Thursday, August 18, 2011

Comparison Parenting

Like the dutifully prepared mother I am, I was taking the school supplies out of the thin plastic sack gaudily displaying the store's name where my husband took Katie to buy them. I was transferring them into a proper reusable bag so Katie's teacher straight out knows her parents are good citizens. Crap! I'm doing that Comparison Parenting again. Stop it. I'm a good mom. I'm a good mom for Katie. Probably not for a normal kid, but my weirdo and I do just fine, thank you. I have no reason to compare myself to other parents at her school.

But it was while I was getting her things ready for kindergarten that I saw on the supply list it says all twenty-four pencils need to be sharpened.

First of all, why does a five year old need twenty four pencils? I don't recall writing in kindergarten, just singing songs and getting vomited on by the boy sitting next to me during circle time. But in first grade I remember having one of those giant pencils for people with tiny hands and fat fingers--oh, that's why they don't use those kinds of pencils anymore.

But anyway, I looked at the box of pencils Will and Katie picked out. The label touts them as the best pencils in the world and that they have some kind of super human shield that covers them to keep other kid's germs off my daughter's hands. But wait, she has twenty-four pencils. What's the likelihood that someone else will use up all their twenty-four pencils and need to borrow one from Katie?

But that wasn't my point. My point is even though these supposedly awesome pencils kill germs, they do not come pre-sharpened.

And I don't own a pencil sharpener.

Katie actually owns one. Our good friend gave her this really fancy adult art set once when Katie was like three and it has since been destroyed as any proper three-year-old's art set should be. It had a really nice heavy duty metal pencil sharpener, but alas it is lost.

I have an old eyeliner sharpener from back during my Siouxsie and the Banshees phase, but it looks like it's about the crumble. I think it was Wet and Wild brand or something. I'm afraid it would destroy the undestroyable unsharpened pencils with its Eighties might. It could break the pencils, but the lead poking out would be pretty much as cylindrical as it is inside the wood and definitely not what a kindergarten teacher I'm sure would consider sharp.

They have to have a pencil sharpener at school right? Can't I sharpen them there if I promise to empty the shavings into the trash can neatly and not dump them all over the carpet or forget and leave the shavings in the sharpener to clog it up?

First time parent School Supply Anxiety should be a formally recognized disability.