Now that I've been back from Minneapolis for a couple of days, I really feel like I'm starting to get back into my daily routine and I'm almost completely recovered from all the fun I had with friends.

The one thing that still has yet to recover is my bank account; and it's not from spending money on drinks, gas or food; it's from my son, Tanner, and one single pair of shoes. Ugly shoes.

As a college kid he has very little money, but always needs a lot of things; some of which I will buy him while I'm at home. Nothing very extravagant, just things like socks and underwear; but this trip he needed a new pair of white shoes for his summer job with the Minnesota Twins.

Jason and I agreed that we'd get them for him before we left town and we almost got away with buying him a $35 pair of Pumas; that's when Jason thought that maybe it would be better if we spent more time with Tanner and take him to the mall the next day and let him pick out his shoes. I wasn't too hip on the idea because I like to get on the road as soon as possible, but I agreed and we set the plan in motion.

That's where the trick comes in. If your child is anything like mine, he is capable of manipulating any situation in their favor; my kid is a master at this and I fall for it every time.

When the time came to take him shopping, the plan was to go directly to a store that sold the exact shoes he wanted. Instead, he decided he wanted to go to the Mall of America (a big mistake on a Sunday afternoon by the way) and do exactly the opposite of what I asked; all I asked was that we don't walk around every floor of the mall looking for these shoes.

Two hours later and 7 trips around the same floor and seeing the Nike and Underarmour store more times then I can count, we found the shoes he wanted; they weren't even at an actual shoe store- they were at PacSun. By the time we found these Adidas NMB or whatever they're called, I was so tired and aggravated that I said, "just grab them already and let's go." Did I mention how much they were. $170. I went from a $35 pair to a $170 pair in two hours.

Mandy James, TSM

You got it hand it to him, though; it worked. But parents, beware. The next time you find yourself at the mall with your kids and you've had it up to here, don't let them pray on your impatience and use that to their advantage; they'll get you every.single.time.

Mandy James, TSM