Backpack Backpack

Several people have asked me if I've gotten a backpack for Kyra for preschool. I honestly hadn't thought much about it. I mean I know it will be her first year of school, but it's not like she'll have any homework (right? they don't give homework to 4 year olds do they?). So, I kind of dismissed the idea. However, a few days ago I received a note from her teacher with a list of things she will need on the first day of of them being a backpack (the other thing was tissue paper, big list I know). They really only need it to put dry clothes in (for emergencies), but need one nonetheless. Thus, the search for a backpack began.

We started at Wal*mart, simply because that's where I was shopping for a few choice items. I browsed along the mile long aisle of book bags, only to surmise that they were either the whole length of her body, or were covered in commercialization. Now, I don't mind if she has a pair of Arie*le underwear or H*ello Kitty slippers, but a backpack? I don't want to have to feed into that more than she already extracts on her own. So, I dragged Kyra out of the store and told her we would keep looking.

The thing is, we went to K*ohl's, Me*ijer, Targ*et...and guess what? Every single store has backpacks covered in TV show paraphernalia. It was disgusting. And of course, every time she found one that she liked, I said no. I know Kyra was getting a little frustrated, because heaven knows she would love to have a bag with the three Disn*ey princesses on it, but they are so gaudy! And I don't mean to offend anyone, if they do happen to let their children pick out their own backpack, but I just can't let myself do it. I want my daughter to be excited about her first day of school, but there is a limit to how far I'll go.

I did find a few that were relatively safe. There was the pink camouflage, and the one with a turtle on it. Of course she didn't like any of those. Thankfully, she didn't like the ones with H*annah Mont*ana on it either, because she seems to be on the face of just about everything. But she did like the Br*atz one and we certainly weren't going to go there. Seriously, why do these stores make it so difficult for a parent to say "no" to their children? I certainly didn't want to search anymore, so we finally compromised on a pink polka dotted cupcake backpack with a cherry on top. Not my top pick, but acceptable. And she bore a smile as we left the store. Of course as we were leaving Katie wanted one too. I just had to say, "that's enough for one day Katie, you still have 2 more years before we have to go through this again!"


Short Stop said...

I totally know what you mean. I don't like all of that branding either. I think it's a bit easier with boys...there is a lot more "plain" stuff out there, it seems.

The backpack: It's on Jack's list from school, too. I knew he'd need one for a change of clothes and to bring home his papers and artwork. I'm totally excited to pick one out, but I can't bring myself to buy him one yet. I just get too emotional. I need to pull it together here soon...he starts in a couple of weeks.

Dave and Jenni said...

Ruthie's preschool actually sells the parents a bag for $5 - it's not a backpack, but a duffle bag and they do it because it's big enough to hold the artwork they bring home.

But. I know what you mean about the branding because I did have to buy her a lunchbox (her school is over lunchtime). They were all either way too big for a preschool sized lunch, or princess gaudy. I like for them to have fun things, even if it does have a Disney character, but WHY OH WHY do all the little girl things have to be pink and glittery and sparkle-y? Have retailers never heard of subtlety? (I have this same frustration when it comes to girls' clothing!)

In any case, when it came time to choose, I laid out all the ones I thought were acceptable and then let Ruthie pick what she wanted - it's generally what I do when they choose something. So far it's worked because they feel like they have a choice, but I still have some say.

Sarah said...

Ugh... I'm dreading these kind of shopping excursions already. I would REALLY like to eliminate branded characters of all kinds from Aaron's view, but I doubt that's realistic. I like Jenni's suggestion to choose a few and let the child pick (maybe even going to the store without the child and bringing home a few options, then returning the ones not chosen). I'll file that idea away for future use.

How are you feeling about Kyra starting school?

Kris said...

Way to stay strong, sista! I know this story too well. We did find one at Wal.mart, pink(of course) with lots o' flowers. Super cute...all girl!

Buckeyemama said...

Thank you for not buying the ones covered in characters. I'm all for self-expression, as long as I get the final say!! :)

Beth said...

Jacob and Kyle were just so excited to have a backpack they didn't question the ones that I just brought home one day. I know those days are coming to an end too, but for now, it made it really easy. Good luck Kyra!

Earen said...

Yes, it does get tough to get all you need to without all the TV stuff. And yes...when Caleb was in preschool he had more homework than he's had so far in kindergarten!!