Eight days. Eight days until my little guy returns to school; eight days before another year of bagged lunches, squeaky running shoes and gooey hair gel.
However, the anxiety starts now.
You may remember an earlier post where I shared that Ryder, my sweet little 5-year old, has selective mutism – an anxiety disorder. To make a long story short, in social situations where Ryder does not feel comfortable, he simply does not speak. In fact, in his entire first year of school, he only spoke a couple of times.
We have coping techniques; ways to help draw him out of his shell. And for the most part, they’re helping. But we can’t control his anxiety, nor can we write it off as inconsequential. He has a real aversion to social situations and we have a really difficult time watching as he withdraws into what we call “the Ryder zone”.
So, with the onset of school just around the corner, things are changing. Ryder stops is his tracks when he hears “Back to School” commercials. He asks on a daily basis, “Is there school today?” And when I say “No, but soon…” he stares off into space, no doubt thinking of a gazillion ways to psyche himself out.
I wanted to do something special for him. Something positive that he could associate with back to school; something to give him comfort and reassurance. And I just knew that I wanted it to somehow involve Disney Cars – it’s no secret that both boys are obsessed with them, and for Ryder, they represent confidence and fearlessness.
Then it came to me – a bedroom makeover! Of course – what better way to start off the school year right than to recreate his bedroom – his safe place – into one that reflects his love of Cars and life in the (G-rated) fast lane?
And I knew just where to go to make it happen – Walmart, of course! They have absolutely everything you need for back to school, back to campus, and even back to sanity (which is what I’m looking forward to once the boys are separated for a few hours each day). Plus, they have a fantastic selection of Disney Cars merchandise for your little race fans.
Now, y’all know that I’m pretty obsessed with Walmart, and have been an avid Sunday morning shopper for oh, the last 15 years or so. And, like so many friends and family, I constantly fall victim to the “Walmart Rule of 60”; that is, you walk in to buy one thing, and you end up spending $60. (Read: How to Spend $169.22 on Three Bags of Milk)
The good news? Being an avid shopper, and an avid supporter, has allowed me to build a fabulous relationship with the brand. Hence, when I politely requested a $200 Gift Card to makeover Ryder’s room, they happily obliged. (Thank you Walmart!)
And you know what? While I came very close to spending my budget, I definitely didn’t go over. So…. are you ready to see how you can take a room from cutesy to KA-CHOW! for less than two bills? It’s time for a good old fashioned before and after!
Ryder’s bedroom was last made over as part of my “Renocation” in 2011. With the exception of the toddler bed being swapped for a double bed, the room was essentially the same. So for all intents and purposes, here are the “before” pictures: