See, a backpack is something that every kid needs for school. Though they can't be rolling backpacks because those are absolutely Not Allowed. But they need something to bring their agendas and homework packets and notes and lunchboxes and other bits of flotsam and jetsam back and forth on a daily basis. (Though not books. Those stay at school.) And in a school where kids are required to dress in SSA (standard school attire), backpacks are ways to show individuality that cannot come from the clothes they wear.
Last year, Teddy had a great red and yellow Pokemon backpack that he'd gotten for his previous birthday from Nonni and Pop. He used it for PDO, used it for Kindergarten, used it for going back and forth place like Pokemon League or Poppy's... it was his go-to bag. But it was starting to get a little worn by the end of the summer break and I decided we could use it exclusively for Pokemon and get him a new one for school.
So we searched for a new Pokemon backpack and found that our local Target had this one:
Teddy liked it and it was big enough, so we purchased it. All the items from the school supply lists were added into it so he'd have it all ready on August first.
For a month, the backpack worked great. He could put his lunchbox in it, it fit comfortably on his shoulders... all was well. And then, the zippers broke. They came completely off the track, and try as I might, I couldn't get it fixed. Warranty, right? So we brought it back to Target and exchanged it for the exact same pack. Had to be a fluke, right? Right?
Fast forward to Monday afternoon. We are walking back from the bus stop with Nonni and Pop when I notice the side of Teddy's backpack. It has a hole torn from top to bottom. It didn't look cut, but frayed like the stitching had given way. And the fabric was starting to unravel. Great. Just great. Another one bit the dust.
I let him take my backpack Tuesday and went out shopping with him after school to find another one. I'd checked KMart earlier in the day, since they had all theirs 50% off. But the ones I thought he'd like were more than I wanted to spend and the ones that were of the right price range were too small or too girly. So Walmart it was.
What he finally came away with was a black mesh backpack with a bungy cord from (you can see it here). There were a few others in the right price range, but they were huge, across-the-body style packs that just overwhelmed his small body. So we ended up with mesh. Or, as Rick put it, a backpack that won't keep anything in it dry. Lots of sitting in the car on rainy days, I think (for that that he wants to take his umbrella and go outside.)
I hope this is the last one he will need this year. I hate having to re-purchase something that he had because either he's too hard on it or the quality is poor. But I suspect, since he's a boy and we often buy cheaper because it's what we can afford, that there will be another backpack in our future. Maybe I should stock up when I can.