Going to preschool, I probably brought the clothes on my back. For Kantra, aside from her textbook, we had to order her school supplies directly from her school: crayons, bag, hat, gym shirt, two smocks, scissors, glue, indoor shoes, a booklet case, and her alien earthquake hat. It’s a pointy cushion that’s supposed to protect her head from falling debris. Imagine a school fire drill with every kid wearing alien earthquake hats. It looks like Mars Attacks. Never seen anything like it. The hat is mandatory, so is writing her name on every single item.
Separately, we had to buy her a water bottle, a lunch box, a bag to put her lunch in, a bag to be kept at school to keep a spare change of clothes, toothbrush, rinsing cup, and another bag for her toothbrush and rinsing cup. Later, water shoes, a towel, another change of clothes, and a beach bag was added to the arsenal. Her class started playing in water during the summer. On her change of clothes, including socks, underwear, her name had to be written. We got a bike and Kantra a bicycle helmet. Haruki prepares her lunch most mornings. On Mondays I have to remember to put the following in her bag: bag with toothbrush and rinsing cup, hand towel, smock, indoor shoes, water bottle, and bag with lunch and utensils. Everyday, we change the hand towel and clean her rinsing cup. On Fridays we take her smocks and indoor shoes home. Haruki scrubs her indoor shoes and washes Kantra’s smocks. I have to remember to bring everything back on Monday. It barely fits in her school bag. Yes I forget sometimes.
Haruki said that for toddlers and babies, mothers bring three sets of clothes to school, which means that three times a day, teachers change the kids’ clothes. For elementary school kids, having a Randoseru backpack is tradition. The parents buy them from the school. “When I was in school, it was like $800,” Haruki said. We’re not talking private institutions, just regular-ass, taxpayer funded, public school. “It was a gift.” A what?