Today is Wednesday. To most people it is mid week or "Hump-Day." But for my house, this is "Back To School Eve!" And I have just finished the marathon of all marathon's. Yes the draining of my wallet and gas tank doing the back to school shopping. It is no secret that I and my wife are like thousands of other parents around the country. We wait until the almost last moment to take the kids for their back to school clothes shopping.

Now in the past we have consolidated it with our summer trip. But this year we went early for vacation and then it kind of got put it on the back burner. That is a mistake I'll never make again. So the first leg of this marathon started with a simple trip (yeah right) to Norman and Oklahoma City. Shopping during tax free weekend. Now if you have never experienced a quick trip with two kids both needing basically the same things, but with different ideas at the same time, try it. In fact I highly suggest it!

Things are off to a good start then we run into the first hurdle of many. They don't have my size, color, style or so on and so forth. Well, lets try the next place. This went on for 6 hours. I logged over 350 miles on my car going all over 6 different counties trying to find the "right" item that they had to have.

Oh, did I mention that there was some items that did not fit after we got home? What? Oh yeah. Another road trip before the two week return policy turns into a pumpkin.

Later, my wife and I talked to Molly and Kaleb and told how lucky they were. When we were growing up, we did not get a huge shopping spree before school started. We got a couple of shirts and pants, and new shoes that had to last us. And were happy for that! We also got a lot of hand - me - downs. I know. Different generation. Please wait before you throw the tomatoes.

The next stage of the marathon was to take the kids with their mile long list to get school supplies. OK...I am going back in time here. We needed a small box of crayons, usually 16 count, a notebook and some pencils. Everything else was provided. Now days, you spend 30 to 45 minutes looking for the items on that list.

Now here is a good one. Kaleb's list called for a package of 200 sheets of loose leaf paper. Now unless you go to a specialty store, you have to use what is available. And the only paper we could find was packs of 120 or 150. No 200 sheets available so just double up on the 150.

I am sure this a evil plot against all of us parents to spend more. Well it works. Congratulations corporate America.

That phase took almost two hours and after looking through everything to find exactly what the teacher asked for and then some. Wow. I am getting a little winded here. More money, more gas. Am I through yet? No.

Rounding the corner, I see the finish line. It is back to school night. Tuesday night meant more time making sure that the kids had the last minute items. Need a bag here and a planner there. Here money there money. Then I had my time with the "cafeteria lady." Sad but true she new my kids by name. Made me wonder if they were involved in some kind of horrible "food fight" last year or something. To my relief they were not. But the last of my money my wallet had was taken from me in the blink of an eye for the culinary delights that will be presented to the kids starting tomorrow.

This marathon for this school year is over for me for right now. Thursday afternoon after they have been with each teacher, I am sure that there will be the supplemental list. It will be a piece of cake to get those items. But I can take great pride in knowing I finished this race with flying colors!

How did your back to school shopping go?