Mom’s across the country are dealing with the annual back to school shopping rituals. So here is some humor for those hair pulling moments when you want to throw your hands up in the air and holler at the top of your lungs “Give me a break!!
Break: to stop speaking and hesitate when overcome with emotion. Break has so many dictionary meanings that it is mind boggling, and Moms, probably Dads too, are experiencing most of them while preparing their brood for a return to class. This break in the family budget, wallet, and savings account seems to grow as children progress up each rung of the ladder of education. School supplies are a given, but they’ve really changed over the decades. A good dictionary was always a must for middle school and above. Now it’s laptops to access the information on the internet! Okay, parents, here is a tip: Forget about watering the lawn, and pay more attention to your money tree that is planted in your backyard. Most trees bear fruit in the fall when you need the crop the most.
Well…If you are not lucky enough to have a money tree or an offshore account in the Cayman Islands, then you’re in the same life boat with most of us.
I went to elementary school, back when it was first invented, at a parochial school where uniforms were the mandatory attire. I hated them as a child. It was three decades later, as a Mom, that I really appreciated them. Girls had more color choices than their counterparts of my day, which included slacks. The kids still hated them, but in defense of the uniforms they are a great equalizer. They don’t eliminate bullying entirely, but they sure help keep it at bay when the class all looks much alike.
Public school students and parents don’t have that luxury. I wish you and your sanity all the sympathy in my being if your kid is a fashionista.
Another tip: Never invite your kid’s best friend(s) to accompany you on a shopping trip. You will seriously begin to worry about damage to you child’s IQ when in the company of peers. Any talk you may have had regarding spending limits just went down the drain with their brain and willpower.
Many parents work full days, and will let their teen use their credit card to secure back to school necessities. The problems crop up when our teen’s idea of necessities is not at all the same as that of their parents. So, Mom and Dad call them on the carpet, and get a blank stare as they continue the lecture. Let’s take a trip our favorite clothing store, electronic store, or school supply store.. Some parents may shop at one of the big box stores that give them a one-stop advantage. Big sale ads abound to lure parents in. The sale items are either sold out or don’t live up to the hype. Enter the bait and switch that is always more expensive. A rumbling begins in our psyche as the sales clerk zeros in on our young student. “This is a much better choice, and it is what all the other kids are doing this year.” That did it! Crack! The bank just broke, our temper is on the precipice, and we are about to have a mental breakdown. We give the buttinsky clerk a tongue lashing, and our kid tries to calm us down. “Mom, get a grip!”
A little grayer and frayed around the edges Mom goes to the beauty parlor or the hair color section of the drug store to combat the white streaks. She lets out a deep sigh of relief as her children board the school bus, and she contemplates a quiet break before their return.
Enjoy your short break. I’ll share some insights into the challenges for parents of new college students on another blog post.
Note: the three humorous inserts were supplied in the same e-mail as the previous blog. Sandy thanks again for sharing the funny clips.