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Is Back-to-School Shopping a Scam?

Something I've been wondering lately is whether back-to-school shopping is kind of a scam. A friend was in the mall last rainy Friday and said it was insane -- crazier than a December weekend. I am pretty new to this school gig (my daughters are starting grade 1 and kindergarten this year), but I found myself planning for school and looking at their clothes and thinking... don't they have enough clothes? 

The weather doesn't change overnight, even in my crazy climate. So, I know one bias is mine is that my one daughter will for sure wear shorts as long as is childly possible (and parent-indulged), so who knows what size pants she will wear by November? And my other one has worn long sleeves and pants throughout the summer herself. 

Supplies are obvious enough to me. I mean, the schools that sort that out for you in June are *genius*, but if that's not your lucky lot, of course you need supplies. Markers dry out and scissors dull and notebooks fill up and pencils go astray.

I bought a pair of runners for my eldest and a backpack for #2. My Mother-in-Law bought them each a new outfit, and it is sweet for them to have something new to wear. But, I guess I just don't get the massive run-around and stress that seems to accompany this "first day" deadline. It seems so encompassing and, from many of my conversations with other moms, tiring!

So, Moms who are wiser and more experienced than me, can you tell me?

Is it the streamlining that makes it worth it? Is it easier? Are you replacing shoes that are scrunching toes and bags that limped through the June finish line? 

Is it more that kids are blah to go back to school and new things are incentive to be excited? 

Somehow, the pomp & circumstance & rigamaroll of it all has piqued my interest and my wary wallet. Or maybe I am just being very naive or cynical? Tell me!



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