Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Shopping in Stores with Kids (And Other Nightmares)

One week from now, all my children will be in school.  And all God's children said AMEN!

This summer has been fun with them.  Mostly.


Last Monday I took them back to school shopping and, even though this was the best BTS shopping trip yet, I would still kind of rather shut my hand in a car door.  Repeatedly.

Let's get this out of the way: K1 is easy.  He likes athletic shorts and t-shirts and he's not picky.  The other three are kinda a-holes.  The Girl Child likes nothing I show her, K2 only likes 50% of what I show her, and J is a BeyoncĂ©-level diva when it comes to clothes.  Seriously.  Slam my hand in a car door.

So, I spent about $200 on them this year for back to school clothes.  Which kind of gives me a mini-heart attack but also doesn't seem that bad considering it's $50 per kid and THANK YOU JESUS they are not yet into designer denim and all of mine are masters of thrifting and shopping second hand.

Here is my formula for shopping with kids:

First, we hit up the Goodwill.  I know there are people who don't care for the Goodwill -- I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with one of these people -- but, guys, you can find some gems!  I always choose to do this first and early with kids while they're (hopefully) in good moods because it can require some digging.  On this particular trip, we found two Justice brand bathing suits - with tags! - for the Girl Child and a pair of jeans - with tags! - for K2.  We round a few other assorted items; every kid left with something.  K2 found a fur vest that she HAD to have and that you'll probably see on repeat in the fall.  One thing with the Goodwill: inspect the clothes!  I check everything over a few times to make sure we're buying stuff with no holes or stains.  I can't quit this paragraph on the Goodwill without adding this: K2 wanted me to buy her a sari.  Like, a legit Indian Sari that was red with gold embellishments.  After I told her no - twice! - I wavered a bit.  I mean, she could wear it around the house, right?  Then I realized she would put it on one Friday morning when I was too tired to argue with her and she'd be sent off to school as the very picture of cultural appropriation so we nixed that purchase.  She still got the fur vest though.  And a sequined top. 

Next stop: Once Upon a Child.  We have three in our area: Cordova, Collierville, and Southaven.  I've yet to try the Southaven location but my house is smack dab in the middle of Cordova and Collierville and I will go to Collierville every.single.time. to avoid the rudeness at the Cordova location.  I doubt all OUAC's are like that but just thought I'd throw it out there.  If you're in the Memphis area: make the drive to Collierville!  We love Once Upon a Child.  LOVE it.  The clothes are all in very good/ bordering on perfect condition and the prices are awesome.  I'm a really sad that J will probably be in men's sizes next year (he's 5'3!!) and mostly because we won't be able to get the awesome OUAC prices.  I'm talking . . . K1 got a Memphis Tigers hoodie that was $4.50.  We paid, like, $40 for one for the Girl at a game last fall!

And, finally, Target.  Also known as that place where K2 demands on having her picture taken and every kid NEEDS a strawberry frap from Starbucks.

Last week, Cat and Jack jeans were $10 and graphic tees were $4 and we were also able to stock up on socks and undies.  And, I mean, it's Target.  You have to go there, like, at least once a week.  AmIright?

So mostly we do second hand and thrift and - I AM SO LUCKY - that my kids are okay with this.  I get irritated from time to time at how entitled they can be but I realize I'm fortunate that they love them some Goodwill.  And are impressed with how much they can get when we shop at Once Upon a Child.  They know they can get better name brands by thrifting/ shopping second hand.  And that makes me feel like I've raised them at least a tiny bit right! 

That's how we do back to school shopping for clothes.  For supplies?  We use Kidz School Box.  I SERRIOUSLY LOVE THIS SERVICE SO MUCH!  You pay a little more for the convenience but . . . #worthit.  I don't know that there is anything more frustrating than going to three different stores to find plastic folders with pockets and brads and, well, this takes care of all that for you.  And!  At our school, they deliver all the boxes before Back to School Night (Thursday!) so the kids can assemble their desks before the first day of school.  We love it.

And, with that, I guess we're ready to go back to school?!?  I feel like this summer went SO fast and also like my summers with them are fleeting.  It won't be long when summers will be all about friends or working or conditioning for their fall sports and they won't need - or want - me around (except K2.  K2 will ALWAYS need and want her mama!) My years in the trenches are winding down and, I promise you, even when I'm 95 I'll be thankful for the summertime with kids.  And I'll miss it.  Because these really are the best days.

Though, not gonna lie, the thought of next Tuesday?  Floating in the pool with a day drink and not being splashed by wayward cannonballers?  I can dig it. 

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