Middle School Melt-Down

By Erin Spatz

Middle School Melt-Down

My oldest son is about to enter his final year of middle school. This thought caused me to have an inner dance for joy. I envision that this dance is similar to the one Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip would do. 

I have yet to recover from my own stint as a middle-schooler. Ugh! Talk about the most awkward time in a person’s life. At twelve I was already my current height, or very close to it. I had zero hips but was completely “curvy” on top. Since middle school boys don’t usually hit a growth spurt until later, this made every boy my age eye level with the one thing (two things?) I didn’t want them to be on eye level with!

One of the downsides of having a child in middle school is the homework. Having to do the homework while in middle school is a huge bummer, but helping your kid with middle school homework is a flat out punishment. It’s like having to do it yourself while listening to a cat howl. Great fun. After nagging, pleading and begging him to do the homework, I then have to hope and pray he remembers to give it to his teacher. He often forgets this very important step. Why bother doing the homework if you never hand it to your teacher?

My joy over the thought that this is Dylan’s final year of middle school was very short lived. I can safely say that I was in mid-dance of joy when the worst thought struck me. I have three more children! That means I am not even close to being free and clear of middle school. Yikes! The reality is that I have seven more years of middle school ahead of me.

Seven more years of awkward fun! What’s truly scary, next up is my daughter Autumn. I may not be emotionally prepared to have a middle school girl. Who is? The biggest problem with a middle school boy is hygiene. It is slightly difficult to convince them that a shower every day is not only good for them, but good for those around them. But, remembering what it’s like to be a middle school girl, I am pretty sure that hygiene becomes an obsession. Add in some hormonal fun, crying over everything, toss in a daily dose of “I love/hate my BFF,” and it’s practically a party every day. I really can’t wait!

Having been blessed with two boys and two girls means I get the pleasure of experiencing stinky boys twice and emotional girls twice. It was my brilliant idea to have four kids. And really, given the chance I would have more. I am a sucker for cute babies. I just didn’t really think things all the way through to middle school. Hopefully, by the time I get to the last two kids I will have some semblance of an idea how to handle parenting middle-schoolers. Prayerfully, I will have a teeny bit of sanity left.

I’d love to help them through this time without scaring them. But who is going to help me through this without scaring myself! The best plan I can come up with is to be armed with a massive amount of deodorant and tissues. While singing Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive.” I will, right?

About this writer

  • Erin Spatz is a writer and blogger living in a quaint town called Pawleys Island. Erin was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Palm Bay, Florida. Five years after her first blog, Erin creatively turned her diary entries into a published book. The book entitled Who Left Me in Charge is a humorous look at parenting and life in general. 
    Erin is married to a minister and Executive Director of Teach My People, Eric Spatz, and they have four children.

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