Back to School

As a parent you’re ready for it (or maybe not). The summer is almost over (or maybe your child has just gone back to school). It’s time to buy allllll the school supplies. A new backpack. New clothes.

As a mom, I’m ready for the routine that school and its associated activities bring. Well…not totally. The getting up part pretty much sucks after a summer of very  few alarms and staying up way too late at night to “work”. (I mean, does sharing KEEP, which I love, really count as work?!)

Yet, as the days count down, I see so many missed opportunities for our summer because of sickness, low counts or just general malaise. Because of clinic days that dragged on and on…and on. Because one day spent puking all.day.long means another one (or another few) spent home recuperating, sleeping and just plain hanging out.

Not only that, but now it’s a checklist to get to that first day of school:

  • Conversation with the oncologist about returning to school – check
  • Conversation with the educational consultant
  • Conversation with the school administration – he needs a compassionate teacher this year, not the hard ass that I really wanted him to have  – check
  • Conversation with the teacher – except, we don’t find out teacher assignments until Open House the Thursday before school begins…which is clinic.
  • Conversation with the school nurse – we did this last year, but we should go over it again. Do we even have the same nurse this year?! Did his medical history in his records get updated? Do they remember that they need to let me know if something is running rampant in the school, illness-wise?
  • Emergency Contacts – WHO do I trust? Every other year, I slap someone down on paper in my neighborhood or among my friends, but who is actually going to be able to deal with whatever situation arises?
  • School supplies – you mean I was supposed to have leftover money for them?!
  • New school clothes – same story as above (but I did grab him an extra pair of shorts so he has two pairs that fit….).

Need some help with going back to school?  The American Cancer Society provides a number of back to school tips that can help you navigate that path.

Need or want a way for your child to feel connected to his or her classmates while out of school for treatments, homebound instruction or hospitalizations? Monkey in My Chair aims at bridging the gap of social interaction between a child and their classmates while transitioning in and out of the classroom for these things.  Whether out of school for a day here or there, or weeks at a time, this back-and-forth can be difficult for both the child undergoing treatment and their classmates.

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