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Fayette-Mom: Nap mats, a blast from the past

Posted August 22, 2011 8:53 p.m. EDT

Jennifer Joyner

I was walking hurriedly into one of those big box retailers the other day when something in the corner of my eye caught my attention: Remember those plastic mats that we used for naps in kindergarten? One side is red, the other blue, and just the very sight of it conjured up so many memories of my first year of school at Liberty Christian in Durham.

You’ll forgive me if I haven’t thought of those mats in about 30 years. Why should I? I can’t even believe they sell them anymore, for I now have my second child going into kindergarten, and no where on any of the school supplies list does it even hint that these kids will be getting a nap time.

In fact, I hardly recognize kindergarten as it is in 2011. The supplies list is a mile long — and some of the stuff that is asked for is so out of this world to me. Glue sticks and crayons I get. Tennis balls? One white sock? Such random requests — and so expensive! Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me to see “iPad or something comparable.” (I’m kidding. Mostly).

While I did have a nap mat in kindergarten, I would almost swear I didn’t have a backpack, or even anything like it. But these days, backpack is at the very top of our kindergarten list (no wheels, please).

I won’t even tell you how much I spent on school supplies for my two elementary-aged kids. Suffice it to say, my husband is still in shock. And we haven’t even touched the teacher’s wish list! (Paper plates of assorted sizes we can handle; color ink jet cartridge? Hmmm……).

I’ll send my children on the first day of school loaded down with all the required items. But in my heart, I’ll be longing for the days of blue and red plastic mats…..

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.