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Monday, August 27, 2012

school shopping

In order to soften the blow of back-to-school, I've tried to make school shopping for our little fashionista kind of special.  First of all, she needed basically an entire new wardrobe, having outgrown everything this summer.  We've paced ourselves so as not to have the crying in Old Navy (me) or the whining about not being able to buy the spangled, open-toed shoes with a chunky heel (not her, but could be).

On Friday, I arranged for Maya to play with her friend Katie (thank you Megan and Katie!) and Ella and I had 3 whole hours to take our time and peruse her favorite stores.  Maya has enough clothes to not repeat an outfit for 3 weeks and, because she isn't getting anything, she gets restless with the shopping scene. Ella literally needed new shoes, coat, fleece, leggings, under clothes, t-shirts, long sleeves, pants, tights and sweatshirts plus all the school supplies.  Oh, and a ladybug snap watch, of course. 

We went to a couple of stores and then she looked at me and sighed, "I'm getting tired of clothes shopping." 


Short of still needing some pants, we had most of the stuff checked off.  I asked her what she would like to do during our special time alone together.  Petco.  To look at the animals. 

Now, I'm trying hard here to be a smidge less in charge of everyone around me.  Petco it was.  After a stern warning that we would not be leaving with a pet.

(Back story:  Since having to give up her cat last year due to Maya's severe allergy to it, Ella has wanted a "pet of my own."  We went through a brief consideration of a parakeet and, after that was voted down by both her parents, she was crushed.  She has a bunny that she plays with and we are not interested in any more caged animals.  Then our dog passed in June and since then all the girls in my house have been on the puppy train.  I am in zero denial of what having a puppy entails and am in no way ready for one. I keep telling the girls that I hope I will be ready for one someday, but that this is not someday.  I can hardly handle all I've got.  Hope liveth strong in my house, though.)

So Ella and I go in to "look" at the animals, reminding me of my pet rescue days when I used to go to the Humane Society to "visit."  At one point in my adult life I had 3 dogs and 3 cats.  True story.

I spent the entire first part of the excursion shuddering while I looked in at all the rodents.  We had a mouse/rat infestation in our house this year and I found a live one in my living room one bleak winter day.  Just the thought of them makes this pacifist, vegetarian want to reach for the D-Con.

Yup, this is Ella school shopping:

Then it was on to the reptile tanks where she held a baby snake, causing me to shudder down to my toes.  I honestly think she was trying to embrace the idea of owning a snake so she could then convince me it was the pet of her dreams.  (For the record, I was really proud of her for being so brave.)
When it was time to go get Maya, she reluctantly made her way to the door and said, "We really can't get anything today, Mom?"  I asked her if she really thought I would say yes, after having told her we absolutely wouldn't. 
"I was hoping," she answered.  See?  Hope springs eternal.
While I made my way into traffic from the Petco parking lot, I said, conversationally: "Well, I have to say, seeing all those rodents and reptiles made a puppy much more appealing to me."
From the back seat, I hear an excited, "Really?  That is what I was hoping for!" 
I had just been duped by my seven-year-old. 
It is amazing what a few hours apart can do for some sisters.  Before I knew it Ella was carrying Maya through the mall on her back.  And likely whispering about how Project Get-A-Pet was going exactly as they had planned.

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