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.

Yes, really.

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?


something blue said...

Oh these are things that I have to look forward to! My oldest is starting JK in a month.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for the awesome comment. You made my day!

Michaels_Mommy said...

Boy do I understand where you are coming from. LOL Last year as I was shopping for my then 5th grader's school supplies I rubbed my 5 month pregnant belly and realized, "What was I THINKING? I just signed up for 13 more years of this!" LOL My new little one will be starting kindergartern the year my older son will be in 11th grade. I'm insane! But I love it!

Oh, and school starts in 3 days here. I am SO looking forward to Monday. Does that make me a bad mommy? HA HA HA

1coolmama said...

Mine is not even school yet, but I can s picture myself this way.

kiki36 said...

I can so relate, we have to volunteer 10 hours per school year, our kids have to have flash drives and we have always driven the kids to and from school. I don't always buy the"extra" supplies anymore like Baggies (what?) and those type of items. I do send in a box of Kleenex from time to time and I do send in hand sanitizer. With 2 kids, school supplies can get costly!

Stevenbrycesmom said...

School supplies have been a nightmare this year. We are now buying for two instead of one.

Kristin said...

I'm just trying to deal with my eldest starting jr. high -- I'm the one who's so not ready for this big new world!! For example, according to my son, EVERYONE has a cell phone and he just HAS to have one to fit in. Yeah, right. There was no way I was going to go there -- I mean, he's only 12 -- what does he need a cell phone for? He's certainly not going to talk to his friends on it during the school day -- I mean, they're all at school with him! I totally won this argument, end of story. Then one day last week when I called the school office to have the secretary let my son know that I would be picking him up and not to take the bus, she said she couldn't locate him. She said: "Why don't you just call him on his cell phone?"
There goes my argument....

Thanks for your awesome post!

BookTestOnline/Elizabeth said...

Wow! Don't stress out Viv
it will be O.K.! If you
need teenager advice this year
email me! I will be in the
11th grade this year. Yeah!

Keep in touch,
Elizabeth G.

Stacey063 said...

I feel your pain here - I am still the obsessive list follower, but now that dd2 (the princess) is going to kindergarten - I think I gotta lighten up! I overbought supplies, but when glue is 20cents at target - you gotta buy it!

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