|Appliqués on the backpack but no bed skirt on the bed, because who am I, Joanna Gaines? Leave me alone.|
First of all, yes, our son does know what the word "appliqué" is and how to use it in a sentence, of which I am duly proud, and second of all, yes, I did offer to sew appliqués onto our children's perfectly fine backpacks, because... I make poor life choices? I don't know.
Oh, wait, yes I do. We'd been back to school shopping, which consists of me standing in the middle of a store and sounding increasingly obsessive about school supplies. "Okay, Atticus, you need 6 dry erase markers, and they must be EXPO brand, and they must be black, but Adelaide, you need 4 dry erase markers, EXPO brand, but they have to be different colors. Caedmon, you need two, in black. ...No, dry erase markers, Caedmon. Dry erase markers. I am not talking about highlighters right now, that is three further items down the page, so I will not talk about those right now, just dry erase markers. Atticus, focus, we are only focusing on dry erase markers, not red pens. I do not care if you need red pens and they're right next to the dry erase markers, that is not the item we are discussing, just dry erase markers. PUT THE COLORED PENCILS DOWN, ADELAIDE. DRY ERASE MARKERS ONLY."
Anyway, it had been a day of so many rigid lists and "no"s that I faltered and told them that sure, I'd sew some appliques on their backpacks, and okay, yes, I'd embroider a few words on there, too. I know why I had no trouble making these insane promises; it was mid-July and the start of the school was still ages away! I had all kinds of times to make these things happen! And yes, we do our school supply shopping in the middle of July, because I am a human being capable of learning from the past; in this case, knowing that THOU SHALT NOT:
- Shop for school supplies in August.
- Buy those Ticonderoga pencils the list always specifies, that cost FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as regular #2 pencils. Junior can make do with 48 pencils cobbled from random drawers and sporting jack'o'lanterns, past politicians running for office, and Spiderman, just like the rest of us peasants.
- Shop for school supplies in the college town, unless you like bare shelves and almost hitting that one college kid who wanders back and forth across the parking lot in such a haphazard fashion you begin to wonder if he perhaps suffers from severe vertigo. He doesn't, he's just oblivious. You will see him again in February, when it is -3 degrees outside. He will be wearing shorts.
The new THOU SHALT NOT of school supply shopping that we learned last year was "Buy backpacks from Wal-Mart." Two of our three children had almost completely dismembered their backpacks by the end of last school year; Atticus because he kept swinging his around and around over his head (as a lasso when he pretended to be a cowboy, as rotor blades when he pretended to be a helicopter), Adelaide because she insists on carrying no less than thirty pounds of books with her wherever she goes. She is actually the one that has the most work to do at the end of each year, as it takes some time to return all the books she's borrowed from three different libraries and five separate teachers.
I'm sure I'll accumulate a whole new list of THOU SHALT NOTs this year, as we break new ground: Middle school. Adelaide is going to middle school. We've already visited once, to get her locker assignment, wage war against the lock (*sing-song* guess who's crazy smart but doesn't know clockwise from counter-clockwise? our daughter ), and find her new classes, where she insisted on snooping in each room and either glorying in or judging the books they had on their shelves.
We're going back tomorrow to put all her supplies in her locker and work some more with The Lock That Hates Her, where I will get additional practice not saying aloud what is in my head ("HOW DO YOU STILL NOT KNOW WHICH WAY IS CLOCKWISE?" and "It's very strange that you are starting middle school given that just yesterday it was your first birthday and you were shoving your first cupcake so forcefully into your own face that I kept having to wipe frosting off your nostrils so you could breathe.").