There is another circle of Hell that Dante neglected to mention. . . . .
I'm not talking about the fun stuff: pens, notebooks, highlighters, folders, paper. You know - office supplies. There is a theory about homeschoolers, you know. . . . . . that we were the ones who drooled over new school supplies. Give us a set of file folders, some highlighters, and a Trapper Keeper and we're happier than a tornado in a trailer park. The allegation that we homeschool our children only so we can feed our addiction is unfounded.
Don't ask me how many file folders I own.
I'm talking shoes, people. I'm talking, "We've-got-five-kids-and-their-feet-don't-seem-to-ever-stop-growing" shoe shopping.
As it is tax-free weekend here in Alabama, I decided to go out today, before the crowds hit in full force and most of the sizes are gone. We head down to the local Target, seeking shoes. The girls have been informed: a) we're looking for sneakers and b) if they are cooperative, I'll buy them each a Frosty. I figured this shouldn't be too bad - the boy is at camp, so I'm down to four kids. Right?
First mistake: walking down the aisle where these beauties are displayed:
Now, at this point, I'm trying valiantly to steer each girl to her own section: Kathryn happily off to women's, Emily straddling both girls and women's, Hannah wandering around in boots, and me steering Amy to sneakers.
Sneakers. NOT sparkly shoes. Sneakers.
After offering her 4 different choices, she's not happy. They're not sparkly enough. In desperation, I let her try on the desired sparkly pair - size 12. Too big. Size 11 - too small. She's melting down, the other ones keep bringing me shoes to try on between the 5-year old's sobs.
Another mother - with one perfectly behaved preschooler - walks right by me. I can feel the condemnation.
Finally, I offer this line of hope:
"Amy, sweetie, maybe those 12s will fit you for your birthday. I could buy them and save them for you."
Stare of incredulity. "MOM! YOU TOLD!"
"What? What honey?"
"YOU TOLD MY PRESENT! That is NOT allowed!"
Next try: I find shoes that look like this:
OK, I know they're not sneakers. But they had sparkles, and they're casual enough for her to put on a "go places". (Besides - we probably have some old sneakers somewhere that fit her. I'm just sayin'.)
They fit. Amy's happy. I'm happy. All the other girls have found shoes - even Hannah found sneakers she likes. With monkeys. Sweet. Quick swing back to school supplies, fight the crowd for a few pencils and planners, and we're on our way.
We make it through the checkout line, and Kathryn takes one look at me, and hands me a Starbucks gift card from her purse.
I love that kid.
And as far as I'm concerned - Yurii can take Nathaniel out on Sunday afternoon for his shoes.
I've no intention of visiting that particular circle of hell again.
Until next year. . . . . .