Last night was Back to School Night at Natalie's elementary school. DH and I decided that he would stay home with Natalie and Nicholas while I went to the school. He picked up Natalie to take some of the load off me.
It literally takes me 20-25 minutes to pick Nicholas up now that he is potty training with underwear. That's after making the close to 10 minute drive around 2 blocks to get to the school. Then add in the 25 minute ride to get to Natalie's school, plus another 10 minutes to get her out of there (which is usually spent keeping Nicholas away from the toys at her after care program) and then 5 minutes to get home. From leaving my office door to walking in at home, that's roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes, on a good day.
So if I need to be at Back to School Night at 6:30 pm, and somehow manage to eat something for dinner -- I need a whole lot of help and good fortune.
With DH's help, I was home by 5:55 pm. I quickly changed and eat very fast plus made Natalie's bed. (Her comforter cover was blue from The Marker Incident the previous evening, so DH washed it during the day, but he doesn't know how to make beds, never mind put on a comforter cover, so I had to do that before leaving for Back to School Night.) I left the house at 6:24 pm.
I got to Back to School Night and found a parking place. I ran into the PTA President and she told me that there was a "pile" of completed Family Directory forms in her mailbox. I'm a newbie to this PTA stuff and didn't know where the mailboxes were -- she marched me through the office and showed me the mailboxes. At this point I'm pretty thrilled with the "stack" -- yes, I have taken on the Family Directory for a school that does not have a Family Directory now, so I'm starting "at the ground floor".
I went to the cafeteria for the pre-Back-to-School-Night PTA meeting. I sorted through the Family Directory forms -- roughly 2/3 of them have email addresses! WOOHOO! Based on all the "but not everyone has an email address" talk I had heard from the PTA members, I figured we would be lucky with 10% of the folks having email addresses. And we have roughly 150 completed forms so far which did not include the forms distributed at Back to School night! I'm pretty psyched.
The PTA meeting is fast -- elect the PTA officers and approve the budget. And at 7:10 pm we're off to meet the classroom teacher. Natalie's teacher is a first-year teacher at the school but spent 10 years teaching half-day Kindergarten at another school in Fairfax County. She had a very well-run Parents Night presentation. Lots of great handouts, information, etc. But it is very short -- just 25 minutes. Then it's time to move to Session 2 -- primarily for families that have children in different classes in the school. For Session 2 I went to the front of the school and filled out my membership for PTA and wrote my check out for dues. I also spent some time talking to the principal and one of the members of the civic association board.
All in all, it was a good night. The logistics of this stuff are maddening, though. I honestly do not know how working families do this.