Commentary by Heather Kestian
After the kindergarten round up in the spring, we decided, after a very successful Facebook survey, not to get my son’s school supplies delivered through the school. I wonder whether those parents are having a hearty chuckle right now.
My friends with older children warned me that school supply shopping was awful. I thought perhaps that was an over-the-top commentary. I am not a fan of shopping, but this cannot be all that bad.
I was wrong.
I decided that back-to-school shopping was a task best left to do without children in tow. To the mothers I saw competing this task with their children, I am nominating you for sainthood.
I was ill prepared for the constant staring that occurred in the aisles of Target. I had the list from the school. I had plenty of time to complete this task. I had meticulously clipped coupon after coupon and was ready to stack up the savings. What I did not have was access to the exact goods on the list, which caused a host of questions to flood my brain.
Am I supposed to get these exact brands?
Who is Prang? What do they make? (It is a good thing I have a smart phone as I quickly looked to Mr. Google for advice. In the event you do not know, they make art supplies.)
What if my child goes to school and does not have these specific supplies?
I must have looked like a dear in headlights, as a fellow mom asked whether I needed anything. (What would make you ask? Are you concerned that I have been staring at watercolors and crayons for five minutes and willing Prang watercolors to mysteriously emerge from the wall?)
I admitted my needs. I asked, “How closely do I need to mirror this list?” She reassured me that the list is flexible and my child won’t be ostracized for bringing Up and Up Paint and crayons – at least not until third grade. Good. Crisis averted.
She also alerted me to the fact that I may want to buy in bulk (especially notebooks, folders, glue sticks and dry erase markers) as the prices are cheaper now. After all, there is a chance you will have to send more supplies later.
Thank you, kind mother who rescued me at Target. I will pay this knowledge forward.