Yes, it's back-to-school shopping time again. Only not so much for us, because I've finally learned, in my fourth back-to-school season as a parent, not to kill myself running around and trying to purchase an entire new wardrobe before Labor Day weekend. I know it's going to be hot all the way through mid-October at the earliest, and there's no reason G shouldn't continue wearing her summer clothes, with a couple of new outfits thrown in for variety, until the weather actually requires her to wear something else. Plus, she's growing very fast -- the denim shorts I bought her this spring look like Daisy Dukes already -- and anything she gets now is practically guaranteed to be too small by Halloween. What's the point?
What I am buying:
* A new backpack -- We got this today, and it's the cutest thing ever, black canvas with a pattern of pastel pink, blue and green hearts, skulls and crossbones. You could not represent G's taste (which she describes as "half Goth, half girly") more perfectly if you tried.
* A new lunchbox -- I picked one up at Target yesterday. G wasn't with me at the time, but I knew she'd like the purple camo pattern, and she did.
* One pair of non-sneaker shoes -- G's school requires all shoes to be closed-toe and preferably not slip-ons, but she doesn't like wearing sneakers with skirts and dresses anymore, so we've got to find a compromise. I'm leaning toward these, which I like because they have a nonskid sole and do not have the infuriating clunky high heel that manufacturers feel compelled to put on all girls' shoes these days. If you're taking your kid to the movies, fine, but on a playground that heel is like an accident waiting to happen. However, I would like to find a similar style someplace other than Stride Rite, because $46 is a bit much for one pair of shoes if you ask me. (ETA: G hates those shoes and suggests these or these as practical and stylish alternatives. Um, no.)
* School supplies -- I can't get these until the school sends me the supply list for third grade, which won't happen until sometime next month. You would think I could just go and buy pencils and glue and call it good, but the lists always include random items like tissue and 35-mm film and macramé yarn and two dozen blown-out eggshells. (Okay, maybe not those last two, but you'd be surprised.)
* The aforementioned "few outfits." We checked out some sale racks last weekend and got two pairs of shorts, four tops and a T-shirt dress for about $60. With those and the clothes she already has, she should be good for a couple of months.
I'm trying to enjoy what clothes shopping we are doing this year, because I'm almost sure that by next autumn, we're going to be braving the minefields of the junior department. G wears a 12/14 in clothes and a 4 1/2 in shoes, and that means she's only one size away from growing out of girls' sizes altogether. I can't imagine buying teen-size clothes for a not-quite-10-year-old, but I don't know how much choice I'm going to have if she keeps growing at this rate. At least Old Navy and Gap usually have basic jeans and shirts that don't scream out HOOCHIE MAMA. Horrors!