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My Son Hates 7th Grade

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

My oldest son is in the 7th grade. That sounds really strange to me when I say it out loud. Because I can remember the 7th grade, and it doesn’t seem far enough away for me to have a kid that’s 12. But anyway.

Andrew, my biggest little boy, is right smack in the center of what I totally remember as being the most awkward, emotional, and unfriendly years of life… Middle School. Errgh. He’s lucky because he’s super-dee-duper cute. I had snaggleteeth. He wears pretty cool clothes (which I think must be easier for boys except for those unfortunate few that are shoved into too-tight Wranglers and velcro sneakers). I’m pretty sure I dressed like a loser… my sisters were too little back then to tell me what on earth to wear. He’s got a sense of humor, and a handful of friends, so in comparison to MY middle school world Andrew is doing pretty doggone good.

But he still hates 7th grade.

Everyday he comes home and tells me so.

It started with our open house/school supply disaster.

We went to the open house. The teachers actually gave us the time of day (which is more than I can say for any of them last year). We were feeling pretty good. I asked each teacher the same question: “Is there anything specific he will need for your class?” The overwhelming response was, “Nah. Not really. Just a binder. Some dividers. Pencils and paper– standard stuff.” We were super prepared for allll a that thanks to my sister, aunt AND elementary school teacher extraordinaire, who went crazy on school supplies and bought every single thing on every single list the schools had provided on their websites.

So Andrew headed off for his first day of 7th grade armed with an awesome 3-inch 3-ring binder, enough dividers for each of his 8 classes, pencils, paper, and a brand new book bag. He returned home with a list of demands from nearly every single teacher, all wanting their OWN binder, 42,000 dividers, pencil pouches, etc. I was so completely overjoyed to have to traipse around Wal-Mart on the first day of school with every other parent in our town trying to find supplies that sold out weeks before. I mean, what mom wouldn’t be?

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Let’s not forget the part about the currently unavailable and previously unrequested school supplies being a test grade.

I wrote a very nice email letting the teachers know that we know they wouldn’t make these requests lightly and that we were trying to accomodate, but that I can’t be the only parent running up against this wall, blah, blah, blah. It was super carefully crafted; eggshell-worded. Because Lord knows I do not want my kid to get off on the wrong foot with his teachers. Buuuut my plan backfired. Because the only two teachers that responded were snarky beotches. Also Andrew overheard these same two ladies gossiping about us. Rude.

The principal was nice. She gets a gold star.

Of course I drove in circles until I found every last school supply listed. Because I want my cutie boy to do well. It took me 3 whole days.

In the meantime Andrew discovered that none of his friends from last year are in any of his classes. He has the worst (and latest) lunch. He isn’t allowed to take his book bag to class and since we now have like 79 small binders instead of just one big one he has to try to go to his locker in between each block (there is no such thing as “1st period” or “5th period” anymore; now they are called “blocks”. lame.).

He has the bottom locker.
The bottom locker sucks.

This whole process has made him tardy 3 times in a week. Three tardies = Silent lunch.

In 6th grade there wasn’t much homework. My little one, who was in 3rd grade last year, always had more homework than Andrew did. I warned him that a light workload wasn’t doing him any favors… not that he could have done anything about it. And now he is paying the price. It’s sort of stressing him out.

So every day Andrew comes home from school and tells me that 7th grade sucks. I hate that. But I just keep reminding him that we are gonna get through it. HE is gonna get through it.

When your kids start to get big there’s really only so much you can do without making it worse. I’m trying so hard to help. And even though it’s sort of considered the un-cool thing to do, my help involves trying to pack Andrew’s lunch.

Late, friendless, silent lunch needs cookies. And if you smash all the good kinds of cookies into one, single, bake-free bar, you get these.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Cookies.

Today when Andrew came home he told me he still hates 7th grade. BUT! He got 104 on his spelling test last week. And he’s got a good grip on his math and science classes. And he made a few friends on the school bus.

So maybe it’s not all bad. And as long as there are cookies something is good.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 24
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk (I used 2%)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Line a 9 X 13 pan baking dish with parchment paper or foil.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the old fashioned oats, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stirring peanut butter into oats is a good workout. Set the oat mixture aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Stir frequently and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the hot sugary butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir until the oats are moistened completely. The chocolate will melt.
  5. Dump the whole sticky wonderful mess into the prepared baking dish and press it out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Press in the remaining chocolate chips.
  7. Let it cool completely. It needs to set up for at least an hour before slicing.
  8. I cut these into 1 X 2 bars and wrapped them individually. We stored them in the fridge and had them in lunches and for snack all week!

(from THIS recipe at Brown Eyed Baker)

What’s your favorite no-bake recipe?

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Wednesday 19th of September 2012

Wow, they are giving you hard time about not immediately being able to furnish school supplies at the drop of a hat? And the ladies were gossiping about families on work grounds? Bold in a very stupid way, and completely unprofessional! Clearly these women are grown up, spoiled brats! Ugh. That kind of thing makes me furious! (You should have seen me feud with a snooty woman at the airport who was making snarky comments to the single mom with two children in front of her. I have no shame when it comes to schooling the general public on manners!!)

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Friday 21st of September 2012

I LOVE that you spoke up and said something! I always say something and I get a bad rap for it lol. I have been so unimpressed with the staff at this school as a whole, except the administration has been pleasant at every turn. The teachers are unsympathetic and rude. I'm also dealing with a language arts teacher that thinks "alot" is a word. Then she had the class put the Table of Contents in the back of the book they made. Whaaaaaaat the hell.


Monday 17th of September 2012

Being a 7th grader must be hard. Being the mom of a 7th grader who hates 7th grade? Even harder. I'm so sorry the teachers are so unhelpful! I'm glad that your son has such an awesome mom who listens, sympathizes, and then makes amazing desserts. Andrew is one lucky kid.

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Tuesday 18th of September 2012

This middle school mess has been hard on me because I loved all of his teachers in elementary school. I had good relationships with the staff and that makes it nine zillion times easier to stay involved and WANT to help out in the classroom. Every single person I've dealt with at the middle school (with the exception of the principal) has been off-putting, snarky and unimpressive. Last week Andrew's Language Arts teacher had him put the table of contents in the BACK of the notebook for class. So what do I do? Correct the teacher and make life that much harder for my kid? Soooo frustrating. Andrew and I have just taken to cracking jokes about it, and at least I know that when MY kid graduates, he will go on to college with the undrstanding that the INDEX goes in the back of the book. Not the table of contents.