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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Shopping Pains

We are now being inundated with what for many children (and more than a few adults) has become the three saddest words ever uttered. You can't turn on the television or log onto the computer without seeing Back to School ads. Being the daughter of a teacher, a former teacher, a mother of a school aged child and the wife of a teacher, I have mixed feelings about this time of year. For the first time since Robby started going to school, the commercials have not thrown me into an emotional tailspin.

Not wanting to delay the inevitable and hoping to fully maximize our saving ability, we dedicated Saturday to Robby's back to school shopping. The first store was packed to capacity with long lines snaking through the aisles at each check-out. We were pushed, nudged, cursed at and cut off on by an angry woman pushing a cart, all in our benign quest to find the correct size pants. I appreciated the savings, but we certainly paid a different type of price with our time and frustration levels.

In what turned out to be an error of judgment, I decided that we should go shopping at our local outlet mall instead of driving between all of the stores. I figured that having the stores within close vicinity would simplify our shopping and save us time. Apparently all of Northern Virginia had the same idea because the mall was packed!

We walked at a snails pace trying to avoid being whacked by the bursting bags and the ample hips of our fellow shoppers. For whatever reason, my prosthesis garnered more stares than normal. I'm accustomed to being noticed, but the outright gawking was both rude and tiresome. Robby, who is typically oblivious, even noticed the increased stares. After an hour of tolerating the attention, he responded by meeting the stares of the offenders until they noticed and were shamed into looking away. He seemed to take a lot of enjoyment out of this game, proudly announcing each time he "caught" another one looking.

Although it was more frustrating and time consuming than we anticipated, we are done shopping for his school clothes. Thankfully he doesn't particularly care about fashion and he agreed to just about everything he was shown. I have to admit that he handled the task with more grace than he has in the past. Instead of crying and fretting, Robby simply accepted the clothes and supplies without offering much in terms of conversation. Of course, tormenting the starers probably distracted him from complaining about spending the day shopping. 

Next year, I think I'll just do our back to school shopping online!

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