October 5, 2007

Welcome to Hell: Shopping With Kids

The funny thing is, she downright refuses to sit in her stroller or a shopping cart when we are actually shopping!

Does anyone actually like shopping with their young children. Older children?

I didn’t used to mind it when I only had one, or even two kids. My first two children were pretty mellow and easy to shop with. Even though my middle daughter had quite a few more opinions than her older sister, she didn’t like the idea of people looking at her in stores. Therefore, acting up in public wasn’t something I needed to worry about from her.

Then, I had another child. When you already have two, what’s one more right? WRONG. The third child brings an entirely different set of rules and makes it feel more like you have four or five children to maintain. At least, that’s how it was in our case! The third child is a busy one. Her natural instincts are to wander and fear nothing. Plus, she is enticed by the look of fear or stress in my eyes and it triggers even more bad behavior. She thrives on it.

When 11YO is in school, I sometimes drag the younger two out to run errands. Some days are more difficult than others. Have 11YO with us makes the journey easier. And tougher. You see, it’s really great to have another set of arms and legs to chase 1YO down and grab her. I can focus a little more on shopping so we can hurry up and get the heck outta there before every person in the store knows my 1YO’s name. Trust me, so many people get the chance to learn her name when we are shopping! As helpful as 11YO is, she has the attention span of a gnat. From observing most of her friends, I’m discovering how normal she really is.

Another extra challenge when my ‘helper’ is there is the fact that she points things out to her sisters that I do not intend to buy. These are things that they probably might not otherwise notice. I’m not even sure if she’s doing it on purpose…it’s never actually ever worked.

“Look, Mom. Oreos! YUM!”

(This is the part where 4YO starts repeating that she wants to “BUY DEM” and 1YO just points and screams as if that should trigger them to fly off the shelf and into their grubby little hands.)

Before we could go to the Mexican Mormon Samoan wedding on Saturday, the girls needed new outfits and shoes. They have outgrown most of the summer dresses and none that still fit seemed proper for a wedding. And of course new dresses means new shoes. It took two stores to get it all done. It took me awhile to find an outfit for 1YO that would suit the occasion. Most of the summer stuff is gone now and what’s left is either too casual or just plain ugly! I did manage to find a few to choose from and they were on clearance. (YAY MEE!!!) On the way to 11YO’s section, I spotted a little dress set that would be perfect for 4YO. SCORE! 11YO…that is an entirely different story. You see, the clothing they make for girls her age either look like ‘grandma clothes’ or something that ‘Hooker Barbie’ might wear to go ‘clubbin’. Needless to say, it is not easy to buy clothes for her. As much as I want to drape a large burlap sack over her to cover every square inch of her, it’s just not reasonable. That being said, how do some people live with themselves when they let their sixth grade daughters look like little pole dancers?

Just where is the happy medium here?

I’m not expecting her to walk around in long sweaters and baggy skirts. (However, if that look ever comes back in style for my girls I would totally embrace it!) I just think that the selections for the 7-14 girls’ sizes are disgraceful. At least, they are when it comes to dressier clothes anyhow. You can always find something cute and classy in the area of casual clothes. When it comes to 4YO and 1YO, they are still pretty easy to shop for. (TOO EASY if you ask my husband!)

I have a similar dilemma when it comes to shopping for myself. I am 32 years old and stay at home with three kids. I just don’t feel like they make things for people my age. Am I that uncommon? I don’t think so. So why is it that I seem to have to choose between looking a little older or looking a little younger than what I am. I’m not ready to raid my mom’s closet just yet, but I feel silly when I’m wearing something that could be seen on a 19-year-old. I am not 19 anymore, nor am I trying to be. This must be why jeans are sweatpants are so popular. Nothing else really seems to fit.

Having the kids with me while shopping for myself is even more fun. I’m already frustrated from the beginning because I don’t see anything that I’ll feel good about. 11YO is just pacing and whining about going to her clothing department. 1YO is either locked in the cart and screaming about it or on the loose. I’m trying to distract 11YO by getting her to keep 1YO close by. All the while, 4YO is grabbing every sequin-covered sparkly hooker dress she can find. I don’t know what else to say; the kid likes bling. I think she also secretly (or not-so-secretly) wishes I were a stripper.

Hey, I wouldn’t mind having the body of a stripper and I blame the fact that I don’t on my kids! Don’t you?

Speaking of clothes, I will need to buy more of them if I don’t get the ones we have washed. Unless you live in a nudist colony, your laundry is NEVER DONE.

That's it...I'm moving to a nudist colony!


Kari said...

Oh, honey, try shopping with FOUR of them, all under the age of 7. It's not easy, I'll tell ya. I spend more at the high-priced grocery store because they have a FREE daycare. It balances itself out. The only problem with that is they won't take LJ because they only accept children from 3 to 9. DARNIT!!! As far as the clothes. I never had a problem with Savannah's clothes until she turned 7. Now you're right, there is NO happy medium which makes it so hard. I only buy her skirts with the shorts underneath, otherwise, they'll show everything God gave her and nobody is allowed to look at that until she's 35.

Cory said...

Don't hate me, but I've only ever had my one to shop with ;)

I HATE the fact that I have to go shopping without him this month because he carries all the groceries inside for me! LOL

Scylla said...

I sometimes like to shop with my kids, but we have an awful case of the Gimmies with my oldest, so we have to have a long talk about not asking for everything she sees before we go to the store.
Once, when we were grocery shopping, she asked to buy her hemoroid cream because she was randomly grabbing things off shelves and asking for them.
Happily my favorite store has onsite kid care. You can take your 2-8 year old to the play room and they will watch them while you shop. It's cool, she loves it, and then the baby and I can just shop.

I'm a 32 year old mom too, and everything I put on makes me feel like my mother, or a wanna be teen. I feel your pain.