It’s that glorious time of year when children all across the land are loading up on big yellow school buses and leaving our homes for 7 solid hours per day.
Now yes, I know that moms generally fall into one of two camps during August. There’s the “oh no, our lazy summer days are gone, I’m so sad” and then there’s the “halleluiah I don’t have to listen to another kid say ‘I’m bored’ or spend all day carting kids all over creation” group.
We in the Gumm household are firmly encamped in the latter.
Does that sound horrible?
While 1 of our 4 children is generally happy to spend all day perched at home and only appears for food or household chores. The other 3 are bored by about day 9.
Added to the complexity is that one parent works full time OUTSIDE the home and the other one works full time INSIDE the home. And not a “work it around trips to the pool and the zoo” kind of at home job, a “in front of the computer and on the phone 8-5” kind of job.
Work-at-home parent may also have sensory issues dealing with noise and a bit of ADD – a very lethal combination to summer time work focus.
Said parent just took his laptop into another room because my TYPING is too loud and he cannot think. Need I say more??
But with the joys of back to school comes the dreaded BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING.
Times four kids.
It makes me want to lose my mind.
The amount of money you can drop on freakin’ folders and pens is ridiculous!
Normally I’m right there in the aisles with their lists making sure they chose the 47 cent folder not the $3.99 folder.
But this year, I just could not deal.
It was the end of a week in which Mark was out of town and I had been doing all the carpooling and kid wrangling (2 in sports practice and 1 working a summer job) while working.
It was tax free weekend and we were at Wal-Mart. (Pretty much the only place to shop in our tiny town.)
Thankfully we have NEARLY reached the peak of school supply shopping ease. The two sophomores GLORIOUSLY have no school supply list. It’s the “your 16, figure it out yourselves” philosophy and I ADORE it.
The girls are now both at the middle school and the list is surprisingly short. (Yes, moms of elementary-aged kids there will come a day when you don’t have to buy every product made by Crayola and Elmer’s. There was nary an item by either of those companies on our lists this year.)
Oh, and did I mention that I am still nursing the ankle injury that happened 4 weeks ago??? Walking around Walmart sucks the life out of me.
So what did I do? I parked my cart at the end of an aisle.
And I stood.
And they shopped, came back and added stuff to the growing pile in the cart.
They asked a question here and there and then went off to shop some more.
And I stood there. And I didn’t really care if they bought a $3.99 folder with some You Tube star that I’ve never heard of (because You Tubers are the new teen celebrities).
When they were done I paid.
I tried not to choke at the total.
We were in and out in 25 minutes.
My sanity remained in tact.
And SOMETIMES that’s worth more than sticking to the budget.
Do I necessarily advise this method of supply shopping on a yearly basis? No.
Next year I’m just going to make one of the driver-licensed teenage boys take everyone 🙂
Stay tuned for part 2 on clothes shopping. We tried something new this year.