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Saturday, November 26, 2022

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Losing My Mind While Breaking My Budget

school suppliesDid you see me at Target, Walmart or Office Depot back in August on the tax-free back-to-school shopping weekend? Yes, that was yours truly, clutching a Stafford schools shopping list flipping it from side-to-side while trying to keep track of which kid needed fine-tip dry erase markers and which needed low-odor ones.

Once I figured that out, I was on a quest to find the exact size of hand sanitizer specified by Laura’s eighth grade list and the precise type of crayons stipulated by Joe’s fifth grade list. The first store we went to, Target, didn’t have everything we needed thus the trek to Walmart, where hordes of anxious parents and amped up kids almost gave me a coronary.

I think I may have spotted you there. Were you the dad I watched with the tow-headed kid screaming that he had to have a new Spiderman pencil case? Or the lucky mother I glimpsed with a toddler flinging notebooks from the cart, while your older two kids argued over who got the last Avengers lunchbox on the shelf?

Yes, it sure is a good time getting ready for school! My kids are just as bad to shop with as the ones mentioned above. While they are beyond the notebook-flinging stage, their idea of what is needed for the coming academic year is sharply at odds with mine. I have my eye on budget items, while they clamor for notebooks with sparkles, mechanical pencils and brand-new backpacks every year even though, repeat after me, “Last year’s backpack is perfectly fine!”

Once we got home, they took the bags up to their rooms and started dividing the loot. They are 13 and 10 and you’d think they’d be old enough not to squabble over a pack of neon shaded notecards that, yes, I broke down and bought even though they cost more than plain white ones. They weren’t on the official lists either; I bought them in an effort to be “nice.” Big mistake! It sounded like World War III upstairs as they battled. Finally, I marched up and confiscated the #!@%!! notecards.

Does anyone need colorful notecards? I’ll trade you for some Avengers pencils. We couldn’t find a single pack and Joe is positive that he will die if he can’t bring any to school (in his old backpack) on September 8!

Mary Becelia lives with her family in Southern Stafford. She hopes that all of you have a smooth start to the new school year!

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