We went shopping for school supplies yesterday.
I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.
In less than one month, Caroline will start second grade. Of course I can’t really think about it for too long because SECOND GRADE. How did that happen? I’m just trying to console myself with my personal theory that third grade is really the gateway grade to official BIG KID status and that second grade is just a filler grade that the school system threw in because no one wants to teach a bunch of seven-year-olds how to write in cursive and use a protractor.
Let me have my denial.
When I registered Caroline for Kindergarten, they handed me a form that allowed me to pre-order her school supplies courtesy of the PTO. I’m never one to play the martyr, so I filled out the form, wrote a check and when she showed up on the first day of school there was a shrink-wrapped package in her cubby containing all her school supplies. It was brilliant.
So when the same form came home at the end of Kindergarten, I checked the box that read HOOK A MOTHER UP and sent in my check. And just like Kindergarten, the supplies appeared as if by magic on Caroline’s desk the first day of school. Perfect.
Until the second week of school when Caroline came home upset because her teacher had passed out notebooks to be used as poetry journals and she received a plain red one. She didn’t understand why some of the girls got notebooks featuring furry kittens and baby seals while she only got a plain red notebook. And you need to know that she said “PLAIN RED NOTEBOOK” in the same voice she uses in the morning when she lovingly says, “YOUR BREATH SMELLS LIKE THE CIRCUS”.
Her teacher explained that the plain red notebook was the one in her school supplies and that the other girls had brought the notebooks with dolphins and puppies. To which Caroline replied, “NO WAY DID MY MAMA PICK OUT A PLAIN RED NOTEBOOK”.
And she’s right. I would have never picked out a plain red notebook.
But the PTO would. Because all they care about it the bottom financial line and they aren’t really interested in wide-ruled notebooks featuring three kittens huddled together with a ball of yarn.
So we went to the store and picked out a pretty notebook for her to use as her poetry journal. And then she made me sign in blood that I would never order school supplies from the PTO again because she wanted to pick them out herself.
Which is how I ended up in the back of Target yesterday trying to figure out what the heck the list means by a Mead marble composition 100-count notebook with red baseline while Caroline danced around me holding a Trapper Keeper featuring a baby penguin and begging me to buy it.
“It’s not on the list”
“Well, it should be. That list is too strict. Why is second grade so strict?”
“Second grade isn’t strict. It’s not that you can’t have it, but let’s just focus on getting the things you need first.”
“Okay…but what if I get this one with the horses and can I pick out a new backpack and I need a new thermos because my old one is Disney Princess and I’m over Disney Princess and what I really want is a thermos that looks like Gabi’s and I love this notebook with the hearts and what I really want is this pack of glitter pencils with erasers shaped like stars.”
Well, what I really want is a nerve pill.
We can’t always get what we want.
By the time we left Target I semi-regretted not ordering our school supplies from the PTO, but just knowing that Caroline will have a notebook depicting a baby seal makes it all worth it.
Actually, that’s not true.
But it makes me feel better to pretend that it does.