August 10, 2007

In Preparation for the Big Day

Today the kids and I participated in the great adventure of gathering supplies from the required supplies list. The kids were really excited. Seriously, what is it about new boxes of crayons and pencils? I'm usually a total sucker for new supplies, but my heart's not into it this year.

We started at Wal-Mart because I thought my chances of still finding spiral notebooks for a dime would be greater. (I supply my night school students with a notebooks and folder each quarter. They act like it's a great gift that I give them. I do it to prevent excuses of no paper and to provide ready-made organization. It's so worth my $20 annual investment.) It was a disaster at Wal-Mart with narrow aisles, supplies in confusing arrangements, and the crayons were nearly $2.00! What? They are suppose to be super cheap! I also chose Wal-Mart because I thought I might pick up some groceries, since we're basically down to rice and chickpeas at my house.

I dodged moving carts stood gawking in the aisle for about five minutes before throwing up my arms and saying, "Let's go. We're going to Target." Risky move. Target isn't always known for it's deals. And hey! Forget the whole grocery idea. The third-world diet isn't killing us or anything.

Thank goodness Target is a more hospitable store--and the one in our shopping neighborhood is under construction! They had their supplies (reasonably priced) in the seasonal area of the store, with the supplies kind of in a circle. It was easy to stand in the middle and look around for what you need, or to play, "Hey kids! Find the pink erasers. Bring four!" Lots of fun for the kids. Confusing for the mom reading from two lists.

I did end up finding notebooks for a dime. Plus, I stocked up on Maped pencil sharpeners because I can only find then at this time of year, and they last forever. (The school will provide electric sharpeners, but that grinding sound all day long drives me mad!)

Tomorrow the ritual continues on when I take each of the kids to buy school clothes. In the past I've either just bought them a set number of outfits or we've made it a family event to go school clothes shopping. Times are different now. Before I didn't know what clothes they had and my stepdaughter wasn't on the excellent hand-me-down system she's on now. Plus, we live with each other now, and I don't think the boys anyone has the patience for a family event involving hours of waiting for others to try on clothes. Wish I could get out of it myself, but I'm getting paid extra. Hahahaha! Don't I wish! I should be getting paid extra!

I have stock piled a few things as I found them on clearance (like the chinos for $2.50), so tonight we did inventory. It's going to be a quick shopping day for just a few things. Just enough to satisfy that feeling that we are preparing for the special event of the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.

It's always nice to have a few new outfits to make a good impression and some new black pens that will work for sure. I'm not going to say that starting school doesn't cost this teacher some money, but my preparation in going back to school is largely MENTAL. Do you think our students have to prepare themselves mentally, too?

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