Back to School Season – Backpacks can lead to minor breakdowns

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Last night my daughter grabbed the most recent Pottery Barn Kids catalog and shared that backpack season was upon us. Last year, we did quite a bit of research online. She chose a million backpack styles, and then, narrowed it down to one. All without driving all over town. Personally, I thought it was a stroke of genius on my part.  I was really my attempt at avoiding my daughter’s dramatic breakdowns buyers remorse every time we entered a store.
I am in no way ready for Back to School. I won’t even go into the obvious things like it’s only July people!!! I’m really not ready for early mornings, fights over homework, packing lunches, car pool, early mornings, my inability to wake up early, feeling guilty because my husband does all the early morning stuff, while I struggle to wake up. All that aside, I applauded her forethought. She showed me the patterns she liked. So far, so good. She went on to explain that instead of a backpack, she wanted a rolling backpack. And so began our downward spiral.

First, let me just point out that no first grader needs a rolling suitcase. Argue all you want, but it’s completely unnecessary.

Second, as a well-seasoned “learned it the hard way” traveller, if an empty bag starts out heavy, it doesn’t matter if it comes with wheels, it will still be too heavy. Guess who gets to carry backpacks? That’s right, this girl. Should I ever decide to update my resume, beast of burden may make it’s way on to my skill sets.

Third, Pottery Barn. It’s a $70 bag. Give. Me. A. Break.  She’s 6.

So, I said no way. To which she responded that I couldn’t stop her if she bought it with her own money. Did I mention, she’s 6? Sigh. 30 minutes later, after many loud frustrated sighs, I heard weeping and gnashing of teeth coming from her room. It was starting to get louder and though my instinct said ignore it, I knew this was not ending any time soon. I asked her what was wrong. Between sobs, she managed to tell me that she only had $20 and that it wasn’t enough to buy all the things she wanted. Welcome to the real world, kiddo.

Side note – I hear you’re supposed to validate kids/people/humans feelings. I don’t always remember to do this.  Empathy. BAH.

I tried to be kind, but the hysterics were too much. This is where my parenting enters into stellar mode. It might as well have been “there are starving kids in Africa”. The following were things I uttered in response to crying over a $70 backpack and $30 lunch bag.

There are kids that won’t ever see a hundred dollars in their entire life.

There are kids that don’t get backpacks, or a place to sleep, or 3 meals a day.

and because I was feeling extra, “oh yeah, I’ll show you.”

There are kids that are getting shot, and you’re worried about a backpack.  Yes, I did.

and finally, because none of the above really means anything and is completely out of context, I threw out this gem:

You know what? You don’t get a backpack this year. You can carry your stuff in grocery bags.

Happy Friday. Feel free to add these parenting gems to your repertoire should you need to expand your material beyond Africa and starving children.

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