Back-To-School Derby

It's that time of year again. I half expect to hear Target announce my arrival when I walk into the store with the kids in tow.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 13th running of the Back-To-School Derby for the Barker Family. Mom is in good form as she reads each child the riot act even before they get themselves into trouble.

They're on the main track now and you can hear the store manager roar — it's going to be a profitable day for the Target store!

Mom's taking up her shopping cart. She's in the gate… and her toddler's off running helter-skelter through the aisles taking an early lead. It's Toddler out front! This looks to be a promising shopping spree folks!

And here comes Teenager One by a nose, now by a head. She's leading Teenager Two in a smooth and sophisticated dash to the Junior Miss department while Middle Child presses on a neck behind… and then suddenly breaks away in a dead run to the Electronics department!

Cutie Pie carries on at an even gait in her suped up hot pink wheelchair cooing at each sighting of SpongeBob while mom brings up the rear pushing both shopping cart and wheelchair.

They enter the backstretch, Mom is now neck and neck with Teenager One and Teenager Two who quickly try on every item of clothing and reject all but three as they fight over the fourth item (I saw it first! I touched it first!). Now on the backstretch Mom is still with the lead… it's now Middle Child! It's Middle Child! Out of nowhere Middle Child takes the lead!

Middle Child has made his selection in electronics and now sprints for the toy aisles with Mom pressing at the neck whipping undies, socks, notebook paper, binders, pencils, erasers and shoelaces into the cart as she presses on… now neck and neck as they go down the backstretch. It's Mom! Now Middle Child! Now Mom! Now Middle Child!

Here comes Cutie Pie with Teenager One and Teenager Two in a dead heat! This is going to be tight folks, too close to call, but now it's Toddler in the lead! Toddler stumbles into Mom's sights and it's Toddler going away, Toddler pulling away, Toddler wins!

I'm sure that none of the employees at Target appreciate my style of shopping, but with all of us panting at the checkout and me ready to fork over a paycheck for school clothes and supplies, I know they'll smile and bid me a good day just the same when we've finished our Back-To-School Derby.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take a picture with my youngest that is now draped with a horseshoe of roses.

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