Right about now, parents are combing the aisles of local retailers, ticking off the school-supply lists sent by their children's teachers.
Now back in MY day, supply lists went: paper thingies, writing thingies (crayons, pencils, markers and/or colored pencils), safety scissors, and maybe a ruler or calculator, depending on your grade.
I got a glimpse of one of the lists of supplies kids of 2013 are in dire need of. Looks like things have changed.
First off, school kids of today need - NEED- hand sanitizer. A Google search of some local schools shows that they must be pumping gallons of the stuff on germy, disgusting children every day.
Also, wet wipes are now educational supplies. You apparently can't learn about right triangles if you have jelly smeared on your cheek.
I don't know about all this sanitizing and wiping. As an adult, I subscribe to the George Carlin method of germ defense, in that I want to give my body enough germs to practice on to keep it strong.
But schools are breeding grounds for disease, and kids don't have their germ army built up yet. A hundred sneezing, runny, sick children can't be wrong, so slather them down with isopropanol! It's on the list.
Another difference is that glue is only accepted in stick form, and not squeezy bottle form. Does this make it less delicious?
Also, dry-erase markers: kids should not be given things that cause hallucinations when sniffed. Next thing you know, they'll be eating the hand sanitizer. Dry-erase markers are the gateway drug.
Kids also need to bring plastic sandwich baggies. To contain what? Not sandwiches. Legos? Soiled clothing? Specimens? I knew moms who would wash and reuse sandwich baggies and would want each bag accounted for.
Now, I'm sure all of these things are needed for kids of 2013. I only see the inside of schools to vote, so I can only guess.
These lists need to be a little more specific. For example, they are lacking in the words "Lisa Frank." As in, "Two Lisa Frank folders of the utmost hot pink and neon green and including no less than two cute animals."
I saw some eBay auctions for '80s and '90s Lisa Frank items, and I could make my car payment next month if I had kept that Lisa Frank sticker set I got from the Scholastic book sale.
Also, Trapper Keepers. Covered in sport cars, kittens, basketball hoops, or roller skates - or all of these things together. Slam-dunking roller-skating hot-rod kittens. Kids still need to keep their papers trapped, right?
Combing the school supply section for the perfect Trapper Keeper and pencil sets was the only thing to keep back-to-school anxiety at bay. They would sit in our layaway box at Hills, and opening it was the only highlight of the end of summer vacation.
So, I guess if Lisa Frank starts making hand sanitizer, the kids of today will be OK.
I just Googled "Lisa Frank Hand Sanitizer." I can sleep well tonight.