School Supply Time
It’s that time of year again… time to shop for school supplies. I have fond memories of school-supply shopping. I think we did our main shopping at Ribordy’s Drugs and McShane’s Office supplies – two little local businesses that provided an enjoyable school-supply shopping experience compared to the mayhem, banners, “teen section” of Target. And what’s with the frantically competing flyers from Staples, Office Depot, and Office Max? When did our school supply dollars become so sought after?
Somehow now that I’m the parent, the whole school supply shopping seems wrought with stress. The first shock as a CPS parent involves learning that we are required to purchase paper towels, various sanitizing products, and tissue. This brings on confusion until another parent explains the paltry budgets of our fine school system and why we need to provide what used to be considered the basic supplies in a school.
The rest of our lists have been pretty standard. But I still find things to stress about. With a background in advertising/marketing I take it seriously when a teacher lists a specific brand name. When she says Crayola crayons does that mean she finds that brand superior in some way and wants only that brand? If I buy Rose Art will my child be looked down upon? Or God forbid if I buy crayons at the Dollar Store? What about the Target brand of plastic bags? Do I go for quanitity of tissue or box attractiveness? And for the second year in a row I am confused about what type of paper I’m supposed to buy. Does “primary” mean the baby kind with the dotted line halfway up? Or is it regular notebook paper? So many decisions. So many questions.
I thought it would be fun this year because my son gets to pick out 2 folders and a pencil case. For some reason all the pencil cases at Target looked really girly but he did find a blue camo one. The folder selection was equally paltry, dominated by High School Musical. We scavanged and finally came up with Harry Potter and Spiderman (because yes, those franchises need to rake in even more money.) I suppose my parents rolled their eyes when I went for the Partridge Family and Josie and the Pussycats school supplies.
Despite the stress, I still geek out a little when it comes to school-supply shopping. I love looking at all the markers and crayons and blank paper. Somehow it makes me remember the excitement of starting a new school year. I can’t tell if my son is feeling any of that yet. He’s mainly lamenting that 1st grade means no snack time. And he hasn’t even been told yet that the afternoon fun time doesn’t happen either. Or that his new room won’t have air conditioning. Or that the grades are actually A’s, B’s etc. Best to roll the news out slowly.