Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Anti-Back to School

How many years have I been doing this BACK TO SCHOOL gig?


10 years of loading up on crayons, glue sticks, pencils, scissors and enough pink pearl erasers to pad a jail cell. No, really.

When my oldest (who is now a FRESHMAN) started kindergarten, I was elated to be part of the pack of parents who swarmed the back to school section at Target with the enthusiasm of hungry hyenas. I was happy to participate in the pushing and the shoving for the last remaining box of 24 Crayola crayons or the only cool lunch box left in the store.

Buying school supplies was a rite of passage, a turning point in motherhood that can only be described as an intense feeling of pride when I made it out alive and with every item checked off the teacher's wish list.

I would give myself a theoretical pat on the back and head to the nearest Starbucks to reward myself with a triple iced vanilla latte before heading home and labeling every single thing "MB" with a black Sharpie.

Those were the days of instant gratification. Cause and Effect. The days when you could actually see the rewards of your labors mere moments after completing them, instead of months down the line when the long division finally kicked in. Those were the days when all it took to make my kids happy was a brand new pencil sharpener. And today? I find myself arguing with a 14 year-old in the store over a ruler.

A ruler!

I can't even count how many rulers this child has had in his short life but I do know one thing, it wasn't on "the list." You see, I'm a strict follower of "the list," and if you want something that isn't on it, there is going to be a discussion at the very least, especially if it is a 5 dollar ruler. I mean really, FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS for a ruler? I have 3 kids. I'm not spending FIFTEEN DOLLARS on rulers, even if they argue with me that we have to buy the expensive one because the plastic one will just break, mom.

Anyway, I suppose I deserve it, waiting until the very last minute to get the school supplies, but I'm still not paying that much for a ruler.

And it's probably important to note that even though they're older and more helpful in a lot of ways, like taking out the trash cans and programming my cell phone when I can't figure it out, taking 3 kids school supply shopping the night before school is not really a wonderful idea.

When they were little, I would have never waited this long to go out and actually purchase the school supplies, but this year I viewed it as an adventure - yes, we'll wait until there is hardly any selection left in the stores, dad is at the firestation and you all have been arguing all day with one another and then and only then, will we go and get our school supplies! Sounds like a great plan, no?

When will I ever learn?

Regardless, I did manage to prepare one child for school the proper way, by taking the obligatory First Day of School photo. I'll just bask in her enthusiasm and try to avoid the snarls from the oldest even though he ended up with the $5 ruler because in the end, they're worth it, right?

Happy Back to School everyone, bring on the lattes.


Kyla said...

We buy our supplies from the PTA and it is TOTALLY WORTH IT. Makes for a much more pleasant back to school experience.

Anonymous said...

Wait. That's my favorite shirt:)


carrie said...

I wish our schools had that option Kyla!