August 20, 2012

Surviving the First Week of School

As summer winds down and we return from our month-long trip, reality starts to set in as I realize the boys start school this week.  Never mind the packed suitcases still lining the hallway, and the chaos that I'd left around the house in piles before we even left for our trip, I'm talking about a real craving for coffee when I even begin to think about a 7:40 am school start time.  Not to mention the panic that sets in when I start gathering all the forms, meds, and everything else I need to alert the boys' teachers of their food allergies, and then realize there's a glitch with the insurance for their EpiPens, and the pharmacy is out of stock due to the back to school rush.

I don't know if it's my food allergy anxieties or the fact that son number two starts kindergarten today, after he's repeatedly asserted that he really doesn't need to go to kindergarten.  As the second brother and middle child, he lives in his brother's shadow, while being his almost complete opposite, and I feel for him.

Summer is done, and I'm facing the fact that my baby boy is starting kindergarten.

OK, time to breathe.  If you haven't gotten all your ducks in a row, it's not too late.  All will be settled and organized. 

Irene and I have written several posts on the subject of back to school with allergies, and as today is the official first day of school for SFUSD students and as I still have 17 things to do in the next few hours, I am sending you good thoughts, some positive energy, and a link to those posts, instead of reinventing the wheel with a new checklist.

If you don't have a chance to peruse that awfully good information we published in past years with links to allergy gear, templates, advice, and books, here is the link to the San Francisco Unified Medication form.  Just scroll down to 'Medication form' to print out your pdf.  And don't forget to keep your prescriptions in their original containers with your child's name printed on them.

This year I will be adding to my back-to-school to-do list the application for the EpiPen4Schools so my school can get free emergency EpiPens.  Could be one of the most important items on my list.

Lastly, as I accepted defeat and realized it is not humanly possible to tackle the mess that is my house, I decided to organize one part of our morning routine that could save us precious minutes, minutes that are critical when you're leaving the house at such an insanely early hour.  How many times have we run back into the house because we've forgotten something, only to realize that it made us late for school?  Now that Logan's starting kindergarten, getting two boys out of the house at the same time will definitely be challenging.

I cleared out a space in the hallway for each child's backpacks, sports gear, sun hats, jackets, etc.  I had each child write their names on a strip of canvas and decorate it however he or she wanted, and hung them above their areas.  Ahhhh.  Now that feels a bit better.

Do one thing that will give you some peace of mind for the first week of school, whether it's setting out the kids' first day clothing, making a list of to-do's for getting ready for school, packing snacks in advance, putting a surprise note in your child's lunchbox, labeling jackets, or having medication forms ready.  Because as much as we'd love to be supermoms and check off every item on our list while getting to sleep at a decent hour, we can only do what we can do. 

Happiest first day of school to all our San Francisco AllergyWise families, with a special shout out to the tots (and their moms and dads) who are starting a new school. 


  1. Hope your boys have great first days of school. I'm always thinkin' I should at least pack some of my kids' lunches the night before but after dealing w/dinner and its clean up - oh boy, yeah right.
    We mums do our best yeah?

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