When Your Kid Decides They Can Do the Clothes Shopping …

pantsI won’t say I’ve been looking forward to this day so much as waiting for it, knowing it would come. It was inevitable, really, that after nine years of shopping the racks, washing, folding, and laying out dresses, pants, socks, and more, it would one day be discovered that I’d been faking it all along. I don’t know a gosh darn thing about the act of acquiring clothing.

Of course, this discovery did not occur over night. We did not go from one glorious day of me pawing through the clothing racks to the very next being unable to make such as a sock purchase. It was more of a gradual thing.

A pair of jeans pulled off the rack fixed with a withering stare and an insistence that they were “not fashionable,” despite the exact same pair — size, color, cut — pulled off said rack 2 minutes later would be met with a shrug and a nod, or what is better known in tween girl world as “approval.” A designer sweater purchased on sale years ago and stowed in the attic for when it would fit declared, “awful,” and worn only after repeated warnings that the whole of the fourth grade would be utterly appalled (for the record, I have yet to hear from a single other fourth grader of the wretchedness of said sweater). A declaration that Target — where I’d purchased the very shirt she’d just that morning dubbed, “sooooo comfy,” — is really NOT a place to buy CLOTHES Mommy (sheesh).

By the time the holidays rolled around, and gift cards to clothing stores unearthed, however, my ineptitude had been outed. I was a wolf in 100 percent cotton.

It was time for her to show me how it was done.

So we went off, dragging her father behind us, into the store where parents go to have their souls suffocated by too much glitter and their eyes blinded by neon, where my tweenager was quick to learn that even the best shoppers need tall people to get things off high racks and that shirts that show 9-year-old girl’s bellies will quickly disappear from the “to buy” pile, never to be seen again. I expect to receive thanks for the latter in, oh, 20 years or so.

With her father rubbing his temples as a headache set in, we wandered into the changing room where she was introduced to the concept known as fashion sizing for females or “whatever number we feel like slapping on the thing,” and how adding one word in glitter down the leg makes a pair of pants cost $20 more.

Then it was on to the register, where the magic of gift cards made a nearly $70 pile of clothes hers. “That’s not too expensive,” she told me.

Oh how much she has to learn …


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