School starts this week! I think this has perhaps been the fastest summer since my children started going to school. And that's surprising to me since we didn't take any long road trips to speak of as we have in summers past. I have been determined to start the school year right and make sure I'm not scrambling at the last minute for supplies, clothes, etc. So last week I went through each kids room and we tried on all the clothes they had and donated tons of outgrown clothing and discarded toys.
Alex pretty much lost her entire wardrobe. Besides that fact that she is going through some huge growth spurt, remember she lost 18 pounds last winter...right about the time winter clothes (for Arizona anyway) were needed. She has now regained all of that weight back and then some as well as grown a few inches. In fact, I don't even think some of her summer clothes fit anymore. This would mean a rather large shopping spree was going to be needed so that I didn't send her to school in a swimsuit or pajamas which is about all that was left after the big cleaning out day.
Clothes shopping used to be so easy...I would weigh and measure the kids and then go to size charts online. Then I'd either order clothes online for them or go one night when Joe was home from work. I still do this for my son. But Alex is going to be 10 in a few weeks. She thinks she is 14. Oh how this brings me back to my own days of shopping with my mom as a tween/teen. Things haven't changed much.
Stop #1: Shoes
Alex remember has foot problems. It's important to get some really comfortable supportive sneakers for everyday wear. This also means any sneakers we choose are going to be super expensive. So we drive 30 minutes away to a mall that has a Stride Rite. I zone in on the comfortable well supportive sneakers.
Alex zones in on Converse. "Mom!!! Everyone wears these!!!! I will be popular if I have these!!!"
I discard the comments. "Alex, your feet hurt when you run and walk. We paid $80 for heel cups and $100 for orthopedic appointments. The doctor said you need solid sneakers. End of story. They have lots of cute colors. Look at the pink and blue ones here."
Alex folds her arms and scowls.
Thankfully the clerk comes over to "help". We spend about an hour in this one store. I think we tried on EVERY single pair of the "supportive sneakers". One pair "hurts at the seams". One pair is ugly. Another paid is "too low in the heel". I'm ready to throw all the shoes at my daughter at this point. The clerk mentions they are having a buy one get one half off sale. She brings out the Converse. Grrrr. "Mom! They feel awesome! My feet don't hurt at all!!!!". We go another round. Finally we compromise. She can have the converse for wearing only on non PE days and if her feet aren't hurting IF she starts giving me some honest feedback on the other sneakers. We finally walk out with 2 pairs of shoes.
Stop #2: The "You Know What"
Shocking as it is, my little girl is showing some budding signs of puberty if you know what I mean. It's actually WAY to early, and we are in the midst of working with our endo about this. But in the mean time, it's time for a bra, or as Alex will only refer to it as the "you know what!" Of course this is the child that will only wear ONE KIND of sock because it's the only kind without feeling the seams. She hates most swimsuit straps. Obviously, she needs to try on several bras before I'll find one she'll agree to wear. That's kind of hard when she won't even go to the bra section or be seen with me if I am carrying any of them. So, we head to Justice...her favorite store. She stays in the front of the store. I go to the back. I pick out several styles. She picks out several non sale outfits. We meet at the fitting room. I'm not allowed to go in with her. But I'm not allowed to go anywhere. So I stand outside the door. I ask her several times if I can help. I mean, does it seriously take like 10 minutes to put on ONE item???? Finally she comes out (no bras - they are hidden under her outfits). She fusses when I try to pull up the shirt to see the waist. She fusses when I tell her to walk around and ask her if the back is comfortable. Oh it's so fun! Toward the end of the pile, I remind her about the "you know what". She groans and tells me to be quiet. I'm embarrassing her. I tell her I need to come in to see them. I am only allowed in if I promise not to look at her until she has it on. She doesn't know how to put it on. So then I'm allowed to help if I don't look at her. How the hell am I supposed to do that? Finally we make it through the pile and find an acceptable style. I buy 5 of them to start off. And by the way, I immediately pull the pads out of them - what tween little girl NEEDS pads in their bra? Really??? Who is the genius of decided to add that feature anyway?
Stop #3: Justice continued
Because the shoe store took so long and the you know what took so long...we have to go BACK to Justice the next day to finish the actual clothes shopping. It's funny to show Alex items on the clearance 80% off rack and her turn her nose up at them. But, then she wants all the full price items up front! My mom says I did this too. After a little while, I got smart though - I put her in a dressing room with about 4 outfits. Then, I started bringing her more outfits...little did she know most of them came from the 80% off rack! It's boring waiting outside the dressing room in between the 10 minute outfit changes. I try to move around the store. She gets that annoyed "mom!" in hushed whines when she sees I'm not right there when she is done changing. Finally we are done. I'm ready to check out and scared to see the total though I feel good about what we have picked and the amount we have picked that were clearanced. So as I am paying, Alex asks for a $3 lip gloss. I remember seeing like 5 of them in her drawer at home. I remind her I just spent about $250 in shoes and clothes so no! She starts stomping her feet and crossing her arms at the register. I push all the outfits back at the clerk and turn around and tell her we can walk out now and she can wear her Hello Kitty nightgown for all I care. That does it...she storms up front far away from me. I've just "embarrassed her" in front of a bunch of other whining tween girls. I pay and we leave.
And so it begins...