Back to School Shopping Past and Present

Well, I went "real" back to school shopping today for the first time ever with Logan.  We went for his school orientation this morning and he was acting kind of blah.  I guess there's no other word for it.  He's going to be at a new school this year and I think he's nervous about it.  Well, I know he's nervous about it.  It's pinpointing exactly what is making him nervous that's the hard part.  If you ask him, he says, "I don't want bullies to hurt me".  Or, he'll say "I don't want to be there 4 hours (it's really over 6 1/2, but I'm not going to tell him that).  And I understand all of that!  But, no matter what Daddy and I tell him, he's still worried about it.

Today we both told him on separate occasions, (without even knowing each other said it) that all of the other kids were probably just as nervous as he is.  It's a new school for all of them!  Where we live, they have the kindergarten separate from the elementary schools.  So, even if he would have gone to the public kindergarten, this would be a new school for him.  

While we were leaving the school this morning, I thought that maybe if he had control over something about his first day of school, he'd be more excited.  I asked him if he'd like to go pick out a new outfit for the first day of school.  He has always had his own style and been very affected by the clothes that he wears.  He went through a whole 6 month period when he wouldn't wear anything but cowboy clothes.  And that actually started as an Indiana Jones phase.  He had the cowboy boots, hat and all.  The teacher at his preschool actually had to ask us to leave the hat at home!  After the cowboy phase was the army guy phase.  Then army guy phase turned into boy who wears long sleeve shirts under short sleeve shirts.  And during each phase, if he didn't have exactly what he wanted to wear, there would be a mental breakdown.  Luckily, last year he had to wear uniforms.  We weren't sure how that was going to go over, but he did rather well with it.  And now he wears his polo shirts just to wear them.  I loooooved the fact that he had to wear a uniform!  I wish his school this year did.  I really feel that it helps "level the playing field" during school.  It allows the kids to focus on school and learning instead of who is wearing what.  But, oh well!  It's just not meant to be.  

Today, I told him that he could get 3 "fun" shirts that he liked.  You know the screen-printed kind with LEGO or monster trucks or dirt bikes, or whatever!  And I told him that he should get 3 shirts that were more preppy so that the other half of the time, he could look nice for school.  And we got some shorts that were on sale.  We went to Penney's and they were having a pretty good sale on their summer stuff.  He won't be wearing them long because they'll have to stop wearing shorts in October probably and won't be able to wear them again until May.  But, I figured we could just get long sleeve thermal tshirts to wear under the short sleeve shirts and he could still wear those all year.  We ended up getting quite a few things since they were pretty cheap.  And a woman walked up to me and asked if I had a coupon because she had printed extra.  Gotta love random acts of kindness!!

I want Logan to be happy with his clothes and I know that if even one person says anything about one of his shirts, pants, etc., he will stop wearing the item and feel bad.  He's extremely sensitive that way.  But, I also want him to know that he's probably never going to have everything that everyone else has.  Even if we had limitless money to spend on that kind of stuff, I don't think it's a good thing to teach him.  I feel like my kids need to know that "more" or "better" stuff is not necessary to lead a happy life.  You have to be happy with what you have.  It's such a hard point to teach.  Especially when I know so many adults that don't understand that!  

I never had all of the name brand things when I was growing up.  And you know what?  It didn't matter.  Truthfully, I was never the type to want that kind of stuff anyway.  I liked doing my own thing and tried to create "style" with what I could get.  I had to be creative!  Plus, why would I want somebody else's name on my butt?  Or my breast pocket.  Don't even get me started on the whole Tommy Hilfiger thing in the 90's!!  When we went back to school shopping, we would have a garage sale in the summer time and use that money to shop on the clearance racks.  Even back then I loved getting deals!  I would love to sit down and see how much money I saved from the original prices.  And I was the queen of mixing and matching.  Anyway!  Logan's back to school shopping trip was just bringing back memories.  
How do you guys do Back to School shopping?  Do you just get one or two things in the beginning and then wait for better sales?  Or do you do one big shopping trip at the beginning of the year?  OR are you one of the lucky ones that have a uniform policy?


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