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The Hell that is School Supply Shopping

It’s that time of year again…  Washoe County School District announces the teachers assigned to each student, and every parent in the school district gets their hands on the supply list for their child’s class… With the expectation that the supplies be delivered with the children the first day of school.

And the countdown is on. This means for the next week, every school supply section of every major box retailer is going to be jam packed with frazzled moms and kids suffering from sparkly object syndrome.

My children think our shopping experience will be like this. They think this shopping trip is going to be as awesome as Disneyland.


I absolutely don’t have problems with the idea of shelling out the money for school supplies. I’m more than happy to invest in my children’s education.

It’s the EXPERIENCE of shopping and the obscure items on the supply list that just drives me up the wall. So when I finally get the courage up to go school shupply shopping, I’m like this.


I find myself talking to myself and ranting under my breath in the middle of big box retailers.

Because it never fails that you find only 90% of that school supply list at your first stop…  And you spend an inordinate amount of time looking for one or two items on that damn list that happen to not be in stock or not packaged the way the teacher has requested.

Like today…  I needed a pack of black fine tipped Sharpies. Sounds simple. But Target only has a pack of fine tipped colored Sharpies, mixed with one black fine tipped Sharpie. There are packages of black medium tipped Sharpies, but NO pack of fine tipped Sharpies. So then I start talking to myself…

Should I buy multiple packs of multi-colored Sharpies and just create a pack of black fine tipped Sharpies, or should I drive to another big box store packed with parents and children in search of this item? How many Sharpies would constitute a pack? My God, that’d be like $20 in Sharpies. 

And before you know it, I’m berating myself for spending so much damn time debating Sharpies. And I’m like this…


Also on today’s list was “small Post-Its”. Well, I found the regular sized Post Its. I found the type of Post Its that you use to mark a page. But none of the small Post-Its.

And I start talking to myself again.

Small Post-Its. Are the bookmark style ones too small? Do I have to drive to another store to find the exact size of Post Its? Should I just cut the normal Post Its in half?! Will my child be shunned by her sub-par Post Its?

And all of this is happening while my children pepper me with a thousand questions, and other frazzled moms are trying to get into the Post It section with their brood and carts as well.

Today, I overheard another mom grumble under her breath, “I hate Back to School shopping.”

And I was like


So this post goes out to all you Mommas in the same boat as me. I’ll see you in the School Supply section. Because I still have to go back in search of those last few items. Get yourself mentally prepared for the battle that is the School Supply aisle.



But keep the prize in mind…  Come next Monday….





About Lynnette Bellin

Lynnette Bellin
Lynnette Bellin is the former owner and site manager of the Reno Moms Blog. She is a married mother of a teenage daughter and a highly energetic tween boy. Lynnette moved to Reno in 2001 after choosing to live in a place that she loved for its natural beauty. She has written four children's books, including The Kindness Ninja and a series of three books called Adeline’s Magical Moments Collection. She has been obsessed with blogging since 2002. Lynnette loves to experience outdoor adventures in our area, including skiing, hiking, camping, and open water swimming. She spends her days working from home for a NYC ad agency and shuttling kids to dance, lacrosse and basketball.

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