REVISED: Middle School Supply List for Moms Who Have Completely Lost Their Shit

If I step on another one of these, I may have to be restrained.

Dear Moms,

The school year is rapidly approaching and we know you’re about to lose it. Between the collection of Otter Pop wrappers in the living room, soggy beach towels draped over every surface and the pile of flip-flops littering your floors, you seem more than a little on edge. So instead of making you buy $200 worth of crap at Target that’s only going to end up in the lost and found, we’ve revised this year’s list to focus on items you already own.

(REVISED) Supplies List:

This year, we are forgoing Pencils and Pens in favor of One Dozen Used Popsicle Sticks. If you pull the couch away from the wall, you should be able to locate at least twice that many. On a related note, in lieu of a Pencil Sharpener, please bring in all the Empty Toilet Paper Tubes that no one seems capable of replacing with a fresh roll.

Instead of a Pencil Case, students will need a Bag of Ants. You probably already have a swarm of them from all those chocolatey ice cream bowls everyone keeps leaving on the kitchen table. Just try and round them up the best you can. Or, if someone’s left a half-eaten PB&J sandwich in a baggie on the counter, they should already be nicely contained.

Glue Sticks seem silly when everything is already sticky enough, so we’re suggesting you round up all the Slime that your children have made over the summer and bring that. You will probably find it in all your good Tupperware containers and at least one pair of your running shoes.

Note: Obviously, we are not requiring your child to have White Glue this year since that has been completely depleted in the making of Slime, and there’s a 3-month wait to buy it at Michael’s.

Crayons and “Pencil Crayons” seem soooo last year, so to fulfill the Waxy Item Quota, gather your Melted Citronella Candles. If needed, scrape them off your patio set or decking, and dump the scrapings into the only remaining Tupperware that doesn’t contain Slime.

They seem innocent enough. Right? Pure evil.

No Pocket Folders required this year! To hold all of the children’s homework, please bring one or more Empty Boxes of Waffles that someone has stuffed back in the freezer after eating the last one.

Lined Notebook Paper is also out! Instead, 25 Unfinished Anime Drawings, Half-Hearted Origami or Anything Crafty Made from a Paper Plate will suffice. Check under the couch when you pull it out to look for popsicle sticks, or in whatever drawer they stuff all the shit they drag home from camp.

In lieu of a Ruler, please have your child bring A Sharp Stick that the dog has drug home from a recent walk. If it’s not under the dining room table, it may be caught in the blade of the broken lawn mower moping on the side of the house, amidst the foot-high grass.

Note: There is also no need for 1 Pair Scissors as they seem dangerous, given how stabby everyone is feeling in the current political climate.

Staples and a Staple Remover will not be needed. Rather, please bring all the 1x1 Legos, Single Earrings, from Claire’s Boutique, Fidget Spinners and Broken Barrettes that you’ve extracted from the fleshy part of your bare feet this summer. It’s likely you’ve already tossed them in the trash, but send a younger sibling out back to the dumpster to fish around.

We also deemed a Pocket Dictionary and Thesaurus to be a total hassle, so please locate all your Overdue Library Books and just bring those. They should be sitting in a stack by the front door as a “reminder,” but keep getting passed by as you swear you’ll “return them next time.”

Note: if you have snail mail nastygrams about said overdue library books, those can also fulfill the Lined Notebook Paper quota.

Instead of Blue Shorts and White T-Shirts for gym class, we would like students to bring in a Wet, Moldy Bathing Suit and at Least Twenty (20) Unmatched Socks. Moldy Bathing Suits will be either in the shower, on your child’s bedroom floor or stuffed under the back seat of the Subaru. Unmatched socks should be scattered throughout your entire home including, inexplicably, in the crisper drawer.

Last year we suggested Water Bottle Clearly Labeled with Your Child’s Name. This year we’re replacing that with all the Dirty Dishes, Filmy Milk Glasses and Crusty Forks living in and/or under your child’s bed.

To eliminate the need to purchase Class Snacks, we are asking instead for an Open Tub of Butter, Stale Cookie Crumbs, or a Partially-Eaten Bag of Chips. In a pinch, Half-Drunk Ice Drinks will suffice.

Oh, look. Here’s a sandwich on the counter.

Finally, Subject Dividers?!!?! C’mon people. Aren’t we, as a country, divided enough? Find Something that Unites Us like bomb pops or water balloons and bring those instead.

Although we didn’t formally list them, we would be remiss if we didn’t add that the one thing you want out of your house most by mid-August is your children. So be sure and bring several of those one the first day. Good luck, refill your wine mug, and your sanity should return shortly.

See what we’re saving you from? (Photo: Anne DeLong)