Thursday, August 14, 2008

school supply hell

I was tired. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. So many papers were coming home from school last spring, I just got tired of filling out forms and writing checks. So when the school supply preorder form came home, I set it aside, inadvertently missing the deadline.

Which is why I spent two hours last night wandering around Target and Office Depot with the noisy boys’ first grade school supply list.

It was a special kind of hell picking through the bins looking for two pink erasers and 24 sharpened pencils and 8 Classic Crayola markers, all times two since I have twins. I realize the math doesn’t sound complicated, but trust me, by the twentieth item on the list you start to question your ability to double. Five glue sticks each, but they only come in packs of three…how many packs do I need? (Don’t judge me. I majored in English for a reason.)

And those were the easy things to find. I also needed two orange folders and four yellow folders and three triangle erasers. Right.

And my personal favorite? Five fine-line dry erase markers in blue. Now, you can find multi-packs of fine-line markers in black, and you easily can find packs of four different colors, including blue, but good luck finding any sort of multi-pack of fine-line BLUE markers.

In the end, I bought ten packs of multi-colored markers to obtain the needed five blue dry-erase markers each. (Anyone need thirty fine-line dry erase markers in red, yellow, and green? I’ll sell them to you real cheap.)

I still need to find two boxes of 200 antibacterial wet ones. Once I’ve got that, I’m golden.

At least I was able to shop alone. And now I know: no matter what, never forget to pre-order the school supplies.

Someone remind me of that next spring when I’m drowning in paperwork.

23 comments:

stacey @ happyarewe said...

When I went supply shopping last week, I was this <---> close to grabbing the nearest Walmart employee by her blue apron and begging her for mercy. "HELP ME!," I wanted to cry. Boy, howdy, buying for my four school kids nearly drove me bonkers. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I work in a Title One school and get to a free teacher's store to get supplies for kids whose parents can't afford or have the time to do what you just did. My own kids are past this point and can buy their own supplies. I say kudos to you for being so literal and might I say, "anal" about the amounts and colors mentioned??? I am very impressed. :)

Mommy Cracked said...

Oh my word, girl! I know that wasn't any fun. E.B.'s school sent me that form and I passed on it because I wanted to buy his supplies myself. I won't be making that mistake next year! Haha! The dry erase pens have me shaking my head...sometimes they come up with the strangest things to put on lists.

NaNcY said...

oh not the dreaded school supply list!

Kelsey said...

Aww you poor thing!

Emily said...

That is their fault for being so specific...I doubt they will use all that. Either way, school supply shopping was seriously my favorite thing each year for as long as I can remember. I liked it in college even. I only want to go to grad school when I think about having a reason to buy pens and highlighters. In 8th grade we had to write essays on what it was like to start middle school and mine was put in the graduation bulletin thingy. It was all on picking out the perfect trapper keeper and colored paper....

Llama Momma said...

Stacey -- Yes. I had this sarcastic thing going with the Target workers who would occasionally ask me if I was finding everything okay. UM. NO!

Anon -- Anal, yes. Well, I live in an anal school district. The list is extremely specific and the supplies are "pooled" so all the kids will have exactly the same stuff. The PTA covers costs for any families who need assistance. In theory, I think this is a fantastic system. Especially when I pre-order the supplies. :-)

Mommy Cracked -- The supplies aren't just for the kids, but for the classroom too. Why they needed BLUE markers instead of black...no idea. But I'm sure there's a reason!

Llama Momma said...

Nancy -- I'm just glad it's over. Well, almost over. Just need to find the wipes...

Kelsey -- The worst part of the whole ordeal is that I'm doing WW. I couldn't even console myself with dessert when it was over. (Well, unless you count 2 points worth of fat free ice cream as dessert. Which I don't.)

Emily -- Believe it or not, they use it all. (At least the kindergarden glass did last year. After volunteering one day and trying to sharpen the nubs of pencils, I went out and bought more...even though it was May!) They pool the supplies so all the kids have the same stuff, so the list is extremely specific. The system actually works really well as long as you pre-order the supplies. Which I will now. Every. Single. Time.

A Musing Mom said...

Don't you love how they say things like "8 Crayola Washable Markers, classic colors, fine tip". So specific that you think they've read it off the box. Except, nooooo, there are no packages of 8, it's always 10!!! I just buy the package of 10 and hope nobody gets jealous that my child has two extra colors.

Incidentally, while navigating the whole supply shopping maze (on purpose - it's so much cheaper once you have all the scissors and other staples), I asked my eldest about the whole 10 instead of 8. She said it was never a problem.

But for things like the blue dry erase, ugh! I should have called you. I needed two black fine tip and had to buy a package of four (figuring I'll stockpile the extra for another year). I could have helped offload some of your extras.

Llama Momma said...

AMM -- We should have compared lists! I'm pretty sure I spent MORE than I would have if I had pre-ordered the kit...but I also wasn't driving around looking for sales!

Do they pool the supplies at your school or are they specifically for your daughters?

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to commiserate. At least your school gives you the option of paying for the supplies in one fell swoop! I sure miss that. While doing the school supply shopping yesterday (and I am now almost $150 poorer, thank you very much) I actually met a mom who *did* buy the supplies but the school lost her form so she had to go out and buy them all over again! We probably had the most trouble finding the folders without prongs in very specific colors. maybe the school was too specific, i don't know.

Llama Momma said...

anon #2: thanks for commiserating! The school supply thing must really vary from district to district. Our district is intense...about everything! But it's a great school. so there you go. Good luck to you!!

A Musing Mom said...

LM - kindergarten was a shared pool of supplies. But after that all supplies are individual (and have to be individually labeled!). But it still seems like our lists are pretty exacting - 7" Fiskars scissors for example (won't the Office Depot brand work just as well, I wonder).

Julia said...

I am in awe! If it weren't for the parents the kids wouldn't have supplies- something wrong with this picture. I invented products for the classroom, but wanted to get local businesses to buy the supplies as a way of investing in our kids.
If anyone needs dry erase markers- ANY COLORS!!! or erasers to fit on the ends of the dry erase markers, let me know. I will be happy to help out. www.kleenslate.com
Julia-teacher turned inventor

Llama Momma said...

AMM -- Interesting. I don't know when our school stops pooling supplies...but it specifically says not to label anything. Thank goodness!!! My dining room table is covered and I don't want to think about how long it would take to label everything!!

Llama Momma said...

Julia -- thanks for stopping by! Great website, btw.

Christine said...

I really enjoy homeschooling, but that post made me really, really, REALLY enjoy it this week! lol

terra said...

TOTALLY LOL at the special kind of hell comment here!
I was so pissed when i found out last year that they pooled MY BABY's special pens and highlighters and whatnot that I am boycotting half the list this year. Find your own fricking dry erase markers spankyouberrymuch. but now i have met the teacher and she is nice and i feel the teensiest bit of remorse. not enough to go brave target school supply aisle again - just enough to throw up a prayer or two for her.
I am also very tempted by the nicely contained little scholastic boxes complete with all the pre-requisite, if idiotic, special supplies.
So glad you survived. you really do need a REAL dessert after that.

t

The Oho Report said...

Llama Momma,
You are a gifted humorous story-teller

Llama Momma said...

Terra -- there's nothing quite like motherhood, is there?

Oho -- That's what my shrink says. ;-)

Sarah said...

*I* will gladly take the extraneous dry erase markers of any color off your hands. Name your price, friend...and bring them to church on Sunday. :)

Llama Momma said...

Sarah -- I already gave the extras to the teacher! (Who was happy to have different colors. Why the sheet said "blue" I have no clue. She really didn't care...)

MamaToo said...

so happy to hear there's somebody else who follows directions literally - I was wondering if I'd be the only one who actually sent 5 glue sticks (not the 4-pack) and Elmer's washable glue (not the Elmers' or Store-brand one on sale) with her little guy.
you always bring a sweet sense of reality into your blog. thanks again.