Crayons, crying kids, frazzled moms and folders are a sure sign that back to school shopping is upon us.
Just take a look the next time you go to Target or Walmart and you can spot the look of exhaustion on the faces of the moms. They will be the ones with the crumpled list in one hand and their hand clutching their hearts with the other.
Back to school shopping is not for the faint of heart. Every year the teachers send out a list with at least one item that can not be purchased in any store within a 75 miles radius of your home. Of course this item is on the mandatory list of supplies that your child must have before they start of school. It is usually something benign like a green folder or a certain pencil and your life becomes a quest to find this item so your child isn't the only kid without it.
You assume because they are sold out that everyone else has this random item and who wants their child to be the only one that doesn't raise his or her hand when the teacher asks "Does everyone have all their supplies?" They will be labeled as the kid with the slacker parents and bring shame upon your household. You imagine the other PTA moms huddled around pointing at you in the car line. You must find the folder and save your family name.
A tank of gas later and after threatening the lives of your children several times you find the "green folder" in some obscure drug store and pay three times the normal price. Triumphantly you check it off your list and pack all the goodies into the backpack.
On the first day of school when you realize that your child's backpack weighs more than they do you reluctantly carry it to their class for them. This produces a scowl from the teacher as she assumes you are one of those helicopter parents that has to walk your child to class. She has no idea that you have your pajamas on under your sweats and walking into the school is the very last thing you want to be doing.
In an attempt to get on her good side you mention that you didn't give up until you found the green folder. You try to impress her with all the miles traveled to perform this task and to let her know that your little one doesn't come from a family of quitters.
That is when she smiles and says "Oh goodness, that was just a "suggestion" list."
As you plan your revenge you remember that she is going to have your child for the next nine months , 40 hours a week. No revenge needed. Sometimes these things just take care of themselves.