Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer Break, Week 8

Today I took Ryan and Eric shopping for school supplies. That utterly ridiculous list of supplies that none of us had to buy when we were kids. Ok, Ok, calm down all you teachers--I don't blame the teachers. The schools do not supply the basic necessities anymore. I GET it. And no, I absolutely do not expect the teachers to personally buy supplies for my child. But I still reserve the right to complain about the fact that my property taxes keep going up, we're certainly not paying the teachers out of it, and now I'm buying all of the supplies. I'm sure there is a perfectly good explanation for where my tax dollars go, but the bottom line is, I had to take 2 children to Target today.

So my morning started with Mike commenting, again, that he sees no reason for me to buy school supplies in June. The fact that it is mid-August and school is starting in 3 weeks does not stop him from saying this.

Of course Ryan picked out a new Spiderman backpack. His 3rd in a row. I tried explaining to him that the quality of this backpack is not good and it's not all that roomy either, but there was no talking him out of it. Just like there was no talking Eric out of a Spiderman head shaped lunch bag that he absolutely does not need. We then selected all of the basic supplies, along with Kleenex, sanitizing wipes, sanitizing hand cleaner, and baby wipes. If Ryan gets sick even once this year, I'm going to be really pissed and demand to know why each child wasn't completely decontaminated each and every day with the $20 in cleaning supplies each of us purchased.

We then went to Barnes and Noble. For weeks now Eric has been begging for the Klutz How To Draw Marvel Comics Super Heroes book. Ryan has one and it has been killing (yes, actually killing) Eric not to have his own. Today was the day. And to be fair to Ryan, I told him he may select one book as well. We found Eric's book and we then had the painful experience of watching Ryan try to make his own selection. He really wanted a comic book. The comic books at Barnes and Noble are very expensive and completely inappropriate for 7 year old boys. I refuse to have Ryan's first sex talk with him as the result of one of these graphic novels. We then finally found a really cool Marvel comic book/action figure set in the bargain book section.

I took the unmarked box to the cashier who told me that even though it was marked $24.99, the bargain price is $14.99. Fine. I had her hold it, watched her put the price on a post-it and stick it on the box, and we then looked around a few minutes more. Went back to the checkout counter and the new cashier threw the post-it away, right in front of me, and told me the box was $24.99. I explained that Sue looked up the real price for me blah blah blah and rather than calling Sue, she called the manager who will now be referred to as The Ass. The Ass told me that $24.99 was the bargain price. I explained again that all of the other bargain books have a special bargain price sticker on the front. This does not. Sue looked it up for me. There is a big stack of these Marvel things in the bargain section and by the way it was on that post-it you threw away. The Ass then shrugged and said again, nope, it's $24.99. The fact that he made a 7 year old boy cry didn't seem to bother him in the least, let alone the fact that he was refusing to honor a price given by one of his employees. I can only assume that he took Sue out back and beat the crap out of her after we left.

I was a woman on a mission. I get to make my son cry anytime I want, but no Ass is going to do that! We were going to get Ryan a comic book if it took all day. Which it did. We then went to a childrens bookstore nearby, that actually had very few books, but was run by a woman who apparently got The Memo from The Ass and completely insulted my kids. I asked if she had any drawing books and she told me that she had a few Ed Emberly thumbprint books, but they would be way too advanced for my kids. Are you kidding me? No wonder she had no other customers. I then explained that my 7 year old likes to sketch and she asked me why I didn't take him to the art museum. I am not making this conversation up. A simple NO would have sufficed.

We then called Mike, knower of all sports card shops in the Seattle area (he should know--he owns most of the cards) and asked where to find the nearest one, as many of then also carry comic books. Or rather, use to, as we found out.

Ryan again reminded me, in his most polite voice, that there is a comic book shop in downtown Renton that Daddy takes him to. I had been avoiding that because I hate downtown Renton. But thanks to The Ass and his sister, I ran the kids through the McDonald's drive through for a very late lunch and headed to Renton. To The Comic Den. A veritable treasure trove of comic books. Eric immediately found the Venom section (Eric scares me. He is only 4 and can't read yet, but was able to find the V section and pull out a Venom comic book with no assistance whatsoever). And despite the fact he was missing several teeth, the man behind the counter could not have been sweeter. He showed me how to read the ratings on the comics, where all the kid-friendly comics are located, as well as Spiderman. He even gave each of the boys a free Spiderman poster and perused Eric's Venom comic to make sure it was free of naked women.

We arrived home at 3:00. We left at 9:30 to buy school supplies and got home at 3:00. Eric immediately put his new Spiderman underwear on (and asked me to throw away all of his Spidey and Friends underwear. It's for babies, you know), then his Spiderman costume, and the boys settled in to Spidey heaven.

I knit a felted pear and then washed away the bat droppings from our breezeway.

I feel like a princess.

At least he is reading.

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