Tell us, really: How do you feel about back-to-school?
Are you sad to see the end of that stretch in the evenings, after three blissful months with your little darlings? Now that school is back, you must be missing them like mad... right?
Wrong. At the Paddy Box, we just love finding things that all Irish people (and those with Irish connections) can relate to. And as a family business, we know the dynamic of an Irish family all too well. Mams and dads are absolute TROOPERS this time of year. Heading back to the old slog after the summer hols is exhausting, to say the least, and yous should all give yourselves a pat on the back for making it through the first two week of early mornings, drop-offs, pickups and - let’s not sugar coat it - pure chaos.
Here are four little things Irish parents (or anyone dealing with school kids) are NOT looking forward to … and one BIG thing we are absolutely DYING for.
The Morning Rush
The school run in Ireland is like a storm before the calm. Mornings get off to a slow start, with scenes of parents coaxing their kids out of bed, lazily buttering ham sambos and sticking the kettle for a quick cuppa before the impending chaos. Suddenly, the Morning Ireland theme blasts through the radio to let the family know that they are now, in fact, late. After rows about missing shoes, stains on uniforms and the signing of a permission slip that should have been dealt with the night before, the door slams and the commute begins.
You meet everyone and their mother on the school run. Whether you’re one of those parents who load the crew into a people carrier, or those who live near the school (but are somehow always the latest??) you will encounter EVERYONE you know. After false promises of coffee meet-ups, tears from the youngest and embarrassed eye rolls from the eldest, you are finally free.
Are you even Irish if you weren’t absolutely traumatised after your parents ‘helped’ you with your homework? Homework has the power to cause absolute carnage in every Irish household. Why? Because the Department of Education changes the way we do long division and the way we pronounce Irish words EVERY YEAR, apparently. The row would start as soon as mam or dad realised they couldn’t complete 4th class sums or understand a word of what their kid was saying. The frustration was real and it brought on a clash of the generations until both parties agreed they were never doing it again.
Last-minute requests for Home Economics ingredients
If you ever did this to your mammy, may you be cursed with the taste of your own medicine when you have kids of your own! Every Irish parent would be LIVID when their teen shamefully appeared at half 10 on a Tuesday evening to raid the kitchen for everything needed to make a Crem Brulé or Beef Stroganoff from scratch. Of course, they’d have been told WELL in advance. But why bother preparing when you know your Irish parents would do ANYTHING for your education… including driving you to the nearest Dunnes or Supervalu with late-night opening hours?
The Leaving Cert
6th year can be defined in one word: WORRY. Whether you gave a shite or not, the entire family would be up in arms if there was ‘A Leaving Cert’ in the household. Candles were frantically lit from September to June by your granny and all her mass mates. If you were a studier, cramming sessions were held for class tests where your dad would provide bottles of Lucozade and endless cups of tea. If you were bold, there was a never-ending argument where your mam compared you to Ciara down the road who got an A in her Irish oral. Either way, our thoughts and prayers are with the parents starting the new school year with a leaving cert in the house. We’ll light a candle for you.
We are dying for…A bit of peace and quiet
Though the school year will bring its own challenges, there is still one huge benefit to September: The heavenly sound of silence.
Parents have just spent the summer in the service of their kids. They’ve ferried them from Cul Camps to local summer camps to Irish college in the back arse of the country. They negotiated with their little ones and begged for 99s, Mr Freezes and one more hour of telly in the mornings. They organised beach days, water fights, rounders on the green and barbecues with neighbours in the back garden.
Whether heading into work or starting the mountain of chores that have built up over the last while, mams and dads know they’ll be getting some much-deserved time alone after leaving their brood at the school gates. Before heading back to the daily routine, we urge them to take a moment. Shtick the kettle, put their feet up and tuck into something delish from our new ‘Tea and Something Nice Box’.
The ‘Tea and Something Nice Box’ is the perfect gift for … well anyone! However, the treasure trove of bickies and treats made for dunking into tea makes it ideal for parents who’ve just come out the other end of the back-to-school pandemonium. It’s packed full of all the treats from your mammy’s biscuit tin from classics like Digestives, Custard Creams and Purple Snacks to fancy-pants options like Mini Rolls, Wagon wheels and even Viscounts. Treat you or a back-to-school survivor you know to our delicious new box, available now.