I’m sure I’ll write this same post every year…

August 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm 14 comments

…but I just got back from Target where I was shopping for school supplies from our classroom list.
Good God.  That was like some kind of bizarre and torturous scavenger hunt.  I felt like I was forced to travel to every remote corner of the store to find one hard-to-spot item in every aisle.  The back-to-school section was very picked over, as Target finds it much more important to stock cute-but-useless things for college dorm rooms than to have boatloads of PENCILs for crying out loud.   And of course if you stop in the frozen food section, you better hightail it through the whole cleaning section before your food thaws.   I also wonder what happened to the 27 pair of scissors that were purchased for our classroom last year, but must be re-purchased again EVERY year, it seems. 

I know I should have gotten over the shock by now of having to supply so many cleaning products and cold-prevention supplies (with all the Kleenex, wipies, and hand sanitizer one might think the kids won’t actually get sick.  ha ha ha, such folly.)  Yet I still grumble about having to provide all these supplies, even though I know there isn’t anyone else who can pay for them and why shouldn’t I buy my own child’s tissues? (well, for my own child it’s because I know he’ll continue to use his shirt sleeve.)  

And yes, every year I will gripe about the inefficiency of every family having to purchase 25+ different items in small quantities when someone could go to Costco and load up on this stuff for half the price (uh no, sorry, I don’t have time to be that person to actually GO to Costco though.)   I also feel like the supply-delivery should be staggered throughout the year so the teacher doesn’t have to store a wall of paper towels in the classroom from day 1.  And won’t the last tub of Clorox wipes be dry by June 2011?

In regards to backpacks, my son is acting the same way I do about purses – he’s having a hard time parting with his beloved and ratty backpack from last year.  It’ll last a bit longer and he asked if we could eventually pack it away because it’s been “like a buddy to him.”  Based on my purse experience, I know how comfortable one can get with the size, shape, and number and placements of pockets.  None of the potential replacements I looked at tonight seemed like they could fill the shoes of his current pack.

OK, I’m sounding too much like Andy Rooney.

The start of a new school year is a little life event in each year.  Friends are posting their first day of school pictures on Facebook and I love seeing the kids looking all clean and fresh and eager and maybe a little uncertain.   Hopefully our kids will all look the same on that first day that’s looming in the next few weeks and we’ll all keep a (mostly) dry eye as we leave them to start Kindergarten or to begin a one-year-older grade.

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Y's wife  |  August 19, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I had the same experience, but I shopped during a child-free opportunity a few weeks ago when there was so much stock that your effort was spent trying to figure out exactly which size of glue in which display was on sale for 25 cents. It makes so much sense to group order the supplies, especially in the Options program where the class is essentially the same each year. I will even volunteer to organize it.

  • 2. @cpsobsessed  |  August 19, 2010 at 7:48 am

    LOL! Wait until your child needs the dreaded $100 calculator. The TI-83. He is only in 6th grade (magnet not SE) and I was told this calculator was used in 8th grade (and can be used through college!!?). It’s great for Alegebra. I bought the TI-83 plus which has a graphing feature–I figured why not splurge, especially since the plain TI-83 wasn’t on sale and was more expensieve than the top of the line TI-83. I have 7 different list from the two schools my children attend. I am nearly done!! I had to buy 5 bottles of hand sanitizer! The oldest is now in departmental classes so each teacher asked for hand sanitizer and then two of my younger son’s teacher asked for it! I now look at my growing MOUND of supplies and think OMG who’s going to label and pack it all up! UGH!

  • 3. cpsnewbie  |  August 19, 2010 at 9:31 am

    “How much glue could a glue-stick glue,
    if a glue-stick could stick glue?”

    That was my son’s rhyme that he repeated (over and over!) in Target as we tried to find a pack of 10 glue sticks to go with the two large bottles of glue that are also needed. And then of course all those wipes to clean up all that glue. 🙂

    We put all of his supplies in his backpack and I thought he was going to tip over backwards.

  • 4. cpsnewbie  |  August 19, 2010 at 9:32 am

    “How much glue could a glue-stick stick,
    if a glue-stick could stick glue?”

    That was my son’s rhyme that he repeated (over and over!) in Target as we tried to find a pack of 10 glue sticks to go with the two large bottles of glue that are also needed. And then of course all those wipes to clean up all that glue. 🙂

    We put all of his supplies in his backpack and I thought he was going to tip over backwards.

  • 5. KCKmom  |  August 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

    As this is our first child going to K this fall, I have need help from the experienced parents. Thank you.

    1. Do I also need to put the room number on the individual supplies?
    2. Should I bring them on the orientation day or the first day of school?

  • 6. two cents  |  August 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I’m so dreading the store…I just went ahead and ordered EVERYTHING on-line from Office Max. Free shipping and everything in stock!

  • 7. Mom of two  |  August 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    This year our school has a program called “School Toolbox” from which we could order. The teachers submit a list of supplies to an outside group who buys it all and puts it into a box which you pick up right before school starts. Since it’s the first time I’m using it, I’m reserving judgment until I am sure it’s complete, but if it really works I’ll be sold on the idea! It probably costs more than doing it yourself (although I could never keep track, since I had to hit Target, Jewel and Walgreens to get everything on the list last year and didn’t tally up all the receipts). On the other hand, maybe they pass on some of the bulk ordering discounts to us. In any case . . . my time and sanity is worth something, too! (Now, there’s a concept).

  • 8. @#7  |  August 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    But…there’s one thing about the tool box. When it is time to replenish supplies throughout the year then you won’t have any and will have to go out and buy over priced school supplies. If the teachers say you need 4 folders then I usually buy 8 or 12 because my son was hard on folders and spirals last year. I had to send a new box of crayons every quarter so you at least need 3 additional packs of crayons.

  • 9. LR  |  August 20, 2010 at 9:17 am

    So true! I also went to Target and was juggling both my son’s and daughter’s lists. Seriously, I must have walked in circles 30 times around their little bins. Of course, my daughter needed the UNruled index cards, which were nowhere to be found among the thousand packages of ruled index cards. And when I thought I was done, I realized I hadn’t gotten hand wipes, paper towels, or sanitizer, none of which are in the school supplies aisle.

    On top of it all, my daughter’s teacher is insanely organized. I actually had to count and divide glue sticks, pencils, scissors, etc. into a plastic bag for her supply bin, a pencil case, and then stuff to be shared. Still haven’t labeled everything. I’m trying to be conscientious, but I’m sure I missed something.

  • 10. Worry Wart  |  August 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Me too! I must have been in the store for 17 hours! BTW, sometimes you can get better deals if you go in the office supply section instead of sticking to the designated school supply section. I found the 2 pack of big erasers (generic brand) I needfor $0.99 instead of spending $2.69 for a 8 pack of PaperMates.

  • 11. Fred  |  August 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Since we have twins, we thought we could take advantage of Costco. Nope! Prices weren’t any better. Ended up buying supplies at Target.

  • 12. dazed and confused  |  August 23, 2010 at 9:13 am

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! back from 10 day camping trip to reality of school supplies and labelling each and every crayon. my daughter actually called me out on it this year and said i have to label with her NAME and not just her initials. not happening.
    thanks for the smile andy rooney!

    btw- new trier you pay a fee to the school and they hand you all the supplies. good thinking.

  • 13. @#12  |  August 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I like just paying money! For school fundraising—what are they trying to get per child! I hate selling things! I will just pay what you want! This year has by far been the worst school supply shopping excursion(s) I have ever done! PLEASE tell me what I need to pay for school supplies that would last the whole year–I would gladly fork it over!

  • 14. momof2  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Tip for school shopping – last year I shopped at Target mid-day with both of my kids. It was a zoo in the school section and I about went crazy. This year, I left the girls with my husband and went to Target at 8AM when they opened. Everything was restocked and there wasn’t anyone else buying supplies at that time. In and out in about 30 minutes.

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