Thursday, August 23, 2007 supplies

I'll start off by saying that this is the third year that we've had to buy school supplies, and you'd think by now that I would have it all down, but I don't. I even went EARLY this year to get Max's stuff - school doesn't start here until after Labor Day - Sept. 4 to be exact. That's TWO WHOLE WEEKS by my count - amazingly early for us. None of that OH MY GOSH TOMORROW is THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL AND MAX HAS NO SUPPLIES for us, no sir. Well, sort of.

Max has to buy TWO sets of school supplies because he's an immersion student. For some reason these kids use two times the supplies that they would otherwise use, even though they are spending half the time in each class as the other kids. Weird elementary school immersion program math I guess. Regardless, it's not a big chunk of change, and it's all community property, so I don't mind purchasing the stuff.

So, we printed out the list and headed off to Staples. I had already tried to get the items from and from Peapod, but neither had enough of the stuff to make it worthwhile, and we didn't need enough groceries at the time to have Peapod come. Of course as we are driving to Staples the boys decide to start spitting out all the things that we need at the grocery store and we do indeed have enough, but we were already on the way. Anyway, off to Staples for all the supplies.

You would think that two weeks before school starts at an office supply store is a safe place to get all of your supplies. I can believe that the local grocery store is cleaned out the night before school starts, but it's two weeks early and Staples in in the business of providing school supplies. Heck, they've even done this at this particular store for years. But do we find all the things on our list? No. The shelves are empty and the cute little displays are picked over - two weeks before school starts.

Glue Sticks. The space for the big glue sticks (Elmer's brand, of course) is there. Big glue sticks? Have these people never used one before? Who in their right mind would give a second grader a big glue stick. The little ones are so much better - they dry up and you just replace them, but the big ones are three times the size. So when a kiddo leaves the cap off you've lost the equivalent of three of those little glue sticks. Regardless, they were out.

Elmer's Glue. Yeah, good old Elmer's glue. But the school doesn't want the cute little 4 oz size - guess the kids waste waaaaay too much for that. They want the bigger 8 oz size. Does Staples carry the 8 oz? Yes! Is it in stock? No! They only had room on the shelf for maybe 10 bottles or so, so they had obviously not consulted the local district when they made their lists to see which size they would require. So no glue for us. (I should mention that our next stop was Home Depot and they have plenty of the larger size glue there.)

Kids scissors. Yes - a great invention. What kid doesn't like cutting stuff up? But they don't want just any scissors - they want Fiskars. Don't they know that it took me about three months in Texas to get my hands on a pair of these? Don't they know that Staples doesn't carry them? Not sure exactly where to get these, so I opted to get another type hoping that the community pile didn't doom Max to a year of using a pair of not-quite-Fiskar's scissors. Go community tool pile.

Erasers. The staples of school life. We even watched a How It's Made on these a few weeks ago - very cool show if you haven't seen it before. Those little pink erasers were on the list when I was a kid, and you'd think that Staples would have a bajillion of them in stock. It's not like you can over order these things, and again, not a big surprise that they are on the list. Shame on you Staples for missing this one. We are eraserless as of this post.

Tissues. Now, it was along shot, but Staples actually had a space for the kind that we wanted. Amazing, but out of stock. Not a big deal as I wasn't counting on them being there.

The rest of the stuff we got - markers, crayons, hand soap, hand sanitizer (they actually did have this - wrong brand, but hey - it's the same basic stuff), and a few odds and ends. We walked out with a whopping $17 bill. Not quite the $55 that the school was going to charge us for the school supply packs, but we're only half way down our list.
So, tomorrow we're off to Target to get the stuff listed above, plus the tissues, and Ziplock bags, and whatever else is on that list. Not sure what they are used for, but the school wants all three sizes from the immersion kids. Who knew that they go through so many in one school year. Anyway, it's still two full weeks before school starts and I am apparently the last one in the district to buy school supplies. Next year it's back to the night before school, but it will be for three instead of two, so I might need to start this whole process in the early spring as it apparently takes this long to gather all the lovely items on the list...

And one last thing. Staples, you let us down. Yo are all about your easy button, and here I was list in hand facing many many empty shelves two weeks before school starts. Shame on you for not supporting my attempt at being a responsible parent. And man, in this case maybe procrastination does pay off...nah...I'll just start earlier next year.

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