About me: I'm 40 and just added a gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 7-year-old Junior, our 4-year-old Everett and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Giving rides in the dressing room. Alternate title: Doesn't that elderly couple look relaxed? Sigh
I rarely take the kids clothes shopping. I'd rather order 50 different sizes of 150 different pieces of clothing online and pay $50,000 in shipping costs to exchange it than drag a three year old and six year old to the mall to try on clothes or footwear.
(To the overly enthusiastic mothers who were on Shark Tank recently to pitch an app that measures your kids' shoe size then links you to different online shoe stores, your idea is genius.)
I ran into a snag this week, though. My 75 year old father is getting remarried this weekend and I guess you could say I've been struggling to digest it (a new step-mom and step-brother? At the age of 40?). Because of my gestational difficulties, I realized yesterday morning that I'd waited until just four days before the wedding to figure out what the hell the kids are going to wear.
For whatever reason, I woke up feeling ballsy. I'm no rookie, I thought. I have almost seven years of practice at motherhood. I can do this.
"I'm taking the kids to the mall to try on dress clothes," I announced to the cat (Chuck had already left for work). She meowed and licked my hand; the kids, on the other hand, moaned. "Listen!" I said. "If you're good, you may each pick out a toy for under $10 at the end of the trip. But ONLY IF YOU'RE GOOD. ARE WE CLEAR?"
(Part of my parenting mantra is that I clearly define expectations and outcomes at the beginning of each outing. See? The boardroom does prepare you for parenthood.)
Off we went to the Mulletville Mall. I won't go into all the grueling details of the try-dress-clothes-on-a-thon except to say that at one point, somewhere around hour two, I glanced over at myself in the dressing room mirror and saw this: myself, on my hands and knees, dripping with sweat, yanking down Junior's pants while he picked his nose, and Everette, sitting on my calves with his fingers laced around my short's buckle loops, yelling "Giddy-up."
Truthfully, this did constitute "good" behavior. Junior was nicely lifting his legs out of his pants, like I'd asked, and when I told Everette he couldn't ride me, he politely climbed down.
Their congeniality fueled my brazenness. Even though we hadn't eaten or had anything to drink in hours—and even though Everette had only napped 15 minutes in the car—I announced that they were going to try on shoes.
"We're in the homestretch!" I said cheerfully.
Two pairs of loafers later, we were.
And that's it. They each picked out a toy and we left. I don't ever want to do it again (the image of myself on all fours, getting ridden while Junior dug for gold, is one I don't want to revisit any time soon) but it's good to test your kids' tolerance for misery. It's good to get down into the trenches with them, to park them on the floor, rip off their shoes and tell them to try on three more pairs. THREE MORE. NOW!
I jest. Mostly.
Now what the eff am I going to wear??