When I was your age, television was called books!
As we prepare Natalie for entry into first grade, we've begun to notice that things have changed drastically since my days at Northeast Elementary School.
First of all, lunch. Gone are the days of packing the daily peanut butter sandwich. Now, if your child dares bring in a PB&J for lunch, she is forced to eat it at the "nut table." Much like the designated smoking areas at airports these days, the nut table segregates legume-spread eaters from the rest of society due to the overwhelming number of peanut allergies in the schools these days. I wonder if there's a special table for those kids who can successfully spew milk out their noses when they laugh.
And then there's the PIN number. Every kid in school is assigned a 6-digit PIN number (insert Simpsons reference here: "These people look deep inside my soul and assign me a number in the order in which I joined"). This PIN number grants them financial access to mom and dad's wallet by allowing them to buy lunch and/or snacks. Gone are the days of bullies stealing your kids' milk money. Now they can just shake fellow students down for their passcodes, starting them early in a prosperous career in identity theft.
Some things, however, haven't changed. Natalie's school supply list included a pocket folder, so I took her to Target to pick one out. After mulling over the benefits of the spangly hearts versus the one with the butterflies, versus the pink with yellow circles, she decided upon the one folder I was hoping she'd miss - the full color head shot of High School Musical Heart Throb Troy Bolton. Yes folks, it's the next generation's Shaun Cassidy.