I undertook the typical life in France with kids annual treat of buying school supplies for la Rentrée yesterday, eldest strongly in tow.
Last year I was spared this mega chore because his school had thoughtfully subscribed to Scoleo.fr where the teachers give a list of supplies to the website and parents can log on and get the whole load bought and delivered in the twinkle of an eye. Sadly, my eldest has had to change schools and the teachers at his present one can't be fagged to budge from their usual habit of yelling 'Same as last year!' to the Vie Scolaire team as they rush out the door for the summer holidays. Vie Scolaire then just photocopy the right year's list and send it out to parents. Of course, they could post the list online themselves, but habits die hard in l'education national... There seems to be scant regard to consider the cost of stamps in all this...
It took 3 hours, 5 shops, and quite a bit of hanging about. It didn't help that I had to replace the phone my eldest had lost in the summer (while at his dad's), and the paperwork for that always takes a while. We were also doing the weekly shop in Carrouf, but what with the need for indoor sports shoes, outdoor sports shoes, an Eastpak bag ('€48 but it's got a 30yr warranty, mummy. Pleeeeease!'. 'And I'm sure you'll test it out, son'...) all from different shops because of the prices, I was greatly in need of my evening swim and glass of chilled rosé at the end of it.
It could have been worse, though. I learned a few years ago that the list of supplies by subject is a total nightmare because you have to keep counting up the total number of the same items required. I now put it all in a spreadsheet so the totals are immediately visible - large-squared writing books, 96 pages: 8.
Anyway, that particular chore is over for this year, for my eldest at least, although I'm sure more demands will come in at the beginning of term, and my youngest will have a small list too once he goes back to school. At least they don't have to wear a uniform. One must be thankful for small mercies!