School shopping . . . with a son.
It’s that time of year again — back-to-school shopping season is in full swing! For one brief moment, I envisioned a back-to-school shopping trip with my two school-age sons: Which shirts will they pick out? Will they want high top sneakers or boat shoes? Will they finally agree to jeans and khakis instead of athletic pants? Where will we have a leisurely lunch to laugh and smile and spend great quality time together?
That’s funny stuff. Because none of it happened. R opted to go to the grocery store with Daddy and D instead. E graciously agreed to come with me, clearly unaware of what he was in for (note: almost 3 hours at the mall). I documented our journey that day and couldn’t help but laugh at just about every step of the way, while this feisty redhead made the best of those hours. Here is a glance at our shopping trip, from what I’m guessing was E’s perspective:
One 5-year-old boy’s back-to-school shopping journey:
- In the first store, spot a cool gumball machine — the kind with the twisty tube the gumball rolls down — and beg for a quarter. Do not leave this topic until Mom promises a quarter for at some point in the day. Ask Mom 5 times if we’re done shopping, before she even selects one thing to buy.
- Sit down, get comfortable, and play with your feet while Mom waits in a seemingly endless cashier’s line in the department store. Hope she pays with cash so she ends up with a quarter for the gumball machine.
- Scope out the lay of the land on the way to the second store. Pretend you’re in jail.
- Eat delicious cinnamon pretzels and ask lots of questions about mannequins on the way down the hall. What if the mannequins could move? What if they were made of metal? What if they could change their own clothes? Fight with mom about having to wipe your hands on a napkin before going into another store — so what if your fingers are covered in yummy cinnamon/sugar?
- High-five a mannequin. Talk to him. Then punch him. Just because.
- Check yourself out in a mirror. For a long time. While Mom says repeatedly, “Let’s go.”
- Rearrange gift card displays. I mean, “organize” them. Sort the cards so the same designs are all in the right slots. Then pick a few and mix them up. Just because.
- Make a roller coaster out of belts hanging on the rack.
- Climb mountains.
- Make fart noises with the cup from the pretzels.
- Choose high top sneakers and tell mom the boat shoes she suggested are NOT COOL.
- When you’re in a store that’s far from the public restroom, realize you have to pee RIGHT NOW. Tell Mom it has to be NOW or you’re going to pee in your pants. Have her ask the store clerk where the nearest restroom is, only to find out the closest one is closed and you have to go to a department store farther down the hall. RUN there, but also take time to JUMP a few times, making Mom wonder how bad you really have to go and whether she really had to stop everything to get you to the bathroom.
- FINALLY enjoy a gumball, even though it really is too big for your mouth.
- Wonder whether Mom actually got any shopping done today and what your brothers got at the grocery store with Dad.