Picking out a backpack for kindergarten is a big load
I’d like your input on a major life decision facing me this week. I need an informed opinion on what’s cool amon omega watches g 5 year olds as I try to choose a backpack for my soon to enter kindergarten son.
Kid fashion in the aggregate is easy. You can never go wrong with sparkles or cheetahs or hoods with ears. But predicting what’s going to be cool at each age is a fine art. I don’t want to ruin my child’s public image by sending him to kindergarten with the wrong backpack. And shopping for one is as complicated as planning a moon launch.
My son has a definite preference: He wants the dinosaur backpack we saw online a couple of months ago at Pottery Barn Kids or the Company Store or some other website when we were trying to order a friend’s birthday gift. Fair enough. But if you’ve ever tried to find something you saw in passing while looking at a computer screen past the head of a small child wiggling on your lap, you understand the difficulty in fulfilling this request.
Looking at the Pottery Barn Kids site, I don’t see the half remembered dinosaur backpack, but I do see 120 other options. Does my kid need a large, a small, a preschool, or a rolling backpack? How about the matching lunch bag? Should I personalize it, with initials or his full name, for $7?
I end up ordering nothing.
Thinking it might be easier to choose a backpack in person, I hit Germantown Avenue. I find the omega watches world’s coolest backpack at Host in Chestnut Hill: Madpax bags are leather, with spikes, and come in crazy colors such as bright orange or blue reptile skin. I think that if you are a kid wearing this backpack, you look like a dinosaur: an ankylosaurus, or possibly a stegosaurus.
My kid thinks not. His taste is more PBS than punk rock.
I try Land’s End online, and the options are even more staggering. I count 42 styles of bookbags and backpack omega watches s, most of which come in a rainbow of colors. I can add any one of 17 embroidered doodads, or one of the 10 heat transfer patches, or 10 numbers. I can put on my son’s name or initials in a choice of four fonts, or choose from seven different monogram styles. I would have to pick one of 43 colors and finally choose where I want the text and/or picture at the top or at the bottom of the bag.
I’m not even going to attempt to do the math on this.
Half of the problem is what Swarthmore College sociologist Barry Schwartz calls the paradox of choice. As the number of choices increases, our ability to choose decreases. More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to bookbags.
The other half of the problem is symbolic. It’s not as if my kid needs a new backpack. In a pinch, he could continue using his Thomas the Tank Engine backpack with the frayed zipper and the ripped Thomas decal that’s been safety pinned together since December. But he’s my only kid, and he’s going to kindergarten, so the backpack is a significant emblem one that shows my kid is embarking on a new chapter in his life, and that I’m competent at the consumer rituals of childhood. If he doesn’t get the right backpack, he could be a social failure in kindergarten. Then he’ll never get into college and never find a partner and I’ll never have grandbabies.
This backpack carries a lot of weight.
So I ask you: Send me a recommendation by Aug. 23 for what’s the coolest, most sure to ensure social standing backpack for a 5 year old. The reader with the best rec omega watches ommendation will receive a free goody bag full of what’s cool among the over 5 set: a Ladybug Chocolate Tower, donated by the locals at John Kira’s.