Back-to-school shopping a parenting test
By Rose Panieri September 3, 2012 5:56PM
Updated: October 5, 2012 6:05AM
If you’ve ever been an unwitting participant in the dog days ritual of back-to-school shopping, you’re a brave and hearty soul. I’m sure you’ve noticed there is no possibility of one-stop shopping when it comes to stocking up on everything “Little Johnny” will need to be a well-adjusted second-grader with healthy self-esteem.
You need a battle plan to get the best deals on school supplies. Those sneaky box stores collude on pricing, yes they do. One retail giant may offer spiral notebooks for 15 cents each. Ah, but you’ll pay premium price for the Elmer’s School Glue, unless you head for the store on the other end of town, where it’s on sale. Gas, food or school supplies — it’s a tough decision.
Maybe you’ve also noticed that not just any folder will suffice in certain fussy school districts. Teachers appear to get a dirty, little thrill out of torturing the very parents who pay their salaries.
When you read the school supply list, you will see something like, “four red, two yellow and three blue folders.” Red means red. Don’t even think of substituting an orange folder. It is not allowed.
If you buy something other than No. 2 pencils or Kleenex brand tissues, you’ll get fish-face looks from the child’s teacher. You will be branded “bad mother.”
Substituting generic glue for Elmer’s may seem like a trifle to you, but it’s a whopping, big deal to certain teachers. You know who I’m talking about, right?.
Without realizing it, you will have ruined your child’s scholastic future. Your kid will always be known as the “offspring of that difficult mother who can’t follow directions.”
The wayward book bag
With the back-to-school hoopla, it’s only natural that someone would lose books and school-related items.
Sally Likar of Joliet is in a real pickle. On Aug. 8, she was walking home — pushing her bike along and trying to manhandle a couple of big boxes of stuff she picked up from the University of St. Francis’ fair. The book bag she carried was weighing her down. You might say she was having a tough time of it.
“Two men saw me at the corner of Western Avenue and Wilcox Street in a green van. They offered me a ride and I graciously accepted,” she said. “Their names were John and Tommy, and they had a little dachshund named Barney.”
Though it’s probably not a good idea to accept rides from strangers, in this case everything worked out fairly well.
“When I got home they helped me get my boxes and my bike out of the back, but I forgot that I had a red book bag with me, and I left it in between the two backseats of the van,” she said.
There was a notebook and library book in the book bag, and Likar has phoned Joliet Public Library every single day to see if some good Samaritan turned it in. So far, no one has.
She has a special favor to ask of John and Tommy, the gentlemen kind enough to give her a ride home.
“I would like them to turn the bag into the lost and found at the library downtown,” she said.
I’m guessing it would also be acceptable if they returned it to any library in the Will County district.
If you’ve lost —
or found — something,
all 815-773-7178 or email