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The First Day of SchoolPhew! I made it. I actually survived the morning of the first day of school. Was very happy to send all five kids on their way without any drama.

It was a crazy early morning for me. The first bus for my elementary schoolers is scheduled to arrive at 6:20 (but they have to be out there 10 minutes early), then the middle schooler gets picked up at 7:30 and finally I have to drive my high schoolers because their school is no longer in our district, so no buses.

[sarcasm font]It was so much fun walking the girls to the bus stop (only a block away) in the dark and then waiting 30 minutes for the bus to show up.[/sarcasm font] Thankfully it finally did, and I was back to the house quickly to wake up the rest of the crew.

It was nice to watch the sunrise with the girls. Something we never do because I'm not a morning person. And with the exception of my youngest, none of my girls are either. I have to practically drag them out of bed every morning and have gone as far as dumping water on my 14 YO when she refused to get up. She didn't appreciate that at all.

Somedays I think I'm part vampire. I stay up late working or reading or watching a movie with the hubby. Sometimes I can't fall asleep until 3 or 4 am. So getting up at 5:30 is no picnic for me!

And I had the added pleasure of a 7 YO who was so very excited to start school today that she was up at 2:45 am and 4 am and again at 5 am. Finally I told her to get dressed and have some breakfast since she obviously wasn't going to go back to sleep. I have a feeling she will be one tired little girl when she steps off the bus this afternoon. (I was wrong. It was my 10 YO that crashed after school.)G-sleeping-after-school

I managed to get first day photos of everyone except the high schoolers who refused, so I had to take a quick shot in the drop-off lane at school as they were walking in.

The Back to School Scramble

crowdWhat I nearly didn't survive was the Back to School Scramble. You know what I'm talking about. The last-minute run to the store to get supplies, backpacks, whatever you forgot or couldn't find and now you have only a few hours left before the stores close to pick them up, along with all the other poor procrastinators who waited to the last minute.

I purchased most of the required items I needed last week, but there were a couple of things that we couldn't find; the most important being a uniform for my middle schooler. We went to five different stores and found nothing in her size, or it was in her size but the wrong color, or skinny pants instead of bootcut. I finally found a couple of polos, two pairs of khakis and a skirt at Old Navy, with the help of a rockstar clerk on the floor who found them piled behind a bunch of toddler clothes and then searched around the store to give them to me.

The most frustrating item on the list was the one school supply I needed, but already had plenty of at home. Pencils. I must have 500 pencils in various colors and states of use. Unused, sharpened, no erasers… But the school was very specific. They wanted yellow #2 pencils. 72 of them to be exact (they pool supplies)! And the pencils I already have are multicolored and some of them are personalized. I went to three Walmarts, two Targets and a Staples before I found 1 lone box of 72 yellow #2 pencils on the shelf.

And you better believe I grabbed them as fast as I could. A young girl behind me narrowly missed them and her mom wasn't too happy about it.

Thankfully that was the only item we needed so I turned around to get into the checkout line and then I noticed it. A line that snaked all the way to the rear of the store and back around. Procrastinators unite!

I couldn't believe it! Now, I only had one thing to purchase, but there were people in line who had a cart FULL of all the supplies required for the first day of school. And of course EVERYONE was complaining about how slow the line was moving. Occasionally you would hear, “OH! I forgot the XXXX”, but no one wanted to move out of line in fear of being stuck in Staples Hell all day and night waiting to pay for their items. The “lucky” people who brought someone with them, left their kid/friend to hold the place in line while they ran to pick the last item up, or vice versa.

After a good 35-minute wait it was our turn at the register. We paid for the pencils and headed for the door. I passed at least another dozen poor schmucks heading into Staples on our way out. All with a big list of supplies clutched in their fists. As I held the door open for a dad and his two little boys I overheard him say, “Crap, look how busy they are! Let's get these pencils and get the heck out of here!” lol

He's probably still looking for yellow #2 pencils.