Kindergarten Countdown: School supplies


There are numerous “joys” of parenthood no one ever warns you about -- like how far projectile puke can actually, well, project or how privacy in the bathroom becomes nothing more than a distant memory once kids invade the house.  No one gives you any heads up about shopping for school supplies either.  Had I received that memo I would have walked into Wal-Mart last week a bit more prepared with, say, full body armor, a couple gladiators and half the cast of Sopranos. 


My oldest child is entering kindergarten in a few weeks and this was our first time on the school supply junket.  And frankly, we barely made it out alive. The crowds, the disorganization, the incomprehensible supply lists made seemingly normal, well-behaved mothers turn…insane.  Fistfights broke out over the last box of Crayola Broad-tip Washable Markers.  One mom traded a rather expensive handbag for the one remaining glue stick.  Another broke out in tears because they only had three different colors of folders left. 


“The list says I need four! I need FOUR different colors!” she screamed in agony. 


The school supply list, I have determined, is the root of all evil. And, I must admit, it caused me to have my own personal meltdowns as well.  “The list says ‘pocket folders with brads,’” I told anyone who would listen.  “What are brads? Brads?  Brads?  Anyone?   


The mothers, stressing over their own supply list dilemmas, ignored me.  I became more frantic.


“Brads? Brads!?! Somebody, anybody, please tell me what are brads!?!?” I cried.  “Does it mean these metal, clip-like doohickey things?  THEN WHY DOESN’T THE LIST JUST SAY ‘METAL CLIP-LIKE DOOHICKEY THINGS’?!  ARRRRGGGHHHHH!”


At this point, lying on the floor in the middle of Wal-Mart’s school supply section, I realized two things: 1: The school supply list is a bad, bad thing.  And 2: Home schooling may not be such a horrible idea.


Fast forward two hours, one breakdown and three wrestling matches later and I find myself in need of just one, final item on “the list.” 


9x12 Assorted Construction Paper-Loose. 


“Ma’am,” says the incredibly brave Wal-Mart employee.  “We are currently out of construction paper.”


Okay, now I am certainly not proud of my behavior, but upon hearing those eight dreadful words I – in all honestly – wanted to physically harm Mr. Wal-Mart employee. Attack, slightly maim and strangle him until he cut down a tree and produced a package of 9x12 assorted construction paper-loose on the spot.   


But, I didn’t.  Instead I hung my head in defeat and left, while reminding myself that the school supply list may have won this battle but I, eventually, will win the war.  So be warned 9x12 assorted construction paper-loose, wherever you are.  I am coming for you.  And this time, I won’t be alone.