’ health cards. MSI covers eye appointments for Canadian kids if they haven’t had one in a year. Thanks to a baby who likes to pull cards out of my wallet and a very hasty purse-purge the previous day, I could only guess where those health cards might be. I tore apart my wallet but only found Gavin’s card. It was expired. Cameron’s was nowhere to be found**.
As I got the kids out of the car, I did discover a dirty diaper that couldn’t wait. I forgot to bring diapers with me, so we ran into Superstore, purchased some diapers and wipes, ran to the washroom, and then ran to the opposite side of the building to get to the Optical Department just in time. I sheepishly explained that I only had one expired health card, but I was pretty sure the other kid’s card was active and could I call with the number when I got home? Gavin couldn’t get checked with an expired health card but they did check out Cameron’s vision, which was important to me since Cam is the one who was about to start school.
There are so many great reasons why Back To School is a great time to get an eye exam for your child. Vision changes can occur without anyone even noticing while negatively impacting learning and other activities like sports. While you can watch for the signs of vision problems — such as having trouble reading; sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close; frequent eye rubbing; sensitivity to light or excessive tearing; closing one eye to read or watch TV, avoiding using a computer because it hurts eyes; having trouble seeing the chalkboard; and a sudden drop in grades — it is still important to get kids’ eyes checked annually. In fact, (and this was a surprise for me – I guess I should make an appointment for Logan when we go back to get Gavin’s eyes tested,) experts recommend that children begin yearly eye exams at 6-month of age! This is because eye exams can also detect signs of other conditions such as diabetes, Vitamin A deficiency, high blood pressure, retinal diseases, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and tumours.
Now that Back To School and Everything Else has started, let this be your reminder to call and book your child’s eye exam. Getting them done at the beginning of the school year is a great habit to get into and it ensures that kids start the school and sports year off “looking” and seeing their best! And not only are Loblaw Optical Department super convenient (nothing like an emergency diaper change), they also offer the Kids See Free program that provides children from the ages 4-10 years old with one pair of free eyeglasses up to $49.00 and kids safe polycarbonate lenses for free. This program is available at Optical Departments located in Loblaw stores, such as the Atlantic Superstore.
*Well, the most local one that had an Optical Department.
**After getting home and searching everywhere for the health card, I eventually found it… in my wallet.
This post was sponsored by Loblaw in partnership with their Optical team. In exchange for this post, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.