Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 09.01.06
Stanstead, Quebec


Fun time is over, kids -- back to school

To: the kids
From: Dad
Re back-to-school preparations and scheduling

Dear kids,

Another school year has begun. Where has the summer gone? And while I'm at it, where has the DVD remote gone?

First, I think we should all thank Mom for getting the school shopping done. Yes, I helped but it was really only to push the cart and to keep everyone focused. (Sorry about yelling "No Barbies!" so loudly, Child #4.)

Oh, and by the way, here's a tip: If you purchase a 25 kilogram bag of dog food on top of $400 worth of school supplies, don't jam the bag into the slot at the bottom of the cart and wheel it across a parking lot in the rain. You will end up with a hole in the bag and a trail of kibble behind you, like Yosemite Sam and a bag of gunpowder. Plus, your spouse will invariably say "Told you not to park so far."

Also, if you scoop kibble off the ground into a Zellers bag, it's impossible to get the stink off your hands.

But I digress.

Child #3, we apologize that we were unable to find the 4-inch Mega-size Crayola Washable Awesome Fun-Stik Glue (colour: taupe) as itemized in your school list. Yes, we only went to three stores (one of them twice) and could have driven to another town to keep looking, but we spent the last of the gas money on Haliburton Thermonuclear Calculators.

We will be sure to send a note to your teacher asking her not to punish you for having the 8-inch Jeroboam-size Crayola Somewhat Washable Fun Awesome-Stik Glue (colour: teal).

Please ensure that you pack your school knapsacks with the correct school supplies. Also, please do not come to us at 11 o'clock at night to tell us you need other supplies, especially a school knapsack. We did not budget for new knapsacks this year, having spent the last of our tote money on Dri-Quik Edible Liquid Paper. You will have to make do with the remaining Zellers bags.

Reminder: you cannot use black or blue binders for subjects other than Math and French. Also, you must not refuse to accept never to use green binders for Geography, while always restricting the non-use of red binders for Social Studies. I can't make it any clearer than that.

Busses: Child #1 will take Bus 15 to and from school. Child #2 will also take Bus 15 to school but Bus 16 home. Child #3 will take Bus 16 to school but is ineligible for bussing home because his space on Bus 16 is taken up by Child #2. Child #4 takes a wagon to and from school.

Upon return home, all children must report any noteworthy incidents to the attending parent. These include but are not limited to:

  • I got lost again at school today.

  • The teacher got mad at me because there was kibble on my assignment.

  • I got sent to the principal's office for refusing to use my Geometry set because I'm a pacifist and it contains potential weapons.

  • There's a half-eaten yogourt in my lunch box that I didn't feel like finishing.
All matters will be dealt with swiftly and fairly. Failure to report such incidents will be punished. Especially the yogourt bit; that's just gross.
    This year's bedtime schedule will be as follows:

  • Child #4: 8 p.m.

  • Child #3: 9 p.m. (by which we mean in bed by 9 p.m., not start brushing teeth, changing, etc. as slowly as possible starting at 9 p.m. so that it's actually 9:30 by the time you're in bed)

  • Child #2: 9:30 p.m. (even though it's not fair that Child #1 gets to stay up until 10:30 p.m. and we never let you do anything!)

  • Child #1: 10:30 p.m. (unless we arbitrarily decide otherwise just because we're your parents and we can)
That's about it for now. In the next few days I'll follow up with our 2006-2007 Policy on School Lunches and Schedule of Sandwiches.