School Supply Shopping


In my world, simple school supply shopping (was this an alliteration?) sounds like fun.  Afterall, the word ‘shopping’ is part of it.  But there is a horrid reality to it.

It SHOULD be that we merrily go to the store with our spawn.  They happily stand behind us, single-file, hands behind their back, with smiles on their faces and no hair out of place.  We cruise down the empty aisle, list in hand.  All items are easily located, on sale, and in stock.  Occasionally, we will turn to our sweet children asking their opinions.  “Green? Or blue pencil box?”  To which they reply with a one word answer identifying which of the two they want.   This is shopping at its finest.

In reality, my kids beg me to drop them off anywhere–friends’ houses, their grandma’s house, the laundromat–ANYWHERE is better than going to the store for school supplies.  Of course, I take them though, because I want them to provide their input on such decisions as: the color of a folder that will get whisked off into a community pile of folders on the first day of school; and because I’m slightly nuts.

In comes one of two tactics: I either bribe them with a surprise at the store, or threaten to get notebooks for the boys with precious kittens licking their paws, and a GI JOE backpack for my daughter.  Suddenly, miraculously, they’re in the car.

By the time we get there MY hair is all out of place.  But we are here on a mission for the teachers ( http://instoresnow.walmart.com/article.aspx?Center=BackToSchool&id=99345).  We cruise down the aisle, crowded with people, shelves a mess, usually with a cart that veers to the right, I’ve lost the list.  Wait.  My daughter has the list and is marking things out.  Wait.  I can’t find the wide-ruled notebooks.  Wait.  Tanner just put a ball in the cart.  Wait.  Delaneigh just found the folders.  Wait.  Connor just knocked all the folders to the floor.  Wait.  Tanner just cried because I’m not buying Transformers pencils.  Wait.  No he’s crying because Connor just ran over his toe with the cart.  Wait.  Where’s the 9×12 package of manila paper that’s not $14.88?  Wait.  How many glue sticks?  Wait.  Where’s my straight line of ducklings with no hair out of place?  Wait.  Where’s Tanner? ” TANNER!?!!?  Wait.

But then there’s the crayons.  I love them.  Buying a new box of crayons is rewarding to me.  It’s nostalgic.  It’s cheerful.  It brings me joy.  I’ve got 7 boxes of them and I am in the mood to COLOR!

Then, “Excuse me strange person that I don’t know.  Why are you taking stuff out of my cart?”

Then, “Strange person that I don’t know, I don’t care if they are out of those 70 page wide-ruled notebooks in assorted colors (not black) on the shelf and I took the last one, you can’t take them out of my cart!”

Finally we get home.  Exhausted but yet somehow empowered.  I’m a winner.  Wait.  This is the wrong list.

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