The List

ByHailey Kane

Jul 27, 2011

By ANGEL KANE, Wilson Living Magazine There is only one thing more painful than taking a hammer and repeatedly slamming it against the tips of your fingers, over and over again. And we all know what it is…shopping for school supplies.

For this reason, every year, I promise myself that I’ll be one of those mothers who buy the pre-boxed, highly priced school supplies from the PTO. But unfortunately for all involved, I’m also one of those mothers who, every year, forgets to turn in the slip necessary to reserve said pre-boxed, highly priced school supplies. 

Ever the optimist, however, I wait in line on registration day, assuming I did turn in the slip…only to be reminded by “supermom working the PTO table” that my name is not on the list…because, once again, I have failed my children.

Which means it’s off to the races…trying to find the multitude of items on an exhaustive list after the supermoms in town have already bought all the school supplies within a 100 mile radius…just to spite me!  But this year, things are different.

First off, child number two has already reminded me that I failed to turn in the slip. Apparently, being told by supermom last year that she comes from less than perfect stock is not something she wants to relive.

And secondly, this year, when I shop for school supplies, I am taking a sacrificial lamb. So as my husband and I walked into Target, I said,

“I’m going to look for a toaster. Just take this school supply list to the back, and I’ll meet you over there when I am done. Go ahead, take it – all the supplies are in one spot.”

And the innocent lamb looked up at me and said “Ok, let’s get this done quickly, so we can go eat dinner.”

Poor thing, I thought, little did he know HE was dinner – those crazed supermoms back there were going to eat him alive!

One and a half hours later, after I had perused all the toasters Target had to offer (and then some) I sauntered back to school supplies.

The lamb no longer looked innocent, he looked crazed.

“Where have you been? I’ve been calling your phone over and over! I can’t find half the garbage on this list. Why do they need self-sharpening colored pencils? And what are accordion files? By the way, I had the last box of 24-count crayons until that so-called mother over there took them right out of my hands!”

“You see,” I cried back. “You never listen to me when I tell you that teachers are horrible people. Don’t you remember me telling you about Read-a-Thon, Field Day or Science Fair. These events are not about the children…they are a means of ruining my life and it all starts on day one with the school supply list!”

When we finally got home that evening and laid all the supplies on the counter, child number two had a complete meltdown.

“These are not self-sharpening colored pencils. I can’t be expected to use a sharpener! And the list said a BOX of Clorox wipes not the tube! Are these 7-pocket accordion files? You were supposed to get the 10 pocket ones!!”

“Stop screaming,” I said. “Daddy will go back out tomorrow and get anything we missed.”

After which I noticed my husband…reach for the hammer.

To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to and hit Columns & Blogs.

Angel Kane - Kane & Crowell Family Law Center

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