Friday, August 10, 2007
Ack! School starts in ten days!
I find that as my sons grow older, I become less concerned with their teachers thinking I am the perfect mother.
When they were very little, and heading off to those first few days of elementary school, when the pain of being separated from them, and worrying about who was supervising them and how closely, was sharp and acute, I read the school supply lists that came home with almost religious fervor. I checked every item off, labelled their notebooks and backpacks and lunch boxes, bought extras just in case, so that I could send them off utterly prepared for whatever came their way. Their first few years in school, I logged hundreds of volunteer hours. Every teacher at the elementary school knew me, and knew that I was a stay-at-home Mom, and that I was reliable if not always prompt, and helpful if not always skilled.
Um...not so much, any more. Gone are the days when I agonized over, "250 count tissue box" when my store had only boxes of 100, eventually buying three just to be on the safe side.
Now? Box of baby wipes? I have some travel packs somewhere. Ream of copy paper--which is cheapest? Legal-sized construction paper? Good god, why? Don't I have scrap-booking supplies and old construction paper scraps somewhere?
Don't get me wrong, I am all for helping the teachers out. I know they have to supplement classroom supplies sometimes out of their own paychecks. But some of these items are over-the-top, especially when you have two children or more.
For example, both of my boys have "2 mb flash drive" on their supply list. That's at least a $20 item in itself. Chances are good that I could have just bought one and let them share it (but I didn't, because, honestly, I can always use extra flash drives, too). And they both need (as in required) scientific calculators, when I have never owned one in my life (and yes, thanks, I did take calculus, I'm not a dinosaur).
One of the "suggested" options for the Owl's supplies goes even further, listing a scientific graphing calculator that is over...wait for it...$135 in the local warehouse discount place.
I could have an ipod for that much.
Okay, that wasn't a very Mom-like thought, was it? And I DO value the children's education above everything, and so I am keeping an open mind about the ridiculous expensive calculator because, goodness knows, the Engineer actually had an expensive HP one himself, that could--he was such an adorable geek then--clip to his belt.
And I still married him.
And I will still volunteer through all the (oh dear God no) science fairs and some of the fundraisers, though I keep close count these days and 40 hours volunteer time is just fine, thank you very much. I drive both boys to and from school still, every single frickin' day of the school year, they've never had to ride a school bus, and so I figure I am doing my part, and I am there if they need me every single day, though oh gosh! we can't tarry in the car loop, I remember that's against the rules, so sorry if you were going to ask me to chip in, Mrs. Social Studies teacher!
Yes, I know, I'm terrible. But with one son going into junior high and one starting high school, I am already worried enough about the courses they are taking, and the difficulty and volume of the homework they are given, and the friends they have and the grades they make, to let myself get too worked up over newspaper clippings of current events.
Now let me go, I have to root through the kitchen drawer for some pens to toss into their backpacks, okay?
at 3:23 PM