“Hey, Mom, will you take a picture of me in that ‘O’ next to Target and then turn it upside down like with special effects and post it to my website and people will wonder how I’m standing upside down!”
“Umm….I have no idea what ‘O’ you are talking about Aileen.” *confused*
“Ugghhh…..I’ll show you when we get to the door. Can I unbuckle now?”
“Let me finish parking, first!”
Ohhhh, that “O.’ Got it!
Yesterday, we went to Target and Aileen was really excited about taking a picture in this random cutout circle next to the front door at Target.
Pretend to be confused and amazed at how she is standing “upside down” and defying gravity as her dress and hair stay perfectly in place.
Let the “ooohs” and “aaahhhs” commence.
And here’s one more circle pic, just because.
So anyway, back to the topic at hand. I just might forfeit my right to any “mother of the year” trophies here, but let me just say…
I hate back to school shopping!
There. I said it. Yes, yes, I know. World’s worst mom. But, let me explain.
I wish I could be that mom that buys everything up as soon as the supplies go up on the shelf in JULY (what the heck?! We JUST finished!), but trust me, those puppies would not even make it to August in our house. I can’t buy supplies too early, because a certain mischievous “ghost,” who also happens to be named Aileen (that’s just a coincidence, certainly could not be my perfect angel daughter), likes to make big messes and would use up all the supplies.
Then, there is tax-free weekend. But you will NOT catch me out there fighting off crazy people trying to save $8 IF they spend $100 or more. Just in case you didn’t know or don’t have this where you are, Texas has a weekend every August where sales tax is not charged for “back to school” items like supplies and clothing. This is obviously to promote sales and make everyone think they are getting a great deal, but seriously, sales tax is 8.25% so you only save about 8 dollars for every 100 you spend. If you have a large family, I definitely see how this could be beneficial, but for me, with one kid, it’s not worth it. Think about the day after Thanksgiving sales and how people mob for that, tax-free weekend is about half of that madness, and I want NO part of it!
By the time I get around to being able to get to the store, it’s usually pretty close to school starting, but this year, I’m a week early! Woo, go me! Or not.
We get to Target yesterday, and there is definitely still plenty of everything left, but you can tell it has been rummaged through quite a bit. This is how my shopping trip goes…
Me: With shopping list in hand. “Ok, we need 2 packages of pencils. Hmm…2 packages of 24 pre-sharpened pencils? 2 packages of 48 unsharpened pencils? Let’s go with pre-sharpened. Who wants to sharpen 96 pencils?! Aileen, put that down. oka-”
Aileen: “Mom, LOOK! Can I get this? It’s sooo cool. Look it’s a mini notebook. I can take notes……”
Me: “No, Aileen, it’s not on the list. We don’t need that anyway. Ok, 2 large pink erasers… hmmm there is a pack of ONE or a pack of THREE.. welp three it is. Aileen, I said put that back.”
Aileen: “But, mom! Ok, ok, what about this!? Oh, mom look markers. Didn’t you say we need markers? Can I get these??”
Me: “Well, your list says you need the thick markers, not the skinny ones. Find the bigger ones and you can put those in the basket.”
Aileen: “Ugh, that list is stupid. I want these markers.”
Me: “I’m sorry, Aileen, but we have to get what’s on the list. Look, here are the markers. Put them in the basket ok? Oh and here’s the glue.”
Aileen: “Oh can I get the blue glue??”
Me: “Actually, you need glue sticks, so no blue glue. Sorry, kiddo. Alright, let’s get folders”
Aileen: “Aww cute! Look mom, look. Look at this cute dog. Can I get this?” (For the record, I’ve gotten her the cute folders before so she could use them to hold homework or extra papers, etc…but they never got any use. The teachers put everything in the take home folder. So it’s just a waste.)
Me: “Aileen, you need plain folders with brads. 4 of them and 2 plastic ones. “
Aileen: “Ugh, I hate that list! I can’t get anything I want!!”
Meanwhile, I’m rummaging through ten thousand folders and not one of them has brads! Supply and demand people!! You have ten thousand folders without brads and NONE WITH brads…the people demand folders with brads!
Rummage, rummage, rummage.
“Mom can I -” “No, put it back.”
Rummage, rummage, rummage. AHA! Found ONE! Crap. We need 4.
Rummage. “Aileen stop.” Rummage. “Aileen come back.” Rummage. “Aileen where did you go??”
*sigh* Ok, we’ll look somewhere else.
*Hurriedly trying to secure everything else on the list while trying to keep Aileen from grabbing everything and trying to put it in the basket and also trying not to lose my sanity in front of everyone at the store and secretly thinking I should have come by myself*
Finally get everything on the list except folders. Tell Aileen that we need to go look at the clothes now. I swear that last week all of her clothes fit. All of a sudden, NOTHING fits her! Apparently she just hit a crazy growth spurt. First, we go look at shoes.
I was thoroughly upset with the selection. Someone please tell me when it became okay to dress our daughter’s up like cheap prostitutes?? I mean seriously. Wedge platform sneakers? REALLY!? And what’s up with all the “Jesus sandals,” you know the ones with the sole so thin they might as well be barefoot and the laces up past the ankle. What?! She can’t wear this to school!? High heels…seriously?? She really needs some new sneakers, so I’m digging through and of course she’s pulling these hooker wedges off the shelf and I’m like “Uh, no. Over my dead body my daughter will be wearing those!” Then, I find some sensible shoes and she looks at me like I have a third eye. Of course. By the time I’ve shot down her third choice she’s in full drama queen mode “Mom, why won’t you just let me get what I want? I have my own style now!” Um, what? Exccuuuuuse me! We finally found a pair we both agreed on. She’s not too crazy about them, but they sparkle and have grommets on the back which apparently make them “fancy” Ok. Whatever. We just need something you can run around in.
Then, it was off to get some pants. Oh. My. Goodness. This was worse than the shoes. First, Target was apparently having a buy one get one half off on jeans, so there was “slim pickin’s” for pants. I’m looking through for her size and of course there is no 8 “short/petite” so we’ll be tucking jeans under or getting them hemmed. Then there is the issue that EVERY. SINGLE. PAIR. was SKINNY JEANS. Wheeennnnn will this craze end!? Aileen takes after her momma in that she’s got a little junk in the trunk and she does NOT have skinny chicken legs. Skinny jeans just DO NOT FIT! I’m lucky to get them up over her thighs. And the ankle cuff might as well cut off circulation! How is that even comfortable? Where are all the bootcut pants?? I gave up. We didn’t get any clothes at Target. Paid for school supplies and got out of there.
Then, mom had the bright idea to go down the shopping center to Kohl’s. We get to the girls section, and the first thing we see is super fancy dresses. Like something she’d wear to a wedding or formal family event. “Oh mom! Look, this is sooo beautiful! Wouldn’t this be great for pictures.” Never mind that it was overkill. I continued walking to find pants. I’m looking at pants and Aileen keeps bringing me what look like prom dresses for little girls and shirts that I keep saying no to. Finally! I find boot cut pants! Picked out a few different pairs and take Aileen to try them on. Woooo, they fit!
Out we go to look at shirts even though she has about a gazillion. Whoa. Hold the phone! Thirty dollars for a shirt!? What in the world is this madness? A shirt? Really? She’s going to wear it maybe 5 times and grow out of it or decide it’s not cool anymore. Here comes the drama queen again, “Mom, why won’t you let me get what I want? Do you want me to look beautiful for school or ugly? Huh? That is for little girls! I want this. It will make me look beautiful.” We’ve had the self-esteem talk. We’ve talked about how clothes don’t make a person, but she still fails to see that. I finally got down and hissed at her, “Look, you can cooperate with me and find something appropriate for school or we will leave now and you get nothing.” On the verge of tears because I keep saying no, she reluctantly decides to cooperate. We grab a few overpriced shirts and finally get the heck out of dodge.
Need I say again how I don’t like back to school shopping? Am I still the world’s worst mom for that? Ugh. Probably. But shopping is just not fun for me. It’s never been my forte.
This was an hour and half shopping trip. ONE. HOUR. AND. THIRTY. MINUTES. By the time it was all over, I was exhausted. And we didn’t get anywhere near enough school clothes, so this will have to be repeated. Pray for me. Seriously.
And to all the moms who have this down to a science and are laughing hysterically while you sip a glass of wine because you did your shopping weeks ago……I gladly hand over the mother of the year trophy. You rock, mom. Now will you do my shopping, too?