Snap Open! Snap Shut!
The excitement in our house is flowing like a water hose with too much pressure. We made it past the two days of rules and regulations at school and now must have new stuff. We ran to Walmart over the weekend to get supplies, football cleats, and umbrellas. For nine hours straight I listened to the eight-year old explain to me how to work a one and a half inch three ring binder. He showed me how to open and close it. Snap! And he would look at me expectantly. “See mom, I just pull them and they open.” Snap. “Mom, mom, look I just snap them shut.” Snap Open! Snap Shut! Little teeth on the edge of each ring just waiting to grab some soft finger tissue and pinch. Snap Open! Snap Shut! Who knew? He has a million electronic gadgets. Snap Open! Snap Shut!
I moved into the other room. I could hear the snapping of the open/close sequence, over and over. Paper in. Paper out. Snap Open! Pencil bag in front of paper. Snap Close! Snap Open! Move pencil bag to the back of the paper. Snap Close! He would pick it up and shake it to see if the pencil bag was falling out. Snap Open! Loose leaf paper in. Almost. “Mooooommmm. I can’t get the paper into the binder. The holes are messed up.” I know exactly what has happened. He tried to put the entire pack in at the same time and the paper shifted. Been there, done that. Snap Close!
Later that night, we had the binder ready for school, or so I thought. I heard him holler, “Did you know that spiral notebooks come with three holes in them so that they can fit into a binder?” New excitement. Snap Open! The spiral fit exactly on top of the loose leaf paper. Snap Close! Pause. Snap Open! Snap Close! He must have heard me get up from the chair. Snap Open! “Just checking mom.” Snap Close! I was just about out of SNAP patience when I heard him gasp. “Moooommmm! The front has a little cover where I can put my name.” I nodded and sat back down.
He scratched around for a couple of pieces of typing paper to create some posters of his name to go in the front clear pocket. Gasp! There is a pocket on the back as well. More paper and more designs. Finally, around bedtime, he was carrying the one and half inch binder – full of paper, pencil bags and spiral – around above his head on his outstretched hand, like a waiter. He would set the thing down and Snap Open! Snap Shut! Snap Open! Snap Shut! Snap Open! I almost lost my finger in the struggle, but I got hold of the binder and told him to put it in his bag for the night. Snap! Shut!
I clearly remember when we got school supplies. We didn’t get nearly as many things but I truly loved each new school year when we would gather our things on the kitchen table and mark them. I loved the new stuff and tolerated the used stuff. We generally got pencils, paper, notebooks, protractor, half-circle compass and a ruler. Sometimes scissors and paints, UNLESS we could find them already available around the house. It was a mad scramble at times to use up old pencils and pens right before school so we HAD to have new.
One year, the green-eyed jealousy bug ate me alive. One of my cousins got one of the tiny, little staplers that held the different size staples. “Swingline” was printed in white on the red top. It was not even real printing. It was a combination of cursive and print. So Modern! It had its own little box of smaller staples. It opened and there was the tiniest spring to make the staples push forward. It was cool and smooth. I was not just jealous. I was covetous! I wanted that stapler so bad. She knew it too. She would Click, Click, Click it right in front of me. I don’t believe that she never actually stapled a paper, she just clicked it in my face. I am over it now.
As I watch the kids sort and separate their new school stuff, I realize how much things have changed, but then again not really so much.
For me it was a mini stapler. For him a three-ring binder.