Clothes shopping…and it was fun!

Today was the day appointed to go forth to Childrens Place and resupply the kids wardrobes with warmer clothes.

Many of my friends looked at me in pity when I announced our plans. “Just think…if they were in school, you could go by yourself and not have to deal with all that.” Presumable meaning the chaos that surrounds any mom when she’s taking 3 kids clothes shopping.

However! After our morning breakfast and play time in the rain (which was spent running homemade boats down the gutter), we loaded into the minivan and headed out to the outlet store. 30-50% off already discounted items was the catalyst to dare the trip with all the kids. Honestly, some days I’m that mom with the toddler throwing a fit in the cart, and the other kids running around like feral children. I try to limit my exposure to the outside world on days like that, and figured if it started getting bad we would just have a cinnibon at the food court and try again another day.

Once we got into the store, I told The Naturalist and The Golfer that they had ‘X’ amount of dollars to spend. The Naturalist went to her section, and I stayed with The Golfer to help him out. He was on a camoflage kick and wanted things that were camo, brown, or green. Last year, I would have set limits on the amount of bland colors allowed in the cart, but this year I’ve let go a bit. As long as he was under ‘X’ amount, I was fine. He found a pair of camo sweat pants, looked at the tag, and said, “They’re $24. That’s a lot. It takes up a lot of my money…but I love them so much!” Then I pointed out that they were marked down to $16.00, and then marked down another 50% off that. His eyes got wide as the beauty of the sale sunk in. “These are only $8 now?! I have so much more money to spend on other stuff!” Yes, little grasshopper. You are quick to the ways of the SuperSale.

In what I can only describe as the pride of an unschooler, I watched him walk around silently computing 30%, 50%, & 70% off. No formal lessons on percentages…just the aquisition of a skill with an immediate application. I gave him his own bag, and by the end he had filled it to within $2 of his limit. Not bad, considering I was well into high school before percentages made any sense to me at all.

The Naturalist came in well short of her limit due to the fact that she is no longer small enough to fit into most of the clothes there. Yikes! She’s only 11, people! But she’s just so……..long. And tall. Already, her pant inseam is longer than mine. Her feet are 2 sizes larger. Her arm reach is wider. She is all arms and legs, and is best described as ‘coltish’. Also, she has strong preferences in her clothes. No pink. No stripes. No flowers or butterflies. No girly prints. So, we settled on some size 14 jeans and left to find the Gap outlet. There, she fit nicely into XS women’s t-shirts in teal, red, brown, and blue.

As if I needed further proof that my little girl isn’t so little anymore, when we went to the food court she ordered 2 spring rolls and vegetable noodles for lunch.

While she was getting her food, The Golfer, who had changed into his camo pants, camo shirt, camo hat, and camo shoes, told me he really went “the whole 8 yards” with his army outfit. I corrected him. “It’s 9 yards, honey. The expression is ‘the whole 9 yards'”. He smiled up at me and said, “I know. But my underwear isn’t camo, so I really only went 8 yards.”

The Sassy Princess, who had been great the whole time, chattered away about using a ladder (me: “a letter? a leader? some leather? ohhhh..a ladder!”) to talk to a bird in a tree about how he got so high, and where was his mom, and where was his home, and was he hungry, and did he need a blankie, and did he like sharks…and…and…and… She barely stopped to shove in some pizza.

In what could be an uprecedented feat, The Golfer said it was ‘the best shopping day ever’. I think The Naturalist felt proud that she was shopping at an adult store for her clothes, rather than a kids store, and acted very maturely. She even tried on her clothes in her own stall for the first time. The Sassy Princess lost her cool at the end, but she lasted longer than I’d anticipated. All in all, a day all of us enjoyed–even shopping for clothes!


7 Responses

  1. What a fabulous story.
    Will your school-Moms read it, do you suppose?
    Sometimes I feel like I’m living a wonderful secret, these tales I get to read, and the things I get to live.
    Who’da thought that reading a story about shopping for clothes would make me weepy?
    Thanks so much for sharing the details of this lovely day.

  2. ROFL @ the whole 8 yards!!!

  3. That’s a great story. You are doing a heck of a job. I was hoping that the Naturalist would stay around your size and you guys could share clothes…save some $. Alas, it is not to be.

  4. Your daughter too huh? My 12 year old is just inches shorter than me (and I’m tall for a girl :P) and is wearing shoes a size larger than mine.

    Sounds like a great day.

  5. 🙂

    Loved, loved, loved this post! My boys would rather die than shop with me so I was rather impressed with the gung-ho attitude of the Golfer.

    Feral Children….woooo that one made me laugh!


  6. The “whole 8 yards,” huh? Ha!!

    I love that spontaneous demonstration of learning. How many months/years of schooling did it take me to figure those percentages out?

    I wanna be unschooled, too!

  7. […] 27th, 2007 by childsplay Last week, after we came back from the Great Fall Shopping event, the kids got together scraps of stuff (or, what I call ‘junk’) and decided to see who […]

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