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The backpack

Two things you need to know before you hear this story:

1)  We don’t let J Man watch much TV.  Airplane flights and haircuts are the few exceptions.  Therefore, he’s pretty clueless when it comes to things like Spiderman, Cars, or even Thomas the Train.  He knows who Elmo is, but I think kids have some sort of chip planted in their brain that automatically teaches them who Elmo is because he’s known Elmo since he was like, 6 months old.

2.  J Man went to the visitation day for our preschool last year.  It was not his best moment.  He hated it.  He sobbed uncontrollably until Matty B came and picked him up 90 minutes later.  I’m not sure who was more traumatized – J Man or me…

So, when we decided to enroll J Man in preschool this year, I was anxious to say the least.  I had visions of weeks of a hysterical, frantic 3 1/2 year old, screaming my name down the hallway.  Sometimes I overexaggerate.  Sometimes I’m right on.

In an attempt to make the first day of school as pleasant as possible, we decided that J Man needed a backpack for all his school supplies.  Ok, who are we kidding?  Preschoolers don’t need backpacks.  This tactic was outright bribery.  We also told him that preschoolers get chocolate milk.  We know our audience.

So, last week, J Man and I took a trip to Target.  We headed to the school supplies section and were met with an entire WALL of backpacks.  And already, it becomes political.

99% of the backpacks are “themed”.  J Man doesn’t know Star Wars.  He doesn’t know Transformers.  There was one super cute camo backpack with an attached stuffed dinosaur (the only non-commercial option).  I immediately ooh and ahh over the camo pack.  He wanted nothing to do with it.

And then he saw something he recognized.  Olivia, the pig.  He has some Olivia books.  He has an Olivia stuffed animal.  Neither of these items are very gender specific.  But this backpack?  Oh, this backpack is as girlie as they come.  It’s pink.  It has sparkly red hearts and stars.  It has a picture of Olivia in a pink tutu. And this is the one he wants.   And all I can picture is my little boy, walking down the hallway on his first day of school, so darn proud of his pink backpack.  And we’ve never told him that girls play with dolls and boys play with blocks because we don’t want to plant those stereotypes in his head, but come on, people!  I’ve got to protect my buddy!  That, and I knew Matty B would KILL me if I let him bring home a pink, sparkly backpack.

So, I told him the backpack didn’t fit.  Told him it was too big.  Tried to push him toward the camo pack to no avail.  He finally spied a Sponge Bob backpack.  He has a Sponge Bob sippy cup, so it was the only other recognizable character.  I despise Sponge Bob.  I hate his big eyes.  I hate his humor.  I hate his tiny little pants.  But if I have to choose between pink, sparkly Olivia and Sponge Bob, well…

There’s my boy and his backpack, on his first day of preschool.  He’s not normally so squinty.  It was bright outside.

Blurry picture, but you had to see the backpack…

So, how did he do? My buddy was a ROCK STAR!  Here he is with his fabulous Teacher Sarah.  He told her today that he loved her:)

This was his “present to preschool”.  We let him pick out a puzzle to give to preschool as a gift (our ulterior motive was that it would distract him and give him something to do when he first arrived – yes, more bribery).  It seemed to work!  He didn’t shed a tear the whole morning and when I saw him at lunch, the first thing he said was, “I didn’t cry or whine at all!”  He was so proud of himself!  And this mama breathed a sigh of relief!  Now, if he’ll just go back tomorrow…as long as he has his Sponge Bob backpack, I think we might have a chance…

P.S.  30 day challenge update:  #6, drink at least 8 glasses of water.  Piece of cake.  By my calculations, I drank 12.  Other than coffee, I’ve never been one to drink my calories.  Much to my family’s dismay, I never buy soda or juice so I usually drink a LOT of water.  Today was no exception, I just kept a tally.  This was an easy one.


3 responses »

  1. I love your stories.

  2. So excited to hear that he had a great first day!! He is going to have a great year!! And I know that you will be one proud and happy Mamma! Good work, bribery and all 😉

  3. Thanks, guys! I feel like I’m already seeing his confidence build, just after two days! Does a mama’s heart good!


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