Can we take a moment to talk about all that is wrong with Pottery Barn Kids' home page right now? I understand that dissing catalog images is so en vogue right now that it borders on rip-your-eyes-out-if-you-see-one-more-version-of-it, but if you take a look at this image I think you'll agree it needs addressing.
Did you see it? Okay, so you agree then.
Let's disregard for the moment that it's July 24th - the heart of summer - and pottery barn wants us already sharpening pencils and smelling school bus drivers for alcohol. Overeager seasonal marketing is a battle we lost a long time ago (see phrase: Christmas in July) so there's no point in trying to rehash that war here.
What is worth discussing, however, is the incredible misrepresentation of what "back to school" will look like when it finally does arrive...38 days from now. Do you see any parents standing to the side of these children looking as though they've just gone through hell trying to get their child out the door on time? I don't. No father rests wearily by, still in his pajamas because who has time to shower themselves when the kids have to get ready for school? There is no mother in the background holding a pamphlet on boarding schools and tubal ligation. False advertising, I say!
Also, not one of these kids' faces is tear-stained because they're not allowed to wear their bathing suit as underwear. In fact, nothing on these kids is stained. It's as if the first day of school arrived and not a single bowl of eat-that-cereal-because-we-do-not-have-time-for-pancakes spilled on any of them. Or even a fine-here-are-some-damn-pancakes-but-please-just-eat-because-carpool-will-be-here-in-8-minutes syrup mustache remains on any of their faces. No, These kids are clean, and happy, and well groomed. Pottery Barn Kids would have you believe that your kid is going to sit there admiring her personally monogrammed over-sized owl backpack while you Heidi-french braid her hair.
Even though, the only time she even touched a hair brush in the last two months was to see if it would work on the dog (it didn't).
They're also are pedaling a sweater lie. Your son who has gone the entire summer in baggy, mostly not-dirty, underwear, and not a stitch else, is suddenly down with you putting a sweater on him? A thick one?
Yeah, kids love a nice thick sweater with a backpack strapped over them. That is absolutely a thing.
Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, your kid is actually going to hold their own bag!
100% of parents can now rest assured that they will not feel like a camel crossing a parking lot dessert while carting three children's junk from the car to the cubby. (Like those backpacks even fit in a cubby). You will not hear a single complaint about how the bag is too heavy, which is maybe why they shouldn't have insisted on bringing a plate to school. Why a plate? Who knows, but they wanted it and it seemed like the quickest way to get out of the house. There will be no grumbling about itchy shoulderstraps/hanging strap/bottom part/air. Kids will hoist that bag, roughly half their size, on their backs and happily let you take a first day of school photo of them. Mmmhmm, that's how it works.
Also looks like everyone remembered a water bottle.
According to Pottery Barn, you're absolutely not going to get screamed at by a six year old for ruining everything because they don't have a water bottle that looks just like everyone else's water bottle and therefor signifies they are allowed into the tribe. Nope, you are golden because Pottery Barn kids have got their shit together. They are super-psyched about summer being over and school starting because they were getting really tired of getting to do fun stuff all day and frankly that common core isn't going to do itself. Of course, looking at these kids, it seems very unlikely any of them have ever heard of common core...
So I cry fowl Pottery Barn Kids. I do not accept this bill of goods you are hocking. I'm going to go into my school year clear-eyed and low-expectationed. If either child doesn't kick the other before the we get in the car for drop off, I win. If even just one person hasn't cried before 8:30 bell, huzzah! If that one person isn't me because my baby is going to his very first day of school and my little angel girl is the smartest most amazing person and I'm going to miss her all day long, well then that will be a god damned miracle.
Those are my expectations Pottery Barn. Maybe lower yours, just a little, and make it easier on a parent who is just innocently visiting your website in search of a dinosaur costume her child can wear for for Halloween...98 days from now.