Saturday, August 21, 2010

where a mother ponders back to school shopping and parking lot crematoriums

Sssssh. My girls are still sleeping.

Our plan for this morning, after much begging, whining, stomping, threatening, crying, doors slamming, and teeth knashing (ok, no teeth knashing, but only because I don't know what that means), which all took place yesterday between the hours of 11am and midnight, and most of which ill behavior was conducted by me, is to take them shopping for shoes.

Shoes they don't need, per se, but do want, per se, for their first day back to school.

Shoes that have a certain label as opposed to, say, any pair of lace ups from a thrift store.

Shoes that they have promised to use their own allowance money to purchase because they will be entering 7th grade and need to set a fashion plate example. No longer the wide-eyed, newbie 6th graders, after all.

Because me? I'm no longer into labels. I don't care what the little rubber tag says on the heel or the little fabric tag sewn into the side seam. All I care about is whether the shoes are comfortable and look to be in reasonable style from the past two decades. Because no, I will not wear saddle shoes or penny loafers or these

But then, I never would wear Jellies. Even at the height of their fashion, whenever that was, exactly. Seems to me like they would make my feet sweat. But I wouldn't have worn them even with cute little white bobby socks, Japanese wooden sandal style. I don't want to wear a shoe named after something sticky that gets smeared on breakfast toast. And because, as you may remember, shoes matter.

My girls promised me they would get up really early to beat the heat. It's now 10:30 am and by my way of thinking, they have already missed the window of shopping opportunity.

What I am trying to avoid is spending money coming out of a department store in the middle of the kind of heat we're having, entering a car that could now be substituted for a crematorium.

Hey, now there's business plan: cheap cremations in your cherished vehicle in the parking lot of your choice. Might fund my idea of retirement. Because you just know there are a ton of men people who would love nothing better than to spend their last flesh and bone moments sitting upright in their vehicle, as opposed to, say, reclining in a hammock, next to their loved one, watching a beautiful sunset, sipping Merlot, holding hands. I don't know how a cremation could be arranged in such a romantic scenario, but it's worth considering.

But back to the incinerator in the asphalt parking lot where you turn on the AC and feel like a blast furnace is smelting your earrings into a silver plated tattoo onto the side of your neck.

And your hair. No matter how much spray you use to keep your baby fine hair up in thirty clips of varying sizes and colors, you will look in the rearview mirror only to find this looking back at you

Or worse

So, the question is, do I wake up my slumbering daughters and try to get as early a start as possible?

Do I leave them be and hope they sleep until the stores are closed?

Do I take the hard line, Nope. Sorry. I agreed to take you shopping only if we left the house before the temperature reached 96 degrees. You are now three degrees too late.

Do I cave in like I always do, forget about the sweaty hair, thighs sticking to the car seat, bottled water hot as a cup of tea and embrace the Bikram-esque shopping experience?

Because in two days time my daughters will be right back at it, having forgotten all about my Herculean effort and my maternal caving, because they just have to have another particular fashion item that every 8th grader is wearing and why are you always so mean?!

What is your vote, reader? Generous, forgiving, hot shopping mom or lounging on sofa under ceiling fan watching Netflix freebies mom?


slow panic said...

oh the Netflix freebies sounds wonderful. I've been schlepping to the pediatrician today -- so I'm not prone to being fair to the children.

Still, I can see their point.

Also I can't wait until my kids will sleep in until 10:30. I don't think that day will ever come.

yogurt said...

slow panic - it will come. and then you'll be fighting the opposite battle. trying to get tweens awake is harder than getting toddlers down, I promise. but at least I get more sleep this way.

hokgardner said...

Netflix on the sofa. Definitely. I have a hard and fast rule about not doing anything optional after about 11am.

I have to take my younger daughter shoe shopping before monday, and I'm dreading it. Not so much because of the heat, but because it's the tax-free holiday. I'm dreading the crowds.

Anonymous said...

There is never a reason to leave an air conditioned house anywhere in Texas anytime between March 1st and November 1st. I lived in Dallas; I am no longer afraid of Hell. Tell them painting their feet with markers and going barefoot is the next "in" trend. :0)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Is there time to do it in accordance with your rules? Then I pick Netflix. Otherwise I might cave, but I would extract some penance--like them doing some hot, dirty outside chore that I might have done otherwise.

bpotw said...

Decisions, decisions!! I hope it worked out in a good way for you!

Anonymous said...

Aha, they've got you either way. If you don't cave, then you have to listen to another whole day of whining and crying and fussing. Which means an enjoyable Netflix marathon is out of the question anyway.

Now the real question... what is the must-have item of the middle school/junior high set?? I have a newbie 6th grader I've procrastinated the shopping for.

luksky said...

From my experience, no matter how much you accomodate your kids, in the end they are always going to remember and bring up all the slip-ups and indescrepencies of our parenting skills.

Vodka Mom said...

every decision I've made has been the wrong one. You are ON YOUR OWN.


yogurt said...

vodka mom -- so tell me what to do and then I'll choose the other.

ok, ok .. I took them at dinner time, easy in, easy out, not at all painful. Unless you count the fact that I caved. I think cave pain rebounds for generations.

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

You knew you were gonna cave ;) That just means you're a great mom though, and not AT ALL mean. Maybe a titch suicidal though, given the temps you're talking about. No thank you. We've finally cooled down up here and I'm so happy it's pouring rain right now. Feels fantastic!

Jelly shoes... UGH. Flashback to the early 80s. They're almost as bad as Crocs. NO ONE looks good in Crocs. They are the fugliest footwear ever made! Oh wow, hopped up on that soapbox rather quick, didn't I... sorry! ;)

Aunt Snow said...

The heat! Damn! I swear, we were in Palm Springs and it was 108, and I TOUCHED the outside of our black car.

Youch!! That could have certainly become a crematorium.

Mrs. G. said...


Magpie said...

I hate going shopping with my kid, and she's only six.