BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING: A 7-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO SURVIVE
It’s back-to-school time again, and I’m sure many of you have already sent the kiddos off to their new classroom adventures. We start later this week where I live, so I took the time (risk? challenge? dare?) to do some last-minute back-to-school shopping with my boys this weekend. I was foolish to think it would have gone any differently from how it has in the past. I swear these boys have crafted a 7-step guide on how to successfully make it through back-to-school shopping.
Lay out the plans and figure out what we need:
My boys are ROUGH on clothes! New pants come home with holes in them after just a few days of being worn — not because they’re low quality, but because “I slide across the gym floor over and over, Mom.” So we need clothes that are comfortable, affordable (in case they get destroyed and I need to replace them), and stylish. Some of our favorite shopping spots are Old Navy, Kohl’s, and The Children’s Place, and online we love Land’s End. These are acceptable places according to my boys — near restaurants, and full of interesting things to look at other than just clothes. What are your favorite spots to shop?
Explore the store:
All parts of the store: You know — like lying on all the little fake beds in the home goods section. [ Dude, where are your shoes?]
Get to know the mannequins:
HIgh-five them. Hide behind them. Hyper-extend their fingers if possible. Disregard the garments the mannequins are displaying, other than the lingerie mannequin — giggle and blush near that one, and ask if she is anatomically correct.
Dance in the dressing room:
Battle over sweatpants vs. “nice pants.”
I believe the ratio of sweatpants to real pants in my house is 486 to 1. These boys love to be comfortable, and they insist that no nice pants could ever achieve that. I disagree, and I’ve gone to great lengths to find super-soft cotton, very few seams or buttons or zippers . . . but I still face maximum resistance from these “spirited” boys. Two years ago, I instituted a “you must look nice at least once a week” rule. It only lasted for about half the school year, and then it wasn’t a battle I chose to pick. Comfort is key, I guess. And maybe, at some point, these guys will choose on their own to dress a little bit less sweatpant-y and a little more “watch out, world, here I come.” In the meantime, dearest friends, teachers, and potential future girlfriends, please know I tried.
Inappropriately use store fixtures:
Remember the joy of hiding in the clothes when you were a kid? The adrenaline rush in that split second when Mom would say, “Where are you? Stay where I can see you!” It’s still a thing. It’s apparently still fun. Because both my 10yo and my almost-8yo did it. Repeatedly.
They also managed to jump over stools in shoe stores, and hey, why not lie down on the cushions there and make yourself feel at home there, too?
Tired of shopping? Rest your head on a shelf of t-shirts. Totally normal and socially acceptable behavior.
Got your energy back? Yeah, great – climb the temporary fixtures of school supplies — luckily made of sturdy, durable cardboard.
Yes, you can imagine that by now I’m tired of yelling, “Get down! ” “Stop that!” “Please don’t!” “Just try these on!” “Quiet, please!” “Put your pants back on!”
But I take a cue from the boys and I remember to lighten up. Let’s get feet measured even though I know what size they are. Or how about if I’m the cool mom who actually takes the time to stop and listen to the headphones my boys love so much, instead of hurrying us along to the next item on our list.
Shenanigans and all, we got through our back-to-school shopping adventure. How did yours go? Are you ready for the new school year?