Ring that school bell!

We’re just weeks away from the daily battle between moms and kids over what to wear

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, UnionvilleTimes.com

It’s a magical time of year!

The air is starting to get crisp in the evenings.

The sky gets darker earlier and earlier.

And, the collective whine heard from children all over Chester County is mingled by their parents toasting and cheering to a rapidly approaching school year.

For me, taking the boys “school shopping” is rather painful. I have an idea of the items that I believe are necessary and they have an entirely different agenda.

In fact, they are already bargaining with me that if they keep the backpack from last year are they able to convert that savings into a video game for the PS3?

Really? Do I look like I just fell off the turnip truck?

My younger son would like “baggy skinny jeans” (baffling, I know) like the professional skateboarders wear and he would prefer if his boxer shorts would be visible at the top of his pants. (Help me! I’m not making this stuff up, I swear.)

He wishes to pair this with any sort of “real” sports jersey. He would like to clarify that a Phillies, Eagles or Flyers t-shirt from Target does not count.

My older son has decided that basketball shorts made for a man twice his size are his uniform of choice. The shorts may not be any higher than mid-shin or he considers them “short-shorts”.

He will only wear shirts that he has collected from all of the various sports teams that he has played for. Never mind that they are stained or ripped or tattered, he is only “going to school.” And besides, EVERYONE wears it. Duh.

Even more disturbing is the growing trend of middle and high school boys wearing tall black sweat socks with their size 12 sneakers. Have you seen this? It is hideous.

I believe that a school uniform (as vehemently as I would have opposed it in my youth) is GENIUS. Gone would be the early morning scuffle over what color pairings are acceptable or whether the same top can be worn on back to back days.

Can you imagine how delicious it would be to buy some khaki pants and a few blue polo shirts and call it a wardrobe?

I suppose that some worry about squashing a child’s individuality or sense of self-expression. I say, if it means that my mornings are filled with the sound of my coffee maker brewing me some caffeinated nectar and not my own screeching voice reiterating for the umpteenth time why nylon shorts and no jacket in a blizzard is madness, it is worth it.

Besides, I can think of many, many items for back to school that I need. For example, Target is featuring a line designed by Missoni in early September that includes housewares and clothing. And, have you seen those magenta colored Minnie pants from JCrew? Momma could always use a new leather bag and perhaps a pair of boots or two. But, I digress…..

Two weeks from tonight we will be tucking little ones in bed on the eve of school year 2011-2012.

May your preparations be met with little resistance and your school bus be on time!

Until then, happy shopping to all and to all a good night

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