Parents, have you done the Staples/Office Depot trip yet? Selected the school lunchbox? Handed in those emergency contact forms weeks late? Bet you think you're ready now for your young ones to head back to relearn what they forgot over the summer.
Hah! If our mailbox is anything to go by, you haven't even started doing right by little Janie and Johnny. Have you sprayed their clothes yet with a "new EPA-approved, eco-friendly, antimicrobial/antibacterial product ... that creates a long-lasting barrier to kill and keep mold and bacteria from growing"? Why not? Don't you love them??
I hope, at least, you have stopped for a moment to think about head lice. September is Head Lice Awareness Month, and in honor of that solemn occasion we've been offered interviews with "moms who have dealt with head lice infestations," which is handy, because I'm sure such people are hard to find.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone has tips aplenty for your kids' back-to-school diet. Give them halibut and lentils for dinner (they'll like that) so they will sleep well at night. Pack blueberries in their lunchboxes to sharpen their mental clarity, because, after all, "blueberry-supplemented neurons have a better ability to communicate with each other" and "blueberry phytochemicals can actually cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the area of the brain that are responsible for learning and memory!" (I will not, will not, snippily suggest that the person who wrote that last sentence needs to eat a blueberry or two.)
Do not forget that "teens who do not obtain an adequate amount of sleep risk suffering serious physical, mental and emotional consequences," warns the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Do not forget that summer isn't over, and kids risk getting burned on the playground, as we are reminded by purveyors of sunscreen towelettes that are part of a "personal care line developed by pediatrician-moms." (I wish there was something I could sell for which I could market myself as a "journalist-mom." Maybe a writing guide?)
Put a toothbrush and dental floss on your back-to-school list, because kids should brush their teeth. Buy a temporal artery-scanning thermometer to help detect ear infections in your young ones. And do not forget to talk to your daughters about the importance of growing strong bones.
Don't think your job is done when your kid goes off to college. There are rich, chocolate-chunk, old-fashioned cookies to send them to make them feel loved, and lists of tips to impart on how to avoid weight gain. And there are rice-cooker recipe books to give them, because rice cookers are a "surprising new trend" among college kids that will help "our next generation of leaders stay on a path that will keep them healthy, wealthy and, hopefully, wise."
Photo: As thousands of children went back to school, some, such as fourth-grader India Zeldes, tackled that fall classic: "What I Did on My Summer Vacation." Photo credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times