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Hello JBF Sale, You’ve been a Bittersweet Friend

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Ethan at the same JBF sale a couple of years ago. Clearly he was bored out of his mind.

With the Just Between Friends sale in Norman starting next week I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the last time I went to this event at the OKC Fairgrounds approximately 6 months ago. For those of you who don’t know, the Just Between Friends (JBF) sale is a big children’s consignment sale.  It’s not so much a sale as it as an event.  If you go on the first day you will be greeted with a fairly decent line to wait in in order to get inside, and you will  most likely run into about 10 people you know.

There is nothing I enjoy more than buying kids clothes, except for buying them dirt cheap.  Therefore, the JBF saIe is thrilling to me.

Normally my mother-in-law and I go to this event together, but this time she had to work. I obviously was not going to miss the opportunity for a good bargain. Baby EJ was still fairly little, and I was still trying to adjust to the whole “three kids but only two hands thing”.

If you’ve ever been to one of these sales you know bringing a double stroller is a no-go. So I loaded up our umbrella stroller into the car and brought along my Baby K’tan.

I pulled up to the fair and, as usual, I followed approximately 25 minivans into the parking lot. I then unloaded all three kids. I strapped the baby to my chest in his Baby K’tan and I loaded my three-year-old into the umbrella stroller. I told my daughter that she was to hold on to the stroller at all times.

I gave my kids the normal spiel of don’t touch, don’t yell, and don’t start fighting or we will leave.  All of these threats were at this point empty because there was no way I was leaving without a sack full of fresh winter clothing all at a discounted price.

I walked into the jam-packed room and entered into a world of pure shopping madness.

I knew at this point that the possibility of things going really badly was very high, and I was starting to second guess my decision.

I made a mental game plan. I would first hit up the girls clothing, then I would go through all of the boys 3t’s, and last but not least I would hit up the baby clothing.

We moseyed over to the girls section and I loaded up my sack with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and dresses.  I took my own sweet time because the kids were minding their own business and the baby was relaxed in his carrier. “Peace of cake,” I thought to myself.

After I had gone through all of the clothing in my daughters size, I made my way over to the boys section.

That’s when everything went downhill.

Carrying the baby and not bringing the double stroller sounded like a genius idea, however he was just at the stage where he was grabbing everything within reach.  When I  started looking through the boys clothing, he became very interested in what I was doing.

For every article of clothing I grabbed, he grabbed two more and carelessly tossed them on the floor. I spent half of my time rehanging and picking up articles of clothing off of the ground.

Meanwhile, E was crying saying he was tired and ready to go, and M was begging to go to the toys. I tried to pacify them with Cheerios and bribes, but that only lasted so long.

My daughter then decided that she would entertain her brothers by hiding underneath the bottom rack of clothing. She did this all while acting like a wild maniac and making screeching sounds like cat in heat.

E started to make a break for it and ditch the stroller, and M started picking fights with E. During E’s fast escape, the stroller was bumped which then bumped the cheerios, scattering them onto the cement floor.

At one point a fellow shopper stopped and asked if she could give me a hand because I was trying to juggle a baby strapped to my chest, a three-year-old wreaking havoc, and a five year old making screeching noises and hiding in the racks.

To make matters worse I was also wearing the pants mentioned in this post, and I later discovered that these had a huge rip in the butt. But that is a story for another day.

I knew my time was limited. I was one cheerio spill away from loosing my sanity.  I rushed us over to the baby’s clothing section grabbed a winter jacket and approximately two shirts.

I looked down at my blue sack which was stuffed full of clothing, shoes, and who knows what else and decided that there was no way I was sorting through it. My kids were at their wits end and I did not have enough arms or patience to stay in that building any second longer than I had to.

I waited in the winding line behind approximately 6509909 other mothers and checked out. I loaded the kids up in their carseats, pulled up to the back of the building, loaded up some large items that I had purchased, and drove home.

I pulled up to the house… around seven or eight and I yelled to our car, “yo homes smell ya later”.  (A little Fresh Prince of Bel-Air humor for you) After everyone was safely escorted inside, I sorted through my purchases.  As crazy as it was, I did manage to score some pretty sweet deals.

Surprisingly, I had a decent array of clothing for M and even a decent amount for E.  I was pretty impressed with my abilities to multitask, shop, and play referee all at  the same time.

Is there a medal that one can win for shopping under duress?  I didn’t think so.

And guess what I’ll be doing Sunday? Going back to the JBF sale. This time sans kids.

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