School Shopping Stress

It’s no secret that I am not excited to send my 5-year-old to all-day kindergarten this fall.  But I decided to try to show my support and encouragement for his new school year by taking him shopping for some new school clothes.

Big mistake.

The shopping trip backfired, doing nothing to better our relationship.

I spent most of the time hollering, “Knock it off,” as I chased down my 3- and 5-year- olds while glancing at clothes out of the corner of my eye. Luckily I invited my mom to come, so she could help me reel them in.

We went to one store and were in there for less than an hour. It could have been less than a half hour if my boys would have behaved. I keep waiting for the day that they realize that if they cooperate and do what I ask them to do, it will make things go faster, giving us more time to do things that they ask to do.

But they still haven’t figured that out so they fight back making things worse.

First of all we made the mistake of trying to get the boys to sit in a shopping cart. That would keep them close, right? Right. But the department-store shopping cart is about one-fourth the size of a grocery-store shopping cart. And they have problems with the carts at the grocery store.

I think the urge to pinch, punch and pick on your brother is multiplied by 100 when you are in close proximity. They weren’t in that cart for two minutes before one of them was crying.

Then we let them down. That’s when I wish I would have had two of those kid-leash things.

I understand that kids are crazy and that little boys don’t love to shop, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s okay for my children to run around the store hiding under folded clothes and swinging from hanging rails.  They literally looked like wild monkeys.

They were having the time of their lives at my expense. I think in their mind the department store was a whole new McDonald’s-style playground with unlimited possibilities. Fun for them. Death for me.

One of the highlights was when we asked my oldest to try on some slip-on sneakers. We wanted to see him walk in the shoes, but of course the pair was hooked together with an elastic band.

He put one shoe on his left foot and then took off as fast as he could, hobbling around the corner with the right foot’s shoe and inch away from tripping him with every step. I thought for sure he was going to come crashing down into some end-cap display. At least it slowed him up making him easier to catch.

Then came time to try on a pair of jeans. You would have thought we had asked to re-administer his kindergarten shots. He flopped around on the floor trying to get away while my mom held him down and pulled his legs inside.

It was mass chaos and it stressed me right out. My mother thought it was hilarious. Probably because I did stuff like that to her when I was young.

But was really got to me was the fact that I was trying to help and take care of my son by buying him some nice things for school and he treated me like dirt. He acted completely ungrateful as he totally ignored my pleas for good behavior. Hopefully after the talk we had when we got home he’ll think twice before acting like that again – at least anytime soon.

Now that I think about it maybe our shopping trip didn’t completely backfire. It helped me realize that it might be nice for me to let someone else deal with his wild-side outbursts for a change. Believe me, I’ll miss him while he’s at school, but a little structure and discipline will do him good.

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