Back to school: The Bucket List

Almost a couple of years ago, I was browsing Facebook while many people were out purchasing various pieces of back to school kit, ready for the new year to commence in September.

For myself and a friend, it was both of our boys first time going to school. Uniform wasn't compulsory at Mini Man's school, but it WAS the norm. I had purchased his bits and pieces mainly online and was comfortably waiting for it to arrive. All we needed to do was label the uniform, and then - on the day - wear it and turn up at the school gate.

My friend, LK over at Unwanted Intellectual Property was sharing statuses and pictures at the same time of her cutie wearing his new uniform, and smiling for the camera. She also shared a picture of all the supplies she needed to buy and label for him.

I was so surprised that he needed crayons, hand sanitizer, pencils, and various other bits and pieces - ready for his school year. Throughout my own primary (elementary) schooling, supplies had always been available as resources within the classroom. The same was the case at Mini Man's school - and they even had resources to accommodate his special needs (for the first year anyway, but that's a different post...)

I guess we were spoiled. Yesterday we got to experience what it is like to adhere to a specific shopping list to source school supplies ahead of the start of the semester in 25 days time. I'm not counting... Okay, maybe a little, but only so the miniatures can stop being bored by my company...

I can't understand the need for so many of these items though. Here is the list:

  • Two boxes of crayons (18-24 count)
  • One 4 oz. bottle of washable Elmer's Glue (we had to google that to make certain it was a brand...)
  • Eight small glue sticks
  • One package of number 2 HB pencils
  • One tray Crayola washable water colour paints (now that's specific!)
  • One box washable markers
  • Two large Kleenex tissue boxes. (Apparently a tissue is a Kleenex, much like to vacuum is to Hoover - despite Hoover actually being a brand of vacuum cleaner...)
  • Two boxes of Ziploc bags - one gallon, one quart sized.
  • One 8 oz. pump bottle of hand sanitizer.
  • Clorox disinfectant wipes.
  • Two rolls of paper towels.

For somebody who has always taken the supply of school related items for granted, this list is pretty extensive. It's no bother buying these items - we just threw it all in with the weekly grocery shop, which surprisingly still came out pretty low - even with these add ons. But how necessary is eight glue sticks for one semester? In a class of 20, that's 160 tubes. It's a good thing they no longer make the fishy smelling stuff we used when I was at school. I guess I should expect a lot of "art" coming to invade my minimalist home... Yikes.

One thing I definitely have learned is that: when buying these things it's best to do it when the Miniatures aren't with me. Just for my sanity, and to avoid the overuse of the sentence: "No, you can't have it," because for some reason back to school is all glitzy and fun. Well I suppose it is for Mini Madam at the moment, because she hasn't yet realised that once school begins, that's her life until adulthood. Pretty much.

I actually think the notion of school is fun too. While I'm not relishing the prospect of the early morning rush, and getting the little darlings to two different schools that are twenty minutes apart, with start times five minutes apart - I am looking forward to the couple of hours peace that I will gain.

So it's peace to clean the floors ready for spoiling with footprints and crumbs come lunchtime, but it's a couple of hours where I don't have to be somebody's something, or tend to some mini-saga that seems to always be occurring.

it is weird to be still in July and looking forward to the Miniatures going to school though. In the UK they have literally just broken up for the summer, and here I am buying their school kit. Other people might think I'm mad, but there is a sale on pretty much everywhere for school stuff too; so I prefer to call it money savvy.

I still feel we have much to do before the usual routine really kicks in though. We need a trip to the city just so I can remind myself that I really live in the Chicago suburbs. A visit to a water park would be great too, but the weather people and Mother Nature need to seriously get together and agree on a schedule.

But I will be in the city next week! I'm off to meet and mingle with my fellow bloggers at ChicagoNow, for a nice picnic and fun in the park. Perhaps next Sunday we will manage to get splashing... It's like a pre-going to school bucket list.

I'm sure I can think of a thing or two to add to the list. Any suggestions?

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Filed under: Family Life, Home Sweet Home, The Expat Experience

Tags: Back to school, going to school, supplies, The expat experience

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