Thursday, August 06, 2009

The School Supply Scramble

I don't know about everyone else, but I think I'm going to boycott Staples, Wal-Mart, Target and Office Depot. I've personally visited each of these stores probably three times in the last couple of days...five or six for Staples. Yes, I was part of the mob of people grabbing up 1 cent notebook paper, and anything else I could get my hands on. I hadn't even planned to do my shopping until this weekend - our tax free weekend - but once I was there...

My problem is I've been spoiled for the last several years. At the school the girls used to go to I could buy a box of supplies that magically appeared in their classroom the first day. Yes, I was one of those people who would stand on the fringes of the melee at Wal-Mart and laugh at the poor people scrambling for that last 10 cent notebook.

This year? Well, this year I've been the one driving from one store to the other looking for Fiskar scissors (why the hell don't these stores carry the right brand if they know we're all gonna need them?) and plastic brad folders, 6 of them, in different colors that my child will actually agree to carry. At one point in this process I spoke to the manager of a store I won't name and told him I was looking for plastic brad folders. His reply? "Good luck." Unfortunately, he was right. Not in his store, not in the two down the street. I did eventually find them one town over.

I seriously want to go back to paying for my box. I've already spent way more money than I have in years past and I still owe the school their fees. However, I guess I can't complain too much since I'm no longer paying for their education.

My girls start school next Monday. They are not excited for summer to end but mommy is. Baby Girl starts Kindergarten. No, I will not be one of the parents crying in the hallway. Sweet Pea is in third grade. They're both starting a new school and very worried about it. But I think everything's going to be fine. They, however, have not learned that mommy is always right yet and are a little panicked. We're going shopping tomorrow (tax free weekend here I come) for some clothes and then I'm taking them to have their nails done. I'm hoping a little girl time and shot of confidence will help.

Have you ever started a new job? Gone to a new school? Moved to a new place? Do you find it easy to make new friends, find new places and settle into the new environment? Or are do you have a hard time putting yourself out there?


P.S. Congratulations to Karen and Marcy, Lynn’s winners from her guest blog with us yesterday. Please send your info to her at to claim your prizes. Colleen is Playground Monitor's winner from yesterday. Please email here at with your info. As always, prizes not claimed within seven days will be re-awarded.


Playground Monitor said...

You think you're mad now? Just wait til they send half that stuff back home next May and it's unused.

Kids are pretty adaptive and they'll make new friends on the playground pretty quickly. I basically went to the same bunch of kids from grades 1-12. In high school we had kids from other elementary schools come in, but I still had a huge core of friends from before. In college, however, I was the only student in my freshman class from my town. The. Only. One. If I was going to have a friend in the world I had to make an effort to reach out and say hello. Believe it or not, I really was shy then, but by the end of my first semester, I had a great circle of friends.

Your girls will do just fine. And good luck on the school supply hunt.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I know all about moving to a new school. At their age, it's no big deal. They'll have friends the first day.

Try it as a HS junior though. I was not as outgoing as I am today, so those first couple of weeks were hell. I went to 3 high schools in 4 years. Not fun.

Today, however, I have no problem putting myself out there when I go to a new place (as my post yesterday sort of indicated). I surprise myself with my ability to talk to complete strangers at conference, for instance. It's a big change from those HS years. A welcome change!

Problem Child said...

I'm still trying to figure out why I had to buy 144 pencils.

Instigator said...

144!?! I only have to buy 72.

Angel said...

Yep, Drama Queen had to have 5 boxes of pencils. 5!! I still have a few things I haven't been able to find. Sigh. Off to School Craft today. And I spent 2 hours writing the kids names on all of their stuff.


Smarty Pants said...

At that age, the kids will pick up friends pretty quick. Baby Girl will be starting just like all the other kids where most schools don't have a Pre-K program. I'm sure it will be fine. I went through a couple years where I was at a different school each year. Fifth at Reed, 6th at CVT, 7th and 8th at Brinley, 9th at Cheyenne, then the last three years at my magnet school. That was without moving.

We didn't have school supply lists when I was a kid. You just bought whatever you wanted to, then the first day, the teachers would tell you if they wanted some kind of special notebook or whatever. They almost always wanted me to use something other than my nifty Trapper Keeper. :(

MJFredrick said...

I've been trying to get my school to make those school supply boxes for years. They're ideal. My son's elementary had them. Not only does it save time, the school can make money if they're smart, and only buy what the kids need.

As for the pencils, you'd be amazed how many pencils kids use. I collect them and dole them out like a miser, let me tell you. They never can keep track. I even pick them up off the floor in the hall when the janitors sweep them up.

Liza said...

The teachers ask for so much stuff so the kids who can't buy anything have stuff too. My sister is a teacher and she spends so much money out of her own pocket for school supplies for her classroom and she is almost never reimbursed for any supplies.

We got all of Youngest's supplies when she was at my house 2 weeks ago. In addition to the regular list of supplies, the teacher had wish list items that we stocked up on too. We got everything at Target with no problems, but it was still 2 weeks before school.

Jane said...

I been lucky that I've made friends pretty easily at all my jobs. People would normally introduce themselves to the new person.

Anonymous said...

First, thank goodness my son just graduated high school. But I do remember those lists. My sister has 4 kids going to school this year and all have at least 1 sheet of items to collect. Fortunately for her, my other sisters and I have been helping her to gather what is needed.
Second, I hate change but when I started my current job, everyone here at the school(university) was/is so friendly and helpful. And my recent move was where I grew up & I have my 3 sisters & mom close by.

PM's Mother said...

It's probably too late to suggest this now, but get a rubber stamp with each of your children's name on it (and an ink pad) and just stamp their name on all of their supplies. It's a fun thing for the kids to do.

Christine said...

If you think it's bad while they are in Elementary school, wait till MS/HS. We don't get our lists from all the individual teachers till the first day of school! Welcome to Staples etc., picked over, POST tax free day lack of supplies standing in lines with other equally frustrated and tired parents/guardians etc. Blah.

Oh and the 100 dollar calculator is fun to buy once they hit Algebra. Woohoo... and AP courses are $60 a pop... those can add up quickly. I've heard of moms writing checks for $400 or more. And if your child is a cheerleader, let's pony up another $500 for that fun extracurricular activity (mine isn't one, but a pale faced dad in the fee line told me about it).

We've done the pedi/mani thing today. We're off to the mall to round out back to school outfit shopping etc. Saturday she's getting her hair done--a sophomore, first year at the big HS-- gotta look her best.

Ah, the joy of paying for it all. Priceless.

Starting over? I've started over a lot. First as an immigrant out of the Netherlands to Canada at 4... to now as a transplant from DC to AL...good times.

Who moved the cheese? Great book... a must read... now where did that cheese go again?