Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to School

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Kelloggs.

When school started a couple of weeks ago I was so happy. I just don't feel sad when my kids go back to school. Does that make me a bad person? Perhaps. (But faking feelings of sadness would make me a hypocrite and I can't live with that.) At first summer is fun but a person can only take so much. I hate being hot.I hate the bright sun. I hate wearing a swim suit. I find myself feeling so happy as the days get chillier and the nights get darker. I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder but my symptoms are the opposite of most people's. I am truly fascinated by Tweets and status updates such as, "Crying as my kids go off to school," or "I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer!" I don't feel like that at all. It's weird. Usually I can sort of relate to things. Like, I've never watched any of the Housewives of different counties but I bet if I did, I would like it. And I'm not interested in Justin Bieber but maybe if I heard his music and I were a pedophile I would be very interested. I just can't relate to these summer longings though. Doesn't the sun hurt your eyes?

That said, here's a summer tip for you: Don't buy summer clothes. Summer is not a fashion show. We get swimming suits and flip flops. That's it. I cut off my daughter's jeans for shorts and my boys mostly wear pants because they play in thorns and fall off of things. Pants are protective. Shorts are for sissies. Everything will be worn out and gross by the time school starts. Ben wore floods all summer. It makes back-to-school shopping more fun.  There is such a stark difference between my shabby summer kids who look poor and the sharp-dressed fancies who walk out the door the first day. It is so worth it.

When my kids were little I shopped for them year-round at sales.  But once they are in grade school, a big back-to-school shopping spree makes more sense to me. It's also more fun.  Even then I only get about a week's worth of clothes for them because you can't predict what size they'll be. For example, I bought Sam a suit on sale one summer to put away for Christmas, size 12. By January he was a size 16. I like to cash out my credit card "points" with gift cards in the fall, which I buy school clothes with. Ben actually "shopped" for his school clothes in Sam's hand-me-down box. He found everything he needed and didn't want to go shopping. I wanted to buy him new stuff, but I resisted the urge because I know he'll have an unexpected growth spurt at some point. So I bide my time and he wears very wide, very light jeans. He doesn't care, so why should I?

Summer is also the time to grow out hair. Let boys see how hot, dirty, and shaggy it feels. Longer hair might be in style, but after a summer of stinky hair my boys are ready for their buzzes. I usually pay them 5 dollars to let me buzz their hair at home. Think of the savings! We've had no haircuts all summer and for 10 bucks they end up clean and fresh. With no hair it doesn't matter if they wash it or not--which they don't. I know that the home buzz is not the most in-style hair cut for boys right now, but it is acceptable. And the buzz just keeps on giving because it grows out terribly and the only way to make it better is--you guessed it--another buzz. Salons are for sissies. Of course, I go to an expensive one myself because I save so much on boy's hair cuts through out the year. Motherhood--it's a series of compromises, you know.



Comment to win a $100 Visa Gift Card! You can use it on school clothes. Or an expensive hair cut for yourself. 
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62 comments:

  1. We have gone back to just buzzing our boy's hair except for that one one cool back to school buzz. Or for family pictures. I gotta be real.

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  2. I wish I could give O the buzz... he's too ticklish and squirrely.

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  3. So what you're saying is that it isn't rigged. I'll try to win it fair and square, I guess. p.s. I used to buzz my kids at home, but decided it was worth the $15 to not have to clean the hair off of every item in m home. We'd cut in the bathroom, but somehow I'd find hair in the kitchen. Puzzling.

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  4. Sharp dressed fancies is my new favorite phrase!
    I just realized I sent my boys to school and it's picture day. One wore an undershirt from Saver's that we tye-died this summer and the other was wearing a yellow shirt with an enormous skull-looking mask-guy. Way to go, mom.

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  5. I've never cried when my kids went to school either. Even the first day of kindergarten just doesn't do it for me.

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  6. "Sharp-dressed fancies" is my new favorite phrase so thank you for that. I have no love for summer because I too hate being hot, wearing a bathing suit and sticking to things.

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  7. I definitely get sad with the kids going back to school. I'm still sad! I miss them all day. I even went to their school yesterday to sit at lunch with them.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  8. My kids need haircuts, thanks for the reminder.

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  9. Thank you for admitting that it's a happy day when the kids go back to school. I do love summer, but I love a quiet house even more.

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  10. Good advice to not buy summer clothes. It's next to impossible to look cute in summer what with the heat and the sweat and the trekking around so why try? I love the parenting tips I get from your blog!

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  11. A buzz is great, just don't let them suck on a lolly pop while you do it. No one likes hair covered lolly pops.

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  12. After 19 years of having a baby or toddler or preschooler or kindergartener at home (I have 6 kids) my baby started 1st grade. I didn't cry. I had a party for 1! Does that make me a bad person? I would like to think NOT!

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  13. My 4 boys just won't stop growing, plus jeans end up with holes after about 3 wearings. Makes me crazy.

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  14. Great tips...and I imagine that there are many moms who agree with you about going back to school as being a happy time. I know I do!

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  15. What an awesome and hilarious post, as usual. I realize that comments are sometimes "I'll see your funny and raise you my attempt..." but you provide no room for such.

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  16. My husband still prefers his mom's at home buzz cut to any other haircut. Sounds good to me- I'm cheap.

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  17. First of all, I don't like Summer. I live in Arizona and summer here is beyond miserable. BUT, I don't look forward to back to school, either. I do want to cry. It's not so much that I am going to miss my kids and I can't stand it. I think it stems from all the anxiety I feel knowing that I am going to get the emails or phone calls from the teacher(s) and the fights about homework and the dragging the kids out of bed kicking, screaming, and crying. Ugh.

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  18. i love summer, but i've lived in chgo for 8 yrs and the alternative is just so awful - all those layers constantly going on and off. people do that polar bear club thing just so they can take a break from all the layers and go out nude.

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  19. I love school starting and the cooler weather because I don't have to run the air conditioner and I save money.

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  20. With neverending winters here in Alaska, I'm always so excited about summer. But in reality, I too hate wearing summer clothes. I'm pale. I look stupid in shorts and capris. And the kids complain that they're hot if it gets above 60 degrees. In fall and winter I can justify sitting on the couch all day, baking lots of high-carb foods, and wearing cardigans that hide the fattiness that follows. School provides a great routine for my kids too that we all feel good about.

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  21. I think it's funny when my 6YO accidentally puts on his 3YO brother's pants and wears them around as capris. It's summer! (Or it was.)

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  22. Well, I don't have school age kids yet, but I doubt I'll be sad when they go. I'm all about embracing all the new stages as they grow... at least the good parts. I'd be happy to put that $100 to excellent use BTW.

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  23. We did buzz cuts for the first time this summer(Well, except for that awkward incident where my boys found the scissors and had to be buzzed in January). They didn't love the buzz cuts so we are back to the regular old little boy cut, which I also do at home to save money. They've had some pretty bad home haircuts over the years (once my oldest was accused of looking like an artichoke), but I've learned some tricks and have pretty much gotten to supercuts level, which is all they would get anyway if we paid for them. It's a good compromise!

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  24. I can totally relate to NOT being sad when my kids start school...everyone's better off for it. They can spend the day with someone who is relatively nice, AND they learn something. With me all I feel like they learned this summer was how to feed a newborn while barking commands at other children.

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  25. We pay our son $1 for every buzz he consents to. And if I win I will use it to buy more bowls. All our bowls were dirty this morning (we only own about 21) and the kids were panicked about how they would eat their cereal. Prior to this morning they were under the impression that toast is only for dinner.

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  26. I haven't cut my daughter's hair since she was born! Saving me quite a bit of money, I guess. It's quite shabby-chic. My mom keeps telling me to buzz it!! Is she crazy?! A little girl with a buzz?! Actually, that was my fate as a child. I looked like a boy in all of my toddler pictures. I hope I win!

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  27. Back to school shopping is a rip-off, especially since school begins when it's still summer. So this year my kids got a new shirt instead of a bunch of clothes.

    If I had the nerve I'd buzz my own hair.

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  28. One of these days I am going to win it.

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  29. I only like summer for the fruit and vegetables it brings.

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  30. Oh my goodness - I just found you today through Design Mom, and boy, have I been missing out!

    My little girl started preschool last week, but my son has been back at school for a month. I was sad Friday, but yesterday....not so much. It's amazing what being alone (having quiet time) feels like!

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  31. My oldest is two and a half. Can I still go school shopping? It sounds fun.

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  32. I was ready for fall in July. And now it's here. Yea!

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  33. I don't have any boys, but I do cut my husband's hair. He is in the Army, so that's quite a few haircuts in the past 6 years. I hate the buzz look (on him), so I have had to develop the skillz with the clippers to give a decent man's haircut. Myself? Expensive salon.

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  34. Alright this is my week. I don't feel like earning any money. I like it just given to me. So if you could help me out it would be great.

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  35. We buzz in the summer. My son hates it but I don't care. It's cheap and hassle free.

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  36. I'm tired of losing; I want to win.

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  37. I might spend the $100 on a trip to the salon. Well, I have to win it first.

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  38. I need $100 for my lunch date with Kacy.

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  39. I love back to school. It is one of my favorite times of year.

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  40. I don't know how you are so consistently funny Kacy. I love reading anything you write. I also want to win.

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  41. I want to win $100 for new school clothes for myself. That will make me feel better that I'm not going back to school anymore.

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  42. Excellent. If I win $100, I'm going to get a haircut and eat at somewhere really good. Maybe The Foundry Grill. Maybe J Dawgs.

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  43. i hate the sun, too. i'm a bit like a vampire that way. it makes me too hot and grumpy, it's too bright for my eyes and it gives me sunburns. grey days are my favorite.

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  44. I enjoy free things.

    But really, it's not so much the end of summer that I mourn, so much as the fact that it's fall, and in fall it starts snowing--actualfact SNOW, in October!--and six months of snow means I look even fatter for half the year, in my daily four layers of clothes.

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  45. I don't think my kids even know it's a possibility to get their hair cut anywhere but at home. I wish I got paid to do it, though.
    And, I'm pretty low key with back to school shopping. A pair of jeans and a couple shirts, and some shoes without holes- that's about it.

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  46. Excellent back to school tips.
    The reason I am sad school started is that once again I have to try to be organized. Clean clothes! Food for lunches! Up in time to eat before they leave! The school year highlights all my flaws.

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  47. Here in Arizona I only buy summer clothes. Pants with knees get holes in them, and they aren't self healing like knees! They get some jeans for Christmas, and when those get holes, we buy more shorts. You can't b a sissy if u wear shorts. U have to get used to blood and briars.

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  48. I love summer. It is the only time of year worth living, in my opinion (followed closely by a nice Indian summer). I love to be hot, wear flip flops and shorts, eat popcicles or ice cream for lunch, sleep in, go running after the kids are in bed (but it's still light!), read books while my kids swim, and have no schedule.

    But this year I have thoroughly enjoyed the sudden cooling of temperature, and two out of three children in school. Fall might be my new favorite.

    p.s. I forgot (?!) to buy new uniform clothes for my oldest child. Poor girl has been wearing the same pair of pants every day for the past three weeks. I need to make it to the big city soon to go shopping.

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  49. When I dropped my son off for his first day of preschool the teacher asked if we had any "attachment issues" and I smiled and said, "He might, but I don't!" The glares and side-ways glances from the other moms let me know they did not think I was funny.

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  50. My children are having a hard time transitioning from flip flops to shoes. They hate socks and shoes and it's like they forgot how to put them on and wear them. Even tying their shoes is met with eye rolls and audible gasps of exasperation. It's ridiculous.

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  51. I like cereal, and free money.

    You are so very backward from me. I hate for summer to end, and I hate (and don't do) back-to-school shopping. When I see the back-to-school shopping throngs, I wonder why people would do that to themselves when they could wait a few weeks and shop in peace. It's not like the kids will need warm clothes until late October.

    I do hate wearing swimsuits, though, so we have that in common. But I do like to swim, so I brave it. My husband sneaked a photo of me in my swimsuit at the beach this summer, and after seeing the photo, I haven't yet regained courage to leave the house (even in street clothes).

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  52. $100 would be a great way to supplement the fall wardrobe :)

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  53. $100 would buy a whole-lotta-cereal!
    I don't mind school shopping...but trying to find size 15 shoes for the 14yr old has been less than exciting!

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  54. If I shed any tears on the first day of school, they were tears of utter joy. OR maybe tears of sadness that I still have two kids too young to go to school. Ok, so I only have one in school but one less kid to take grocery shopping is a good start. Two more years until I get to live my own life from 9am-3:30pm. Looking forward to it.

    I found your blog this morning and I fully intend to become a regular reader. You're a riot!

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  55. We don't buy new clothes when it's time to go back to school, they just wear their Summer clothes untill Fall when we buy new clothes.

    s2s2 at comcast dot

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  56. Wow - if I let my son grow his hair as long as he wanted, it would be down to his knees! He wouldn't notice that it was hot or stinky! You're so lucky.

    Email address is in blogger profile

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  57. September may be the best month of them all!
    Kimberlyrfitch at gmail

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  58. The weekend before school I told my 6 year old that he would get his "back to school" haircut on Sunday after church. Saturday night, after giving him a bath, we left him with his older sister while we went to chaperone a church dance. Within minutes of arriving at the dance my husband received a picture text of my son's new haircut... big bald spot right on the top/front of his head. My husband wanted to shave the entire top of his head, leave the sides and give him an "old man" haircut, but I'm too much of a softy. However, we had no other choice but to make this years style a buzz.

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  59. I like your tips. It's freeing to know I can let my kids be gross all summer long. Unfortunately, they don't feel gross and want a haircut. They just want to be disgusting all year long. Oh well.

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  60. I bought several pairs of great back-to-school shoes on clearance at the beginning of the summer. And then my daughter's feet grew. I'm only 5'2''! Why does she think she can grow?!

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