In the second week of this school year, Ethan lost his PE bag.  A PE bag that had every strap labelled with his name and every item in it (school swimming costume, school swimming cap, goggles and a towel) labelled very clearly!  To this day, we haven’t found the bag.  We decided not to buy another PE bag (it costs in the region of R200), and we gave him one of those small bags that you can pull the strings closed to close it, that he had received driving back from holiday in December at one of the petrol stops – it’s a Paw Patrol bag.  He was fine with it.  We didn’t have to fork out money for a bag, problem solved.

Two weeks later, we had a “scare” (this uniform problem is real y’all!) when he got home from school and realised he had left his PE bag (the Paw Patrol bag) at school after PE.  His school SHOES were in it!  I’m not sure whether you know how much school shoes cost, but…I’ll leave it there.  The next morning, we went to his class together and his PE bag was fortunately inside but we couldn’t get in to check whether the shoes were there as the class was locked…they were…problem avoided.

Last week Thursday, Ethan went to play in a soccer match at another school.  They took the school bus.  I told him in the morning to take his soccer stuff with him in the bus as we were taking him straight home from soccer.  His dad took him home, I was on a work course.  At 3pm, I saw 5 please call me’s from our nanny.  I thought somebody was dying at home – okay, I’m over exaggerating on the somebody dying, but FIVE????!!!!!  When I called home, P wanted to tell me that…Ethan came home without his school blazer.  Ethan says he left it in the school bus, we are yet to find it.  Seeing as it’s labelled and it was left in the school bus, I’m thinking it will pop up, but his PE bag and goodies inside were also labelled, and months later…nothing!  Anyway, we live in hope, hahahaha.

Then this morning, while we were getting ready for school, Ethan asked me whether I could go with him to class this morning.  Odd coming from him, a child who is quite independent, and generally walks to class alone.  So I asked him why…he said that the kids make fun of his Paw Patrol bag and so he wants me to carry it for him.  My heart broke.

We don’t have any other bag that’s small enough for him to carry his soccer kit to school in.

I’m now torn between whether letting him “toughen up” and just deal with this, or just spending the money and buying him a new bag.  The last thing I want is for my child to be teased…but also, just throwing money around when he lost the bag in the first place…I’m not so sure???  Also, he’s only 6…arrggghhh.

When I bumped into one of the dads this morning, I mentioned the missing blazer, he said they’re on blazer number 2 and then he literally whispered…we bought it second hand…as if he was too embarrassed to say it out loud.

Do you buy second hand school items?

Do you think spending the cash when you have it on new items is okay or out of principal, will you not do it? 


18 responses »

  1. halberts2014 says:

    Oh goodness, I feel you. Liam misplaced a pair of grey school shorts, clearly marked, about 2 weeks ago and they haven’t resurfaced.
    I don’t know what irritates me most – the fact that the kid has misplaced the stuff or the fact that someone out there has picked it up, seen it is clearly someone else’s and kept it anyway. I think the latter. Sometimes Liam picks up other kids stuff and we have even gone out of our way to contact the parent and drive it around to where it belongs. I check Liam’s bag every night, unpack and repack. Now I’ve taken to actually doing it while we are still outside the aftercare. I’ve checked the aftercare lost & found and I’m amazed at all the school shoes in there. Aren’t parents missing them? Liam has 2 or more of each school clothing but he only has 1 pair of shoes. What the heck, and like you say, you can’t just dash out and buy another pair.
    Fortunately Liam seems to be quite good and holding onto his stuff so we haven’t had many incidents, but still, it’s freaking irritating. Why can’t things just be returned to their rightful owner. I blame the parents for this. Sorry, but I do. If I can return it, why can’t they. Or does the “nanny” unpack and repack and iron and put away so the actual parent hasn’t realised my kids pants are in their house.
    Oooh, ek is sommer van voeruit kwaad, LOL
    I’m assuming that you’ve tried the school office to see if the blazer has been handed in?

    • Jodie says:

      Hahahaha – you sound more annoyed with this than I am 😉 The teacher said yesterday that they hadn’t cleaned the bus yesterday yet and that if it were there, he would get it this morning so fingers crossed!!

  2. debraaukett says:

    Urgh we have lost way too many things too… somehow Jamie’s stuff ends up in someone else’s bag sometimes. When it happens that we find someone else’s stuff in Jamie’s bag, we return it immediately. Once it took someone 2 weeks to return one of Jamie’s shoes – two weeks! By then I already had to buy him another pair, because he only has one pair at a time. I get just as annoyed as Helen!

    • Jodie says:

      How in the world did it take somebody TWO WEEKS to find it?!?! The good news is that the blazer was returned in his bag today, yay!!!! 🙂

      • debraaukett says:

        They were very tardy with the return… that after it was asked on the Whatsapp group to check bags and return. Oh yay, glad the blazer was found… they tend to be very expensive

      • halberts2014 says:

        Liam’s school shorts have been missing for 2 weeks now, but I’m writing of a week due to the holiday 😉 but yes, how does a parent see they have clothes not belonging to their kids. I thought it was me just being anal, but with you and Debs feeling the same way I’m obviously not the only one.
        Yay for the blazer coming home. Liam’s school allows the kids to wear tracksuit tops until Grade 4 so hopefully we won’t be losing any blazers.

      • Jodie says:

        Hmmm, my friend in Robertson’s school also has no blazers up till grade 4 – I wonder why? The blazers are hell expensive! Same price as the full school tracksuit 😦

      • halberts2014 says:

        They don’t have to wear the full tracksuit and you can buy the top separately which is helluva less than a blazer. They still look neat

  3. I have very strong feelings about the many thieves at school. Labels or not, things still get taken and it doesn’t seem to bother some other parents. I’ve now trained Nanny S to check the child AT THE SCHOOL GATE to make sure they have everything. Doesn’t always work but it’s getting better (grade 3).

    We know a family where the dad gives the boys a hiding if they lose things. Apparently only one jersey has been lost and after the hiding, it was found.

    I am an unashamed second hand store buyer of uniforms. We never get PE clothes there but K’s school dress we have only bought there (she’s on her 2nd set of 2 – I buy two to rotate) and we often get jerseys there.

    I have the money but I really prefer to go on holidays instead of paying for new clothes when I don’t have to 😉

    PS buy him another bag and share the cost with him. After a jersey got lost (about 4th time in two months) I replaced it but told the child they had to share the cost. Surprisingly, the jersey has never got lost again.

    • Jodie says:

      Thanks for weighing in! I’m also starting the – checking at the gate – routine. I think it’ll make it easier for him to locate immediately if for example, he’s left it at class or laying on the side of the field or something, rather than it being taken. My parents told me they can’t let him be picked on for a BAG that will last a long time so they’re buying the proper school bag again…their choice, hehe. Shame, the bag was an innocent mistake though. As in, he put it down next to him and when he turned to pick it up when I arrived, it had been picked up by somebody else, so I kind of feel like I can’t make him share the cost, but good idea for future.

    • halberts2014 says:

      Yep, I check the clothes and the homework books. It’s hectic not having shoes. It once took another Mum 2 days to return Liam’s one shoe. Maybe we’re too fast???
      We could go on about this forever

  4. MamaCat says:

    I have this exact same issue. We lost a whole kit bag and the family never bothered to send even a message saying they had it. I tracked it down myself from the kid. And everything is labelled with my phone number as well. And the bad is embroidered with HB’s name.
    We lost shorts (270) Hat (460) shoes (500) jersey (245) and then various socks (70). We have to buy this stuff at school because no one else sells it. We did find the shoes and shorts (after 3 months). HB’s clothes are embroidered so someone else cannot be walking around with it, you will be able to read the name. So I am not sure what happens to the stuff. I did buy a soccer shirt second hand this year, only because the school shop did not have it and it was Thursday and we needed it Saturday. Even though the uniform shop promised to call and let the coach know it is their fault, I wanted to avoid the laughing because you wear the wrong thing.
    Could you not just get him a cheap plain bag from Pep and then it is not so much and he does not get laughed at. They sell decent plain backpacks for about R40,00-R80. HB has one for Holiday club and we are using it for the third year now.

    • Jodie says:

      I found another bag at home – it’s yellow with some construction company details on it but he feels better about it. Although nana and grandpa said they’d buy him another PE bag as they feel he’ll still get years of use out of it…we’ll see. He came back with ONE shoe on Thursday but thankfully, he clicked as to where it was lost, so teacher helped him find it on Friday and he came home with it. These kids though!!! Can they not just come home with the right stuff 😦

      • halberts2014 says:

        Shame, they are still little and clothes and shoes are, I suppose, the last thing on their minds when there are friends to play with 😉

    • halberts2014 says:

      That’s just shocking MamaCat! What is wrong with parents? Why can’t they all be like we all seem to be? Kids lose things and they don’t always remember where they are. It IS still the parents responsibility to make sure the kids have their stuff. Why did that other parent not just call you? I hope you gave them a mouthful when you tracked it down

      • MamaCat says:

        I did not. She was embarrassed and said that she does not collect the kid herself, a transport company does (not that it means she could not have messaged later in the evening)…but I felt sorry for her…working moms and that stuff.

      • halberts2014 says:

        Ja, sure, transport company and stuff, but the bag still enters her house at the end of the day. Or does the transport company keep the bags, pfft

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