By Paula @ Holiday World

I have a serious question.

Has there ever been a documented case of a parent having a nervous breakdown while in the middle of back-to-school shopping?

I come pretty close each year.

There’s something about standing in a crowded discount store with a long list of items to buy.

And they’re all crammed in two narrow aisles, along with many, many harried parents and their frenetic offspring.

The heaviest items are, of course, placed on the highest shelves.

And it’s impossible to purchase just one highlighter. They now come in packs of eight.

Why do we have to buy a new protractor each year? (You’d think by now, I’d review the list ahead of time and we could locate last year’s protractor. I’ll bet we have a dozen or so stuck in the back of desk drawers throughout the house.)

How many protractors does one family really need?

If you don’t get that shopping done early (as in two days after school ends in the spring) all of the “good stuff” is pretty well picked over.

“Look, John!” I loudly called to my eighth-grade son. “These folders have My Pretty Pony on them — aren’t they cute?”

That’s how I cling to my sanity in times like these — I humiliate my children.

Today, the local school system begins the 2005/2006 year.

My James was so excited about his first day of Kindergarten, he could hardly sleep.

John, on the other hand, didn’t eat breakfast due to a stomach ache. He’s mourning the ending of summer, poor lad.

Here at the park, we’re swiftly approaching our final day of “daily operation.”

It’s Wednesday, August 17. Two days away.

We try our best to get the word out through our brochure, website, and other means. Maybe this will help, too.

We’re not open on Thursday. Or Friday. Or next Monday … well, you get the picture.

The good news is we’re done with the “extremely busy” weekends. From here on in, we have three excellent weekends to visit. After Labor Day, we don’t open to the public again until October 1.

For the complete schedule and hours, please take a look here on our website.

Well, I’m off to take James to his first day of school. He packed his Spider-Man backpack yesterday with his Spider-Man folder and Spider-Man notepad.

The children also needed a box of ziplock bags. Wonder what that’s for?

Maybe to hold all their older siblings’ protractors.
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