When I first moved to Iceland, one of the first things I noticed was the lack of selection, by North American standards.
I now know that I was only spoiled in Canada.
This lack of selection is very noticeable in children's products.
Nearly every kid wears black Víking rubber boats. You can buy them in several stores. All the sames boots.
Every kid has a 66 North rain and snow suit.
Almost every kid also has the same canvas shoes from Rúmfatalagurinn. For boys it is a choice between Spiderman or camouflage. Boys under 7 choose Spiderman, the older ones, the camouflage.
Since the kreppa, the kids look even more like clones.
In August, when I was buying backpacks, I found a great deal. Most backpacks cost more then 5000 each, but these ones I found cost only 1999 IKR. This was a great deal, even after continued searching, this was the best deal in Iceland. So I got one for each boy.
Then the first day of school rolls around, we show up at school and I see that every other parent in Iceland found the same great deal. All the kids are wearing the same bag, with the same runners on, carrying the same rain gear.
This makes labeling extra important, my kids clothing is labeled well, if I do say so myself.
But this is not enough to prevent the weekly backpack mix up.
At least one kid, at least once a week, comes home with someone else's bag.
There names are printed down the sides, in very large letters, but it still happens.
It can happen at the group of desks they sit at in the class room, in the hallway while they get there boots on or on the bus they all take home after school.
It does not seem to be avoidable, but this does not lesson there annoyance when they get home, open the bag and realize they do not have there own.
This happened to Stefán today. He told me off, because he has the same bag as everyone else. He says 'if that kid touches my markers I am going to be very angry'. These are the same markers that are sitting in the bag in front of him.