In the spirit of recycling...

I know it is summer. Not because of the weather, the Target ad with beach gear and attire, or that watermelon is on sale. My kitchen table is full of shit. Not literal shit...well, maybe. I have two of my three kids in school, and their task this past week has been to clean out their desks and bring the contents of it home. Apparently, my kids in their infinite good will decided to clean out other people's desks and bring that shit home too. There are half-used notebooks (which really pisses me off because I drove all over the Western Hemisphere for child #2 because his list said he NEEDED 2 purple notebooks and I could not find them anywhere) He came home with one of them unused and the other one with the first three pages somewhat used. I feel like making him color something on every single page so I feel vindicated. I have ziplock baggies of their half-used, some new, some broken, some chewed on pencils, markers, highlighters and crayons. There are about 8 used Pink Pearl erasers. One ruler, three calculators (2 kids remember), 6 sheets of looseleaf paper, 4 books - which I am sure the library will be sending me a love note for, 14 folders, 5 workbooks and about 2 million art projects, worksheets, test quizzes and other miscellaneous pages. There are even a ridiculous amount of crumbs sprinkled about. Yes, crumbs of whatever unfortunate snack spent the better part of a year in the bottom of their backpack.
Really? Was all of this worthy of a trip home? We are the first "green" school in our state. With the amount of paper that is currently sprawled across my kitchen table, I am questioning that title and status. My kids were encouraged to bring only reusable lunch bags to school. We recycled Capri Sun juice pouches, we recycled cell phones and batteries, we have solar panels all over, we have sustainable materials that constructed our school, we have "earth friendly vehicle" parking spots. But my kids personally took down a rain forest with the contents of their desks. And now it sits on my kitchen table. I started making piles the other day, and my 11 year old, privy to my organizational tactics, said "This pile is for keep and this pile is for REALLY keep, right?" Crap. But seriously? He wants to keep a geography test from February that he got 100% on. Congrats pal. We are all proud of you. Throw it the FUCK AWAY! I am not sure why 99% of this stuff even made it through the corridor of their classroom. Do they not have a responsible adult saying "If it is old, if it is used and cannot be reused, please put it here"....with a big fat arrow pointing to the garbage can. I guess in that case, my kids would have taken the easy way out and tossed everything. Instead, they went to the opposite end of the lazy spectrum and brought home EVERYTHING that has ever been in their desk (which is apparently the size and depth of the Pacific) since September. So now what? Well, they are at a sleepover, which means that the bulldozer is going to pull right into the kitchen and dispose of 99% of the 99% of crap that never should have made it home. I think I am going to save those fucking purple notebooks for next year though. He will need them. No, mark my words. HE WILL NEED THEM. I spent $75 in gas to go and find those 30cent notebooks. He will use them as journals this summer, or his scrapbook or something. And I might see if I can salvage a highlighter or two. And shit shit shit. I know I have to spend another $200 in the fall and a good portion of three days searching, battling and fighting women with keds and fanny packs to get this crap all over again. So I have decided right now that the broken crayons are getting duct-taped together, I will reinforce flimsy folders with contact paper, and staple and rebind spiral notebooks for use again next year. I worked way too hard and spent way too much money just 9 months ago, and my kids obviously love this stuff enough to bring it home. So we are going to use it all again next year. We are the "green" school after all. Anyone need a calculator? I have three...

8 comments:

Michelle said...
June 11, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Okay, this is EXACTLY my life, right down to those friggin' purple notebooks, I kid you not! By the way, MY son did not end up using his, either, even though they HAD to have them!

me said...
June 11, 2010 at 4:23 PM

So this is my future I assume!

As a teacher I was always encouraging them to toss things...but some kids just feel very compelled to hold on tight...maybe future hoarders...hopefully not:)

GL getting rid of it all...

Amy Lee said...
June 11, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Been there done that..I have 3 kids in school. My oldest is ADHD and OCD and a friggin' PACK RAT! He brought home shit that I immediately made him throw away. He hovers over his teachers when they are cleaning out their desks and rooms and says "can I have that?" or "I'll take it." And brings it home..NOOOOO!!! I swear this kid is going to be on Hoarders when he's an adult.

My middle child doesn't give a crap what I keep or throw away. The younger one begs to keep it for a little while and after a couple of days I know she'll let me throw it away.

At least your school sends home the schools supplies. California schools are so broke and cheap they hoard/keep every unused thing. It still drives me nuts though the shit they ask for. I don't ever get everything on the lists and the lists usually say "don't write your child's name on the items." Fuck that. I bought it and I'm taking a BIG BLACK SHARPIE and writing first and last names on everything!

Jennifer said...
June 13, 2010 at 1:53 PM

I just want to thank you for the good laugh. I don't have children, however, I think I would scream if this happened to me. In a round-about way...I feel your pain. Thanks for giving me a good laugh today...I needed it.

Jaime said...
June 14, 2010 at 12:09 AM

LMAO. I feel your pain.....although our unwanted shit now includes anything that my son's buddies decided to leave in his locker as well as some unidentifiable stains, smells and fungus' from his gym clothes. Ahhh the life of having a teenager i guess. Isn't recycling why we have bind-it-alls?

Katy at Minnesota Attorney said...
June 14, 2010 at 10:23 PM

So funny that they are particular about everything you need to have and then they fail to use it. Do kids actually use the pearl erasers?

Alison said...
June 16, 2010 at 2:02 AM

My son came home from school with 42 of the 49 pencils I was required to purchase for him in September!!!!

Our school offers us a 'savings pack' which allows us to purchase all the supplies at once and save all that travelling around. The catch...you have to buy the entire package even if your kid only used half a glue stick last year and the pack had three. I did notice that next year's teacher requires 2 PURPLE binders...who the heck sells Purple binders??? So I'll have to shell out $80 for all the same supplies as last year! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anonymous said...
June 17, 2010 at 10:50 AM

my mom's biggest complaint about school supplies is when they asked for names not to be put on things and she would send to school at the beginning of the year crayola and other better quality stuff and we would come home with whatever the teacher gave us(usually some cheap brand that doesn't work anyway)
I don't have too much problem with getting my stuff back but my daughter brings home everyone elses as well....
But she is ok with me getting rid of all her old school work as long as I do it when she is not home to see it go.

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