Survival Tips for Shopping with Boys

Shakes, Deals, and Lizard Tails

by Christie Perkins

2014 Horney Toad 008Shakes, and deals, and lizard tails (oops)… that’s what shopping with boys are made of.

Have you ever gone clothing shopping with boys? I don’t know what it is but there’s something mis-wired in their brains that turns them off to shopping. If I allowed, there would be grown men and boys sitting and a tantrum-fitting on the floor of the store trying to induce a man made clothing tornado.

But, they don’t. They know better.

Me. Well, I could spend hours in a store checking everything out, trying on clothes and making the best selection. But, a major miscalculation occurs when one mom takes four boys shopping.

Though, they are mostly patient the boys will reach their breaking point.

And that’s when the fighting begins. They ignite each others fires while I’m trying to peacefully shop, but instead I’m putting out the fires. I am the extinguisher: “Shhh, shhhh, shhhh! Everyone can hear you.” And truthfully, it’s me they all hear. They have created first aid moments from fighting with one another. And by the end of the day I have them padded with a shopping bag sustainable shelter. Its great material for the all-nighter at the store they are all complaining about.

In one shopping trip half of the wilderness survival merit badge is earned.

And, oh, I despise the carousel hide and seek game. You know the game when a child goes missing in the labyrinth of clothing racks. One minute they are whining next to you and then poof! They are gone with zipped lips. Why can’t they whine in the racks and zip their lips when attached to your hips?

It’s all messed up.

But when I’ve scouted him out I find myself going from one side of the carousel rack to the other. Never quite catching him. When other shoppers pull up I back off, pretending I need to look at this rack full of foofy frilly girl clothing. Seriously? I don’t even own a girl. I’m embarrassed we are playing the carousel game.

But I snatch him and he goes into lock down.

Why do we purposely put ourselves through this? Hm? Well, oh yeah… I’m not sending them to school in that favorite stained, snagged, maimed, and ragged soccer shirt. So let’s face it, yes, the school shopping I do for them is really for me.

(It’s selfish really because I would like them to find a wife some day. Anyway.) I care how they look.

So, you need to go shopping with your boys? What can you do to make the best of the situation? Well, I’ve got some ideas.

Oh, I’ve got ideas. Take a look. And I (pretty much) guarantee that they will work. Yep, just put a disclaimer on that guarantee.


3 Tips for a Better Shopping Experience With Your Boys

Just remember this little poem and you will be off to a great shopping experience: Shakes, and deals, and lizard tails (oops) that’s what shopping with boys are made of. I recently took my four boys shopping. Check out some great insight I learned over the years.

Shakes. Food is a must with boys. We started our excursion with cheap frosties at Wendy’s. It’s important to freeze their brain a little before heading out on your shopping trip. It helps with numbing the pain of shopping. If you don’t start with it then end with it. Yes, I use it as leverage for good behavior. Mark that in your bad parent book. I don’t mind. Put my face there if you need to, just make sure there’s ice cream on the page.

Deals. Of course there’s coupons and sales, yadda, yadda. We have all heard that before. But, what about a deal that makes both mom and boys happy? If only the store was equipped with a section of clothing racks. You know, like McDonalds has a play area? Well, why not a section for clothing rack acrobats? Entertainment for hours. But they don’t have them… so since I’m a problem solver I’m considering buying my own circular clothing rack here.

Oh, imagine the fun shopping would be by toting around your own clothing rack. It’s only 16 pounds and $35 (…at the time of posting. Prices and weight are subject to change without my approval). The boys could spend hours playing while you enjoy shopping. It’s a small price to pay for a better shopping experience. Besides it’ll give them something to do by lugging that thing around. Brilliant. I know. P.S. I suggest hiding from your kids (role reversal) unless you want people to jam their eyebrows at you. Oh, and an added bonus: your husband can lean on it while he waits for you.

Lizard Tails (oops). Now, this was the most successful moment of our most recent shopping trip: we found a lizard. Yep, a real one. He (she? they are all he’s to me) was wandering around the parking lot of the store. No worries it wasn’t skedaddling around in the shoe section surprising you when you dropped your foot in. He was playing the carousel game, except he was hiding under the cars in the parking lot… I think they call that “frogger.”

Anyway. Before I knew it my boys were laying on the ground trying to grab the lizard who was sitting zip lipped under the parked car. They ran from one side to the other. Never quite catching him. When a car pulled up they backed off, looking all embarrassed that they were laying on the ground.

Ah, now they know what I feel like.

But they eventually snatch him and he goes into lock down. But this lizard apparently knows how to Houdini out of there and sky dives freestyle to the ground. And the chase begins again. This time when they get close he drops his tail and runs. Poor little guy. My lizard lover is traumatized but the brothers explain it’s just a defense mechanism.

We leave him. (Ahem… the lizard, not the kid.)

And my heart is full of gratitude when I realize that my children have never dropped a body part in the horrid carousel game.

May you survive your upcoming shopping experiences and may they be full of shakes, deals, and lizard tails (and never dropped limbs). Good luck.



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