July 13, 2011

The Backpack Battle

When my daughters started preschool we had a fun time picking out backpacks. By sheer luck, I found bags that were smaller than a traditional backpack, which worked great since my girls weren't quite 3-years-old. I let them pick whatever character they wanted and none of them ended up picking the same thing. 
By their third and final year of preschool, it was clear their backpacks had seen better days. The straps were either broken or on the verge of breaking. Plus, the once size-appropriate backpacks now seemed too small. My daughters kept asking when they could get new backpacks. My answer: when you start kindergarten.
We are now in the process of getting ready for kindergarten and my girls are excited to buy new backpacks. However, they are not excited by my rule: no characters. Cakes had her heart set on a Rapunzel backpack. I thought long and hard before I made my decision. I'm not buying new backpacks every year, although I will buy them on an as-needed basis (loss, damage, etc). My concern is that while Rapunzel (or Sleeping Beauty or Tinkerbell or Minnie Mouse) is the coveted character this year, next year she may be so "last year." Considering how much backpacks cost, I'm not going to buy a character backpack this year, only to be informed it's babyish in first grade.
I've made a deal of sorts with my girls. If they choose a "plain" backpack that will last for several years, I'll let them pick a character lunch box. They seem OK with this arrangement, but so far we haven't found a Rapunzel lunch box. (This may not matter as Cakes is now leaning toward a Hello Kitty lunch box). 
On a side note, as Purex Insider, I submitted an article to Purex and it was selected for the company's website. You can read it here.


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Come on, Mom...if you just let your girls get character gear every year, and then save it (times four)...think what an eBay stash you'll have in about 30 years! Hahaha!!! I still have my Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox (complete with thermos) from about that long ago. I don't remember the other characters, though...but I do remember getting to choose a new lunchbox and folders being such a great big deal. :)

Great article on Purex, too!

Faith said...

I distictly remember wanting a new bag every year or even twice a year because "I had grown out of it or didnt like it or was just plain ungrateful". My father refered to me as the "bag girl". Once he got me by buying a huuuuuuuuge brand name one that cost so much that I wasnt allowed to ask for a new one so I dragged it round for a whole two years and got weird looks. I agree with not choosing character type bags, they do get old quick.
www.toinvisalignandbeyond.blogspot.com :)

Dee said...

I have the same rule with backpacks as well:)

MaryAnne said...

I like the lunchbox compromise!

Tmom said...

L.L Bean has great kids backpacks with matching lunch boxes that are really well made. They are kind of expensive but they take a beating and keep going.

reanbean said...

Hmmm... this is really good to know. Something I had not thought about, and I suppose I should find out if my kids are going to need backpacks this fall.

I grew up getting a new backpack every year. It was always part of back to school shopping. But I was an only child. I can see how backpacks times 4 (or even times 2) could be very expensive. You're wise to plan ahead and get ones that will last. I like the lunchbox compromise too. So smart. I'm storing this all away for when we get to this situation at our house. :o)

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