Am I the only one who doesn’t take their kids back-to-school shopping? Friends have been posting about the horrors, tears, gnashing of teeth, and enormous money they’re spending these last couple weeks.
Here’s the thing… my kids already have clothes. They wear clothes every day until they’ve grown out or ruin them. Except for church clothes (he has a suit, she has a couple dresses) and camping clothes (grubby jeans, stained sweatshirts, and crappy shoes), we don’t have separate school/play clothes.
We buy as we need, look for deals or clearance racks, and peruse the local thrift shops when we are out and about. My kids aren’t huge fans of clothes shopping so breaking it up works for us.
Luckily, our kids are great shoppers, always have been. I only have two kids, so that gives me a slight advantage over someone who juggles more (to whom I bow and honor for their valiance because I could not do it, which is why I stopped at two).
The main reason my kids behave angelically in public is largely due to managing their sleep and hunger. A sleepy and/or hungry kid (or mom, right?) does not make a fun shopping companion. I’m a stickler about bed/nap time and won’t take them out if they aren’t well-rested because that would be miserable for me. Yes, it’s all about me (said tongue-in-cheek).
The second reason is making sure they get to see something that makes them happy, not just getting dragged around from store to store only looking at what I want. We usually stop by the toy section after I’ve plowed through my stuff. That’s their payoff for behaving. They don’t ask me to buy them toys. Instead, if they really like something, they ask me to add it to their Wish List or watch for it to go on sale so they can buy it.
In a couple weeks, after school starts, we’ll probably get a list of items we could donate to the elementary classroom and I’ll send some in (we already received a bill for $99 worth of fees for the junior high kid; I couldn’t imagine paying that AND for new clothes, yikes!) Other than that, my kids use their backpack’s until they’re shredded, lunch boxes until they don’t work anymore (we LOVE the Pack-It because it keeps their cold stuff cold), and binders until they fall apart. I buy folders, paper, pens, and pencils when they’re on sale and store them in my office for when they need more.
Countdown has begun… one week left until school starts!