And so it begins. Facebook feeds all over the Australia are about to be filled with angry parents whinging about the ridiculous number of books sent home to contact. I have already spied three Facey updates where Mum’s spent their precious Saturday night in battling the dreaded ‘bubbling’ of exercise books.
There are SO many manual tasks that have been automated. We no longer need to even vacuum our floors as there’s a robot for that. there’s even a tool to evenly cut apples or scoop avocado out in precise slices. I laminate the living daylights out of every piece of worthy paper that I will need all year and yet we’ve not been able to create a ‘book laminator’ – what’s wrong with the world and why must we endure this pain.
The next company who invents a child’s exercise book which has been pre-contacted is going to be a bazillionarie. Don’t you think with everything that comes out of China, which is, let’s face it, some pretty incredible stuff – I mean they make iPhones there….how and why hasn’t some genius invented school books that already have clear contact on them. The Chinese are good at making everything but not exercise books. I would happily have an additional $0.30 added to every exercise book pre-contacted upon arrival at school.
I have decided there are seven stages of contacting kids school books:
- Anger: This is where the child comes home from school loaded with 15+ enormous exercise books and the text books you have just sent to school the previous day with “Mum, my teacher says you have to contact these books and I need them for school tomorrow so that have to be done tonight”. This anger is doubled and tripled depending on how many children you have.
- Panic: There is absolutely no clear contact in the house so you make a wild dash to the shops vowing to not make the same mistakes of the past where you bought the cheap shitty contact which creates more problems than the usual stuff which is problematic in itself. You purchase way more contact than you think you will need to ensure that you never have to return to the shops on this mission for another 5 years.
- Furious: You return home to discover that you didn’t actually buy clear contact, you bought white contact. You return to the shops where your blood pressure is about to hit the roof and you repeat Point 2 after fighting for a refund with the lady who served you 10 minutes ago. You Google ‘contacting books’ to see if there are any miracle solutions to one of the worlds most stupid problems and are struck by American craft “Mommy’s” who not only manage to contact books but do it happily with their children. This makes you more furious and you vow to do it the total opposite to that woman. Just because.
- You prepare for War: You begin, you are in a good place and the SECOND you start, someone has an opinion and begins to tell you that you are doing it wrong. Contacting books is a little like eating McDonalds – some people eat the chips first, others eat the burger first but you can guarantee whichever way you do it. It’s wrong. World War 3 is averted by suggesting that perhaps those with an opinion may wish to contact the bloody books themselves.
- Frustration: You start by being very keen to this year “get it right”. Your inner perfectionist mentally commits to no bubbles or rough edges and you pick up the scissors to realize they are blunt from all the paper cutting you did at Christmas. Cue third trip to the shops for the night. Sharp scissors in hand you are ready to use them as a weapon if anyone comes near you as well. Here we go. You are focused and after a couple of false starts because you forgot how much pressure it takes to smooth over the front cover. You aren’t aware that you knew so many swear words. You believe you have perfected book 1 only to discover that your child’s title page now looks like a warped Andy Warhol piece. Blood boiling at this point, you have sweat dripping down your forehead. How can such a simple task bring the most talented of parents undone. Even toddlers aren’t as exhausting as contacting school books. 45 minutes later you have completed book 1. 14 more to go…..and it’s already 11:30pm. You are now so sick of the commentary in the background that you throw the books, contact and scissors at the your spouse and scream “well you do it”. They start Googling “Mental Institutions”
- Tears: You wake up early, you have found your rhythm and your give a f**k factor has gone out the window. Near enough is good enough. The scissors are blunt again and you have completely lowered your standards. You figure that if the front cover looks smooth and presentable, the back cover doesn’t matter as no one will see it. You prick holes in the bubbles and use a ruler to try to smooth over the cock ups. Child comes to inspect the books and cue tears: “But they all have BUBBLES in them. I hate BUBBLES. They don’t look right. Why didn’t you do it properly. You’re the worst contacter in the WORLD. Why couldn’t you get Dad to do it, he’s excellent at it”.
- Defeat: By this stage you don’t even care if the child finishes school. In fact you’re making calls to the local hairdresser, Plumber and Builder to see if they accept 8 year old apprentices because anything would be better than having to endure this rubbish again. Who needs books anyway, they’re all going to be living on iPhones and iPads by the time they leave school. A $700 iPad seems like a much better alternative at this stage. You send your child off to school knowing that your reputation in the playground has now gone down a notch or two as kids swap stories whilst completely taking this piss out of their parents on how badly their books are contacted. You currently resent all those OCD parents who just know how to contact books and enjoy it. You think you will pay someone next year to do it so you chuck out the 800 metres of contact you purchased.
Repeat for the next 13 years.