Last summer, after many a sleepless night had left me more brain dead than I’d been before (presumably perhaps), it came to my attention that my eldest son would be entering into first grade. After my initial reaction of “Holy SHIT I’m OLD,” I was thrilled to remember that actual number grades = actual school supplies and rightness was once again restored to my galaxy.
There’s something in me, my inner nerd perhaps, that adores that feeling in the fall, the feeling of Starting Over again in school. A whole new year of teachers, mischief, and brand new pens to look forward to. Yes, I did, in fact earn my title of Super Becky Overachiever, thank you for asking.
Armed with a crabby screaming baby and a school supply list, I first hit up Mecca (read: Target). And it was only there, in the fluorescently lit aisles, that I began to actually read what was on The List.
The words read properly, but the combinations didn’t make sense to me. And upon scouring the notebooks for “Plastic covered, yellow, three subject, wide ruled, without perforations, that ALSO makes coffee for poor, poor teacher” I was befuddled.
I could get MOST of the combination, but not all.
The erasers, Pink Pearl, no less, I found immediately, but the oil pastels? I had no idea what oil pastels even were. Pencils I found, art smock I did not.
After assuming I’d try one of the bigger office supply stores, I paid for about a quarter of the needed supplies and shuffled off to Office Depot. Up and down those aisles, I paced frantically, the baby nursing awkwardly as I searched in vain for “plastic colored folder, red, yellow and blue, no three punch holes, three pockets inside.”
The words, they made sense, but the combination was all shades of wrong. Kind of like trying to read A Clockwork Orange.
I was able to procure another portion of The List before I had to make my exit and hit up yet another store.
In the end, I searched The Internet, another Target store, The Rolls Royce of Office Supply Stores, and sent both The Daver and my mother to see if I had missed something. I hadn’t. I even asked my mother-in-law who is ALSO a first grade teacher, and she was at a loss.
I was able to get most of The List in about a month’s time, but an interesting shift occurred: no longer was I enchanted by the stacks of blank notebooks and packs of pens lined up perfectly in a row like sardines. Mention “School Supplies” and I’d become irate and angry, convinced I’d failed at my first task at parenting a school aged child.
Last week sometime, I got in the mail the very same list of school supplies, and this time I just laughed. Then I promptly lost it.
Thanks to a semi-photographic memory and the fact that Ben was able to recall what he’d used and needed last year, we shabbily reconstructed The List. I’m sure it’s only half right and you know what? That’s half more right than I was planning to send.
I was planning to send a package of dry soba noodles and a box of Hello Kitty flan.