It's a month until school starts, but we have already been inundated with sale flyers featuring back to school products and clothes, and the dreaded school supply list. I say "dreaded" because such lists tend to raise my blood pressure. Last year, I branded myself as a rebel when I refused to buy a "rest mat" for the kiddo to lie down on at school. Hey, they cost $9.99, and I knew that for all the napping/resting she would be doing, she could get by very well with a soft towel. When I ventured into her classroom for the first time and noticed that every single cubby but hers had such a mat in it, I felt a momentary pang of guilt, then I silently cursed the system that made me feel that way. A towel was perfectly fine in preschool. Why a fancy schmancy mat in kindergarten? The kiddo never mentioned it, so she was either OK with her fluffy towel or, as I suspect, didn't need it often enough for it to be an issue.
This year, the kiddo is going int FIRST GRADE (tear), and while the school supply list doesn't include a rest mat, it does include a few items that make me scratch my head and think of creative curses. Here's a few:
- 6 glue sticks. OK, I get it, they use a lot of glue. Or maybe someone's sniffing it. I'll buy the glue, darn it, but I don't like it. (If someone's sniffing it, that makes me a supplier!)
- 2 boxes of crayons. Sure, I'll buy 2 boxes, but I'm only sending one in at a time.
- 2 boxes of #2 pencils. When I was in school, we got a brand new pencil at the start of every 9-week period. Just sayin'.
- 2 pair of scissors. Because...they expect kids to lose the first pair? Because they teach kids how to cut with both hands...at the same time? This one is causing me no end of confusion. Am I really buying a pair of scissors for a child who can't afford their own? I'm OK with that, but not if I'm tricked into it. One pair. Maybe even the pair from last year. Will that jeopardize the kiddo's social standing? If the mat thing didn't do it, will scissors?
- Box of small baggies (girls - sandwich; boys - gallon). If there are roughly 16 kids per class, and each kid brings in the requested box of baggies, and each box contains 50 (sandwich) or 40 (gallon) bags, that is over 600 individual baggies. What the hell do they need all those bags for? Are they really for teachers to use to pack their lunches? Really--somebody please explain. This one makes no sense to me.
- 2 dry erase markers. Per child. Again, if we estimate 16 kids per class, that's 32 markers. I don't expect teachers to have to buy their own supplies, but golly, can't the county do it? If the administrators can't afford to buy markers for their teachers, perhaps they should look at reducing their football budget. Please don't burn my house down.
- Suggested supplies to promote and maintain healthy habits: 2 boxes of tissues, hand sanitizer. If healthy habits are so important, why can't the schools provide these supplies? Oh, don't worry, I will be sending in my share of tissues and hand sanitizer, mainly because I don't want any viruses to make their way back to my house.