Monday, August 11, 2008

The Absurdity of Preparing for School

So, we had a new experience recently. And, when I saw new, for me it was all brand new. For ButterBean's school this year, we had to go and buy school uniforms. I am a proud product of public schools in the US and never had a uniform. So, this is uncharted ground for me. It was so cute watching ButterBean try on little jumpers and shirts and such. Soooo cute. But, also a bit silly. Here we are trying on the shorts and ButterBean has a similar problem to El 3atal. In Jordan, when buying shirts, it's sort of a one size fits all approach. For men, you pick the right size around the chest and the neck gapes if you aren't shaped like a straight board. So, when El 3atal tried on shirts, it looked like he borrowed his Dad's shirts.

I had flashbacks to this when trying clothes on ButterBean. She's generally petite and quite thin. However, the shirt that fit at the shoulder, bust, and length had sleeves that were 2 inches too short. The next size up had shoulder seams around mid bicep. Basically, it looked like she was wearing hand-me-downs from her older sister. How junky is that? So, I'm annoyed at the people who do sizes here in Jordan. At least for the start of school, she'll be in short sleeves which we bought in the smaller size. But really, what are they thinking? If you're thin, you're also tiny (and I mean really tiny as ButterBean is somewhere around the 10th or 15th percentile for her age). So, at any rate, I hate that she'll swim in most of her clothes, but am getting used to that.

The other thing that has struck me as a bit on the absurd side is the instructions they gave us with her books. I think you need a Master's in Physics to figure them out. Write this, this, this and that on the cover, then cover the book with this and place it in the that. The kids need five (exactly five apparently, don't ask me why) pencils labeled with their names (what?!). So I ordered them from a company in the US imprinted with ButterBean's name. And, went ahead and did the twins in advance so I won't have to be worrying about this again in 2 years. And they need colored pencils, and erasers, and, and, and... I don't remember it being this complicated when I was a kid (of course we just used brown paper bags that were self-decorated as book covers, so... maybe it wasn't.

All the instructions leave me going, Hunh? And then (and here is the true crux of the problem) why? See, this gets me into trouble each and every time. I want to understand the why before I'll put myself to significant effort. Like the new for this year requirement for a hearing test. Why? We've done them, but getting the records of them is a PITA. In fact, in the US, it's done at birth for all babies. And then, we had them done again for all of the kids (part of the speech therapy evaluation process). So, I'm not really inclined to go to any trouble at all to get them done. We'll just try and get their records from the US. Who knew what a hassle that was going to be :).

Finally, par for the course from last year, the KG still hasn't decided what the first day of school will be, but has indicated that it will be September 1 or later. Yikes, then I guess we should expect an end date of June 15 or later. There goes that summer vacation... At least we know when ButterBean starts and can enjoy preparing for that and starting her without worrying about the TwinBeans. They won't start until later, so she'll get lots of focus. I'll look at that particular silver lining and ignore others where the silver seems to be tarnished :). At any rate...

Happy school supplies!


At 11:15 PM , Blogger Simple Answer said...

I can't believe how much we spent on school supplies! And I have no idea how it is all going to get carried in on the first day of school!

At 1:51 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

You might look into having a tailor work on the shirts for your kids. At our school you can buy the material and fashion things yourself as well, so look into that. It is cheap to have things custom made here and it might be your answer. Enjoy! ;)

At 9:33 PM , Blogger Sam said...

ah no worries about that this year..i bought the kids cute outfits i chose..cute backpacks that i am sure will not be ripped within a week because of the million and 5 books inside.....good luck..:o)

At 9:03 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Stop Sam. I don't like you anymore :). Teehee.

Nicole, yeah, I think our school doesn't do that. Besides I figure that the really big ones will fit turtlenecks under them for winter :). Looking on the bright side...

Simpleanswer, welcome to Jordan :(. I imagine you might not have been expecting the price changes.

At 6:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are you? Ok, I know you and Elatal have business-savy, so I have a new biz idea for you. There's a company in the US, SchoolKidz or something like that. We send them our supply list in April and then parents can just order a back to school pack from them. They pay in April for the next school year and then the packs are at school, ready for the kids in August. It's great, especially for parents with many kids, all in different grades. We can even be brand specific, like one year the kit had wet-wipes that were so stinky, so I specified Clorox for the next year. Anyway, it saves the parents from going and getting everything themselves. Maybe you and Elatal could start the company in Jordan.
Oh, yeah, they even come with pre-printed name labels for all the stuff. Just peel and stick!

At 4:13 AM , Blogger NasEr said...

LOL,once i saw this cartoon your post came in my mind :D



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