I took the kids shopping today. Clothes shopping. And they had a double meltdown in the fitting room. And I probably bought the wrong clothes, or spent too much money (everything was 30% off and I had a code for another 15% off so everything was really 40% off if I did my math right).
The fact is, I don’t like my hand-me-downs.
We have bags and bags and bags of hand me downs. My MIL is happy to bring them in her car across the country when she visits, and then I go through them, and send the bags and bags and bags of the clothes we’ve outgrown back up to her daughter who has a kid a year younger than us.
Each size of clothes seems to have MORE bags. But each size seems to have LESS of what I want.
These clothes have been through at least two kids before mine get to see them. Mostly they are in good shape because most kids outgrow things in a few months and they go back into the bag. I should feel fortunate that my kids are overflowing with clothing. And I only really need 5 days worth of clothes – I do the laundry every 3-4 days and I don’t mind repeating outfits every week. So they need at minimum 5 bottoms and 7 or 8 tops. It’s not a lot of clothes.
But the bags feel more like baggage. Like I have to have the kids wear the clothes. But I don’t like the clothes. They are years old, out of fashion. All the girls pants are wide and loose, when most girls now are wearing leggings. All the boys shirts are enormous and shades of navy blue and gray when boys now are wearing smaller, brightly colored t-shirts.
So I have been buying most of the kids clothes.
I look through every single item from every bag of clothing I get and I pick out the things that we can keep. Mostly, pajamas, a few dresses, and undershirts. The rest go back into bags and into the basement until we outgrow the size, and send the bags back to my sister in law.
I don’t think that the other kids are judging my kids at 2 years old. At this age it isn’t about the other kids, it is still about me. I am still on the playground, even if I am the adult. I don’t want to wear baggy shirts and sweatpants to the playground, so why would I put my kids in that? The playground is where I may meet new friends, and I want to make an accurate first impression of who I feel I am. I am more than my clothes, but I feel like ill-fitting and extremely out-dated clothes would be distracting from who I am, and I feel like that is the same for the kids.
So I went a little crazy and got maybe too much stuff, but shopping with kids in tow makes you spend more money than you want to because you just want to get out of there and your usual self-editing skills are thrown out the window. I may have bought Banana some bright blue sparkly jeggings. WHAT EVER. If I were 2 I would wear those pants!
Anyway, there is my confession. I don’t like my hand-me-downs. I am grateful that I have the option of having the free clothing, but I don’t like it, and I am also grateful that I have the money to spend on a few pairs of pants and a shirt or two. And whatever else.