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Adventures in Parenting: The price of looking good
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Shopping is not my thing. And shopping with kids? Definitely not my thing. Yet, I found myself doing just this the other day. Actually, I found myself down to the wire in terms of purchasing Easter duds for my two youngest boys. So, I had to shop and the boys had to accompany me. I could already tell that the 5-year-old did not nap at school, but I’m an optimist, thinking, "We can do this. We’ll be in and out before the boys know it. Besides, I know exactly what I’m seeking — a spring-like sweater vest, a crisp, white, long-sleeve shirt and a nice pair of slacks. Preferably an identical set for each kid."

So, off we trot to the mall. I immediately scan the environment. The people traffic isn’t too bad considering Easter’s only a few days away. Even so, to buy myself a little cooperation, I purchase a mall treat for the boys. We enter the store and I instruct them to sit on the floor off to the side and eat their snacks while I rake through the racks. I’m inspired by the prices (50 percent off), but disappointed by the slim selection and sizes.

Yet, the thought of visiting another store is daunting, especially since the boys already are growing restless and I forgot to swap my four-inch heels worn to work (no, not that kind of job) for more practical "shopping" shoes. So, I drag the boys in the dressing room. They try on the vests and pants — but no luck. Too little all the way around —and, just not fancy enough for Easter Sunday. Next stop: the largest store in the mall.

Again, I think: "I can do this and thankfully the boys aren’t spiraling out of control." But, worse, the both of them have to use the restroom. "Number one or number two?" I ask annoyingly. You guessed it! (Yes, both of them.) Anyway, we find the toilets and I stand guard as my little ones take care of business.

After the hand washing and all, we head to boys department. I push back a few hangars noting the prices here are significantly higher and the sales not as impressive. At this point, though, I’m thinking I may just have to abandon my frugality crown, because my dogs are killing me and the boys are on edge, starting to whine and complain. Then, eureka!

Hanging high on a wall, I see an array of sweater vests in all kinds of colors. I’m able to snatch up identical ones in the perfect size for each. The sweaters proved to be the easy part. I must have looked through the racks 20 times before realizing, I was not going to find the shirt and slacks. I reluctantly tell the boys we have to go to another store. They groan and I understand.

But, off we go to our third store…and it’s a charm! We find the shirt and pants rather quickly, but have to wait 20 minutes before a store attendant can fish down the size 6 shirt from very high on the wall. As we’re leaving the store, my 9-year-old sighs and says: "Seems like we’ve been in this mall all our lives." I don’t have the heart to tell him we have one final stop: the shoe store.

Oh, the price of looking good on Easter Sunday.