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You Can Get So Much Crap For Five Dollars!

A few weeks ago, my good friend Sue Diamond-Phillips (not her real name, but I wish it was) wrote a blog post over at Diapers or Wine all about taking her five kids to Five Below. First off, I love her because those of us "crazy" enough to have a basketball team -sized family need to stick together. Secondly, I'm pretty sure she's stalking me because I had just been to Five Below that same week with my five kids. (Sue, stop stalking me. Even though I love it.)

If you haven't been to Five Below, it's better than your average crummy dollar store, and everything in it is $5 or less. Hence the name. There is nothing more exciting to my kids than when we tell them we're going to Five Below. Luckily for me, both Auntie Juju AND the Easter Bunny gave each of the kids a $5 gift card to the store. So, I had five very excited kids who couldn't wait to spend their respective $10. This is what I tweeted to Sue:

I knew she'd understand. See, as great as this place is when you need stocking stuffers or hula hoops, or more $4 sunglasses after you sat on your last pair, it's a lot to handle with the kids. 

We went yesterday with gift cards in hand.

My three oldest children can do the math associated with figuring out what they can spend and what they want to get. The problem is, we have so many kids who have different interests, (plus the two who can't add and subtract yet), that they just fan out when we get inside the entrance. PJ & I try to keep an eye on them all, but I think it's more effective if one of us just stations themselves at the door to make sure none of them escapes.

Patrick is easy. He goes right in, and figures out what he wants. Usually he heads for the books. Yesterday he got a science experiment kit and some new sunglasses because he really needed sunglasses. Piece of cake.

Lucy, on the other hand, is very shrewd. She knows she has only $10 to spend and she isn't about to rush into any decisions. It's a painstaking process. Eventually, after I was following her around saying, "We can always come back if you can't decide," she settled on a necklace, friendship bracelet kit and some new shades. It was painfully slow, though.

Sophie is tough. She will walk right in, find something, and be all set. Until she walks ten more feet and finds something else that she wants more. Then she has to put the first thing back and figure out how many more dollars she can spend. This little scenario will repeat itself over and over until, finally, she settles on a game and a travel pillow for your neck. (Keep in mind, this place is full of candy and toys. Sophie gets a travel pillow. She's awesome.)

Sophie being Sophie
Sean and Charlotte gravitate toward the balls in the store. There are bouncy balls, basketballs, soccer balls... you get the idea. There are ginormous, silver trash cans full of all kinds of balls. Unfortunately, these two have to try them all out to figure out which one they'll buy this time. That's when you'll find PJ and I running like idiots down some aisle to retrieve the latest haphazardly bounced ball. It's a shining moment in parenthood.

Patrick and the little ones checking the bounce factor
Taking five kids with $50 in gift cards to a place where everything is $5 or less is a little chaotic. There are at least 85 million combinations of things you can get with $10. I'm sure there's some elaborate mathematical equation that could calculate the exponential degree of chaos, but I haven't had enough coffee to go there. After a good, long while, everybody got something that made them happy. I even replaced my crushed glasses with another styling pair of $4 shades.

Nothing but the best, baby.
Added bonus, they had paper lanterns for sale, so we finally took the orange and black ones down from Halloween and put up some new colors.
Hopefully, these aren't up for six months, too.
I'm always a little traumatized when we make a Five Below trip, but everyone gets something they want and it keeps them quiet for a while afterward. And, thanks to Sophie, we can all take a turn resting our necks in the car.

So manly.

What about you...any places that your kids like to go that make you want to cry?

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Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I can only imagine! My kids go nuts in Five Below, too. My youngest wounds like your Lucy - can't make up her mind. My middle would be like Sophie - keeps changing her mind and ends up with something completely random. Only place worse is the grocery store!

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