On the Merits of Rubber Attire

“It smells like a new rubber ball in here.”

The boys needed new shoes. And a coupla decent outfits to start the new school year in.

So we spent a large part of the morning at the Mall…an exercise in frustration.

Shopping with a ten and twelve-year-old boy is not a passion of mine.

They were goofy–trying to keep themselves entertained with a strange running commentary that I attempted to ignore. But I felt my nerves being stripped down, exposing the sensitive inner tendrils that could snap at any minute.

And now this.

“It smells like a new rubber ball in here.”

He wrinkled his nose for effect.

We were in Old Navy, desperately seeking the half-size advantage they offer.


I stood in the center of the store, realizing we were too late. They had already put away the shorts. My sweet, stockily-built, little man, with the thighs that need just a half-size more would have to make due until jean season.

He was pleased as punch. This is a boy who has worn the same tie-dyed shirt on the first day of school for two years running. He insists he’s wearing it again this year. Despite the occasional glimpse of belly button.

On the way out I looked around for the rubber suit that surly must be giving off that horrendous odor.

It was probably in the women’s section. More specifically, the mother’s section. Even more so: the mothers of young boys who are back-to- school shopping section.

As we drove off into the sunshine, I knew I needed some civilized conversation or my frayed nerves might just give way. I called a friend to see if she wanted to meet us for lunch. I had promised the boys they could have their mid-day meal at their favorite Italian eatery. Bribery seldom works, but I keep trying.

After the boys wolfed down two or three plates of pizza and Italian delicacies, they looked at me expectantly. I forked over a few quarters, anxious to send them to the game area (one reason this is their favorite lunch spot) and have some good conversation with my friend.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Little Man approach a copse of gumball machines. When he came back to the table, in his hand he held (you guessed it) a new rubber ball.

I’ve been bouncing off the walls, friends.

Things will settle down soon (I pray) but until then, I may be a bit sparse in the neighborhood.

This is me hanging the “out to lunch” sign.

I have some rubber suits to try on.


  1. says

    You can join me in my rubber room! I completely “get it”; the last two weeks of my life were crazy, but now everyone is settled (at least I hope they are). I hate shopping with my sons, even at 20 & 18. Their brains completely go to mush, especially at shoe stores. You know … Old Navy has a big machine of rubber balls they sell for a quarter, just in case you missed them.

    Anyway, today I’m caulking my nasty tiled bathroom tubs (church parsonage you know). Honestly, these tubs have been here for at least 70 years … I’m not kidding.

    Someday, I’ll have a brand new tub in my rubber room. Oh the joy…


  2. says

    Bouncing along with you. With my two boys, sometimes i just give in and bounce too. We laugh, we jump, we fall in a heap in exhaustion.

    Blessings to you from Costa Rica,
    Sarah Dawn

  3. says

    Speaking from my empty nest, I can say that I really do understand. I remember those days – days I used to crawl into bed at night feeling so guilty for having blown it yet again.

    However, those days that seemed like they would last an eternity were gone in a flash. Those two little boys now have children of their own, and I look at them and wonder how it could possibly have happened so quickly.

    I pray the Lord will give you a little time just to “be” – that He will refresh and restore you.

  4. says


    El Salvador and She Speaks were awesome. I will go back to She Speaks again. I have a lot to learn. As a result I started new blog…theheartandmindofawoman.blogspot.com

    if they ever come up with a rubber room I might invest and add it to my wish list…wait, I want a padded room.

    Have a good fall


  5. says

    Oh you poor thing. 🙂 Savor…soon enough they will not want to be seen with you shopping for clothes and especially at lunch. The teen will soon invade and you’ll miss those on your last nerve moments. 🙂
    Aaron just went shopping, but with Alyssa! 🙂

  6. says

    This…Shopping with a ten and twelve-year-old boy is not a passion of mine made me laugh out loud… 🙂

    Doing anything that involves doing anything with our 11 year old son, is often not our favorite thing to do either.. 😉

    Alas – we love them and will dote on and cherish them all the more. 🙂

    This was a fun post Laura. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. says

    It’s been a crazy busy time for most of us but GOD is good. I had to come on over and visit with you and just send my love and prayers to you.

    Thinking of you dear one.

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