Back-to-school shopping continued yesterday afternoon. Things went a little more smoothly this time around (especially since I was wise enough to do an undies-check before we left the house.) There's nothing like waiting until Labor Day weekend to finish the back-to-school shopping. People are running around rabid for no. 2 pencils, driving like toddlers and the parking lots were worse than at Christmas time!
I was also presented with a school supply list that seemed to accommodate the teacher more than the student. (What is a nine-year-old going to do with two packs of Post-it notes and a ream of printer paper?! I'm surprised his teacher showed the restraint to stop herself before also adding coffee creamer and feminine hygiene products to the list.) Pickings were slim and he almost ended up with three purple folders and pink post-it notes, until I was clever enough to leave the school supply section and take a trip down the stationary aisle. Red replaced purple, yellow replaced pink (although we had to settle for star-shaped) and a little boy (who's starting school in a new district this year)'s reputation was saved. For now, at least.
Picking out shirts proved to be no easy task either. All the boys wanted to buy were novelty tees. I had to force one polo and one button down apiece on them! What's with the snotty t-shirts these days? I can't believe the sass of some of them. "My mom THINKS she's in charge!" was being sold in the little boys section. (The girls section was ten-times worse!) Amazingly it's still the moms shopping for the kids and buying these shirts at this age. I guess maybe that's proof that she really isn't in charge. I had to talk older brother out of this purchase (see right) after a middle-of-the-aisle lecture about respecting his siblings.
The shoe store employees seemed to be the most parasitic in the mall. Big sis was the only one in need of shoes, but shoe-commission lady kept insisting on wanting to measure the boys feet and sell them socks. After prying three pairs of heels off of little brother (of the pair pictured on the left, he exclaimed, "Ooh! Are these alligator?!") I decided that maybe sis could shop on her own for a few and the boys could use a bathroom break. Asking Ms. Shoe-Commission where the nearest facility was, she responded by offering to measure the boys' feet once more. "No really, we just need a bathroom," looking at big bro who's now doing a potty dance, "Close by!" She gives us overly-elaborate directions that we had already figured out by her first statement, "It's directly beneath this store." She's goes on and on about how to arrive directly beneath the store we were standing in (my correct guess was to take the "down" escalator positioned right outside the door) as big brother's potty-dance had stepped up a notch into a potty-Mambo No. 5. I hear her mention the word "alcove" and have had enough. Grabbing brothers by the hands I toss off a half-hearted "thank you" and make a break for the escalator before she has to mop up her shoe-sizer.
The restroom, of course, ends up just being a one-seater. As a dad finally drags his two boys out of the sole commode, my boys rush in taking cuts in front of the two college-aged guys who have already been waiting in line ahead of us. Fearing a public bowel explosion, I don't even bother to apologize on their behalf. I do, however, knock on the door repeatedly as one of the young men begins a potty-dance of his own. I overheard him say to his buddy, "Standing still this long is just killing me!" I knock-knock-knock again. "Are you almost done boys?" Big bro, "These things take awhile!"
Fortunately, my nephews reemerged before I had to direct the dancing twenty-year-old to the nearest potted plant. Sister found a good deal and surfaced with two pairs of school shoes and I figured this earned us a window-shopping trip to the pet store.
All-in-all, we had some laughs, some close-calls and some budget crunches... but it was a successful day. Although, I still came home with a mild headache and am in no hurry for Christmas shopping to begin.