On Tuesday night at Elliot's baseball game, I noticed he was the only one besides the one girl on his team who didn't have baseball shoes. And I got a complex about it. The truth is, we've been looking in second hand stores and at garage sales for baseball shoes for both the kids, but haven't found the right size yet. As soon as I realized this, I had this overwhelming urge to run to the nearest store and buy them brand spanking new off the shelf. Except we can't afford to. Even if we could though, my logic is that there is no point in paying $30 a pair for shoes they are going to wear literally to 6 games and grow out of in time to play again next year.

I ended up getting them both shoes at a thrift store for $9 total, and I'm really happy about that. The thing that got me thinking is this:

I don't want to raise kids that have to have name brand hottest item all the time or they aren't cool type. (incidentally, the shoes I got were some poor suckers almost new Adidas and Louisville Sluggers that their kid wore 6 games last year) I don't want my kids to be the only one without something...but I don't want them to be the kids that get to the point of being all "you're wearing (insert store brand here)? I've got Nike's. Don't get me wrong, I do try to get the kids decent brands, especially shoes, but I try to be as thrifty as possible about it. My mom always tell me I have expensive taste :) We cannot afford, nor would I spend it if I did have it, to get the kids $90 tennis shoes...$30 jeans, and they don't need it. I buy it if I find a good deal, but I rarely buy things brand new.

So where do you draw the line between giving your kids the latest and greatest of everything and giving them things so that they aren't the only one without it, even though they really don't "need" it? The baseball shoes are not a must have, this is 5-7 years old here...it's just that I don't want to make them a target...but then again I feel like I didn't have everything new and trendy and I am fine, a better person for it even.

This is guilt. This is me feeling like someday, my kids will say they were the only one without baseball shoes and they felt so lame and it made them not even want to show up to practice. Maybe I'm over thinking?


So when we go into thrift stores I allow the kids to pick out something to carry around and play with while we are in the store...keeps them occupied so I can actually shop. The last time we went to this particular store we went to yesterday, there was a lady working and she saw Elliot playing with some truck on the end of the aisle I was in and told him to go put it away. First off, this stuff is DONATED and USED so I think that kids playing with it should be fine, say nothing about the fact that in all reality, it COULD have been something I meant to purchase. But the thing that miffed me is that he would have had to walk away from me a good ways to put it back on the toy shelf. So, I snapped for him to get over by me...and this broad throws her head back and snorts like she cannot believe I just over-rode her. So I haven't been in that store since. Yesterday, it was the only other option, so I went in hoping she was fired by now. No such luck. If I had to describe her, I'd tell you she is dirty, overweight, obnoxious, and I always want to call her Gladys. (she was even gossiping with the customers ahead of me about another customer that frequents being "mental" and when I left the 2 of them were talking about how odd "Gladys" was.) Anyway, there was no sign of her anywhere until we exited the dressing room. She is apparently the toy nazi or something...maybe she didn't have any toys as a kid or something, but you could see her getting all worked up that the kids had toys. I also had my stroller and the way she looked it over while I was in the checkout line convinced me she thought I was out to steal some crap. Anyway, she walks towards up with a dart for a gun, but not the gun Trae was currently playing with.

Grungy lady: Does this belong to what he's playing with...?

Me: Ahhh, nope. This gun doesn't shoot darts.

Brookelyn: Yep, I think it does go to this one mom, riiight....um riiight....here?

Me: (as grungy lady is trying to stick the freakin' dart on the gun that is now in my hand) Nope. It doesn't go to this one...

Brookelyn: Mom, I think it does...

As this most annoying lady stands there trying to prove me wrong, trying different spots where it COULD go but DIDN'T go, I grabbed the dart out of her hands and walked off, wanting to find tape to tape my know-it-all daughters mouth shut.

I decide I want to leave this store because I get irritated every time I come in to buy their DONATED crap and I've got some lady tailing me the whole time hounding me about toys and making me feel like a crook when I am not one. So up to the checkout we go, and believe me when I say if I wasn't already feeling inadequate as a mom I would have left the shoes there and walked out, and she's up there waiting. Lucky for her because I would have made a comment to the cashier if I could have pointed her out discreetly, about how insulting I find her. She finally gets done gossiping with the ladies ahead of me in line and it becomes my turn. Mind you, she IS NOT checking me out...just standing by looking over my stroller to make sure I don't make out with any free stuff. Then she moves in and man is this woman ugly...tickles Archers cheek. Baby cheeks are tiny, so her gross fingers so close to his mouth. (the one thing I hate about thrift shopping is how dirty I feel when I'm done...hands get washed with baby wipes when we're done) So, I pull the stroller back out of her reach. She ignores my obvious discomfort and lunges again to tickle his cheek. "tick-o tick-o!!!...oh, I got a smi-oh!" Me, clearly annoyed, pull the stroller back again with more force...cashier getting clearly uncomfortable with the situation. Grungy about to get slapped lady comes in again, having to step at least 2 steps closer tickles his cheek for the 3rd time. I bit my tongue somehow because I was really close to going off on her, pushed my stroller past her without a glance and headed for the exit. "Have a nice day now, y'all" Seriously?

Jump off a bridge and get clean, Gladys.

So, I vow to never go in that store again because I had to call 3 people on the drive home to vent, and that my friends, was some serious venting.
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