Posted: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
My name is Kat and I’m charged with community management here at Education.com. A fabulous part time job that gives me some time away from my little darlings while doing something that I think will make a real difference in the world. Most mornings I get to work a few minutes late, slightly frazzled, craving coffee, and sputtering to whoever will listen about my latest adventure as a mom of two boys who are faster and funnier than I am. Yesterday my boss “asked” if I’d share some of these adventures with Education.com visitors. So here goes…
Last week I received my son’s 1st grade supply list in the mail. I stuck it in my bag without much thought. A few days later we were off to Target. With a full two and a half weeks to go before first day festivities, I felt like the most ahead-of-the-game-mom on the planet.
As I pulled the list out of my bag it magically transformed from a regular sheet of paper to Santa’s scroll. Twenty-four items! I took a deep breath and headed toward the giant “Back To School” sign in the back corner of the store. The scene when we arrived looked like something out of Spain’s annual running of the bulls. Total chaos….hundreds of moms, each with her own Santa scroll, elbows flying, kids crying….yikes.
We plucked some items off the list easily….2 eight count packages of Crayola washable markers, 4 pencil top erasers, 1 eight ounce bottle of Elmer’s glue.
Some items took a little longer because selection required a six year old to form a fast opinion… Spider Man or Speed Racer on the pocket folder? Red, blue, or yellow for the 12 inch ruler? And holiest of all holy, which lunch box to commit to for the full nine months of first grade?
Some items were tricky for their sheer specificity…”1 pencil sharpener with 2 holes and a catcher for shavings”. Do you know how many pencil sharpeners have two holes? About half (so 15). Know how many have a catcher for shavings? About half. Know how many have two holes AND a catcher for shavings? One. And it’s located on the very bottom rack of the pencil sharpener section. Oh, and it only comes in pink.
About half the items ended up being outside the back to school area…Clorox wipes? Airwick air freshener refills (no lavender)? hand sanitizer? Were these items on my 1st grade school supply list?
We were “too late” to get some items…apparently #2 Ticonderoga laddie pencils are in short supply this year.
And some items I couldn’t find at all…1 “Spacemaker” pencil box?!? What IS that?
An hour and 20 minutes later our bleary eyed team headed toward the checkout. Tired, hungry, and disheveled, we unloaded the cart. “One hundred and eighty eight dollars” said the check out girl. Excuse me?
“Wait a minute!” I wanted to scream. “He’s six! He can’t even write in pen or use a calculator! How could he possibly need one hundred and eighty eight dollars worth of supplies?!?” Instead I just gave a hard stare to the check-out girl and then at the six year old recipient of this dear treasure. They both shrugged their shoulders and shot me their best “what-are-ya-gonna-do?” faces.
On the way home I called my mom and told her what had just happened. “Was it like this when I went to first grade?” I asked? “No” She said flatly. “And that’s insane”.
“Yes”, I said, “it does seem a bit insane doesn’t it?”
Have you done your back to school shopping yet? Post a comment to share your adventures.