School Shopping Madness

school shopping chaosLet’s talk about the hazards of taking four young children through the war-torn back-to-school aisles of Walmart one week before school starts.

Prepped with two back-to-school wish lists we bit the bullet yesterday and dove right in.

It was an every-man-for-himself-throw-your-colored-pencils-in-the-cart-and-then-hunt-down-a-pack-of-glue-sticks kind of trip.

We should have gone a month ago when the school supplies first appeared on the shelves. But it’s summer. I can barely find time to shower each day let alone buy something I’ll need several weeks down the road.

So we scavenged the best we could in the picked-over empty bargain school supply bins to find the items on our “recommended” list.

It was crazy. Binders, pencil packs and paper pads were scattered on the floor. Kids were wandering parentless up and down the aisles. I felt like I was going to crash into other moms and their carts every time we turned a corner.

There were way to many people looking for way too many supplies in way too small of an area.

Reams of paper, Clorox wipes and Expo markers were fairly easy for us to find. But we had to scrounge for the rest of the stuff.

We needed 8 glue sticks for each kid but only found them in packs of 6 or 4. And we searched high and low for those packs. Who knew students use so much glue?

We needed 12 pencils but those were only in packs of 10. The colored pencils came in sets of 24 and we only needed a dozen.

When we got to the store I bought a $1 drink from McDonald’s because my kids were dying of thirst. Unfortunately that meant we ended up making a mad dash to the bathroom for my just-barely-potty-trained-three-year-old – twice.

After walking from the front to the back to the front of the store again two or three times I broke down and asked for help from a Walmart employee. Where could I find some normal stock?

That’s when we ended up in the office supplies section of the store. It was just 5 or 6 aisles away from the madhouse school supplies section but it felt like we had landed on another planet.

There we found glue sticks. There we found pencils. There we found a pack of 12 colored pencils – not 24. And we didn’t trample over any debris on the way.

We struck gold, stocked up and got out of there.

I’m sure we ended up with things we didn’t really need. Like the fancy colorful pencils and the monster creation zip up pencil bag – but I was so run down by the end I didn’t care. We did it. An hour and half, several bags of supplies and four pairs of inexpensive shoes later we were finally finished. We survived back to school shopping at Walmart.

And I never want to do it again. Next year I’m either going to buy the stuff we need in June or on Amazon.

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