Kiss those school supplies good-bye
Okay, I think I really screwed up.
I did what I thought was a smart and frugal thing, especially in a $4-per-gallon economy. When I learned my son was moving up to the next preschool class in two weeks, I asked his teacher if any of the leftover items from his summer camp supply list could be returned to us so he could use them in the next class.
After all, they make each new kid buy a box of crayons each year anyway, don't they? And they gave us specific instructions when they handed us this list as long as the Florida peninsula to write our kid's name on every item.
So ... logical people would assume that the stuff marked with their kid's name belongs to their kid and is used by their kid. And I knew good and well there was no way his crayons were used up by the end of the summer as we had just bought them in June.
The teacher gave me a weird look, as if she had watched me picking my nose in public.
Apparently how I thought things worked was all wrong. His crayons get put into a crayon bank and everyone uses them. If they have leftovers they just hold onto them for the next year.
So this list of stuff for him is kind of misleading. It's really just an extra fee slapped on already cash-strapped parents. I know the day care teachers probably make minimum wage or barely over it so I certainly don't expect them to pay out of their pockets for supplies. But if it's for a pool, I wish they'd explain that up front to spare us any embarrassment.
If the economy weren't so bad, (in case you missed it, Florida is indeed in a recession) I probably wouldn't have thought to ask for the things back. But recessions make people do things they might not normally do. Filling that list cost us a pretty penny. I was only trying to get a few items back.
Maybe if I supply a special snack for everyone, all will be forgiven. I won't ask for the leftovers.
-- Lisa Buie, Times mom