Parents everywhere — including TODAY’s Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones — are relating to the hilarious rules Nicole Jackson set for her 13-year-old son, Kai, as he headed back to school.
The Ohio mom outlined her expectations in a TikTok video that went viral last summer, but is being shared widely again as kids return to the classroom.
“If you’re a parent that’s ever sent your grade schooler to school, then you know these are the things that we go through,” Jackson told Craig and Sheinelle during a joint appearance with Kai on TODAY on Aug. 31.
“When I saw (the video), I was like, ‘This is my house,’” Craig, a father of two, said. “Especially the part where you start talking about permission slips and waiting until the last minute.”
Jackson joked that Kail will announce at the eleventh-hour that he has a homemade igloo due the next day.
“So now we’re in the middle of Walmart and I’m trying to find the supplies, and my blood pressure is up!” the 43-year-old nurse quipped.
Jackson’s clip begins with a warning about faking sick.
“What we not gonna do is change up our stomach energy. You’ve been living on a diet of hot chips, chicken nuggets, and every popsicle and disgusting drink known to man, without one stomachache,” Jackson says. “You’re not about to come to me talking about ‘my stomach hurt’ like you’ve got the intestinal tract of a geriatric Crohn’s patient.”
“I didn’t eat chicken nuggets all summer!” Kai protested on TODAY.
Rule No. 2: This is not the time to suddenly start sleeping in.
“What we not gonna do is act like we can’t wake up,” Jackson says. “You’ve been getting up at 6:77 every morning—and yes, I said 6:77 because it’s some ungodly hour that doesn’t exist—asking me about some breakfast.”
Jackson expects her eighth grader to prepare his backpack and clothes before going to bed in order to avoid a chaotic morning. She expects proper lead time on anything that involves paperwork, including picture day packets. And don’t even think about coming to Jackson the night before a big assignment is due: She refuses to stay up until the “wee hours,” helping to complete the project.
Jackson also lays down the law about running out of school supplies during the first week.
“I literally just spent $75,000 making sure everything on the list was there,” she says. “You’re not about to keep losing everything.”
Jackson concludes her video with a rant about food — and moms everywhere are raising their fists in solidarity.
“What we not gonna do is complain about the lunches that are packed for you,” Jackson notes. “I literally took you to the store and asked you if every separate item was OK, but then when I went to put it together in a lunch that’s nutritious, now all of a sudden it’s trash.”
That brings Jackson to her final rule. No more asking “55 times” when dinner will be ready.
“I told you to eat the lunch that I provided, that you told me was OK but now is trash,” she quips.
In a response video, Kai teased, “What we not gonna do is interrupt me during my game — you know I can’t pause it, and I need to decompress. This ain’t that.”
Jackson previously told TODAY.com that her son headed back to school in August after a “very long” summer vacation.
“Best day of the year! Mimosas for everyone,” she teased. “I celebrate this day like it’s a national holiday.”
Jackson added that she’s glad she’s making people smile.
“Parenthood is a glorious experience, but it’s hard — it comes with problems,” she said. “We need to laugh at the weeds that grow in the garden.”