Saturday, August 15, 2009

School Clothes Shopping


     I have surfaced for air this afternoon- long enough to write this- having been spit out of the vortex of shopping for school clothes for grandson # 1, at the mall, on a Saturday in mid August. 

     I really think there must have been an eject button hidden somewhere in JC Penney’s because before I knew it, I was driving home with a sack full of varying sized clothing that my daughter will have to return. I was completely dazed and confused, wondering how I got to my car.

     My naivete, as I set out this morning full of intention and shopping energy, amazes even me.

     First a preface. Many years ago going school shopping with 3 daughters was a wonderful rite of passage that combined all of my favorite elements:  my girls, shopping, and a trip. In the years before our area grew by retail leaps and bounds, we drove to San Antonio each August to shop.

     We got to combine the high and the low by going to Joske’s and Solo Serve. Everyone came home with new things to wear, especially for the first day of school, and as a teacher, I did too.

     Second preface.  When my girls were babies and then toddlers, my mother on occasion would buy them a ‘big sack of clothes’ with brand names like Carter’s and Health-Tex. It seemed easy, fun, and was certainly appreciated.

     My goal this morning was to combine both memories.  What I failed to take into account however was my lack of cool, and my grandson is very cool. I know that the window of opportunity for me to buy him clothes is really, really small. It may have just slammed shut.

     At one point in desperation, I simply asked a stranger who had a son about grandson #1’s size, “which one’s (jeans) are cool?” She held up two pair: light wash and dark wash.

     I didn’t want to seem like stalker-grandmother by saying ‘can you be a LITTLE more specific’, so instead I asked the little boy his age.

     He said 5. Bingo.  My grandson is 5. I bought both in 5 slims. Does he wear 5 slims? He can either wear a 4 if they are long enough or a 5 if the waist is small enough… Yesterday I bought 4’s. Are you getting a picture here?


     Then there is little brother, grandson #2.  I can’t send a package for one and not the other. He wears a 3T or 4T.  Since his things were pretend school clothes (he is only 2), I got bogged down in t-shirts with GI Joe, Transformers, and Batman scenes on the front. I think I ended up buying him pajamas. Go figure.

     Also on my list was a wallet for grandson #1. I knew that buying a little boy ,who will be in kindergarten , a wallet was kicking the parental ant bed. 

     Picturing him pulling out his wallet with money in it that I gave him, made the risk worth his parent’s displeasure.  Unfortunately there were no children’s wallets.

     At least it wasn’t tax free weekend. I am now off to TJ Maxx to look some more.  This time I may buy size 6.

PS.  I blame my lack of confidence in knowing what is cool or not on my adult daughters.  You can just hear “No ,Mother” or “Keep walking Mother” so many times while out shopping , before you are completely demoralized. It is all their fault. Now that I have a rationale for all of this,  I am off to buy more clothes that need to be returned.



Magdalena said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! You have a lovely blog and this post brings back so many memories of school shopping with my grandmother when I was a little girl...I can still remember her taking me each september to get my school shoes at Buster Brown. We were blessed that she was able to come shopping with her great grandsons(my children) so many many years after I had grown up. This post brought back a lot of lovely memories.
have a great day

Beth in NC said...

What a great G-mom you are! I hope the clothes work out perfectly for them. That was so sweet of you to do that!

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Laura,
It sounds like you found some nice things!
Thanks for the sweet visit today.

Have a wonderful weekend.
~Melissa :)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

My precious mother used to buy clothing for my girls and mail it off to us...and the moans were terrible to hear and I was glad Mom was not within earshot. Poor Mom...she meant well and we loved her for trying.
Later when I became a grandmother...I didn't bother. I took the grandchildren shopping...and found my self saying "isn't that cute? You don't like it? Why?" I stopped even doing that and just give cash for birthdays and Christmas. I admit it..I am not cool and I don't like the idea of "moans" that I can't hear...
I thought your heart was in the right place..and they can..after all, take it all back if they like. Maybe you could supplies? Do you have to be cool to do that? Probably...

Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, Laura, I have so been throught this, with my sons and daughters, of course. But I vividly remember how Wayyy out there my own mother was when it came to fashion and what was cool. Your grandsons sound so young to be having these "ccol callings" but, hey, times have changed. My shopping days will be over (for awhile) once I get Abigail off to school this week. Then maybe I will go out and replenish my sweatshirts.


Glimpse of My World said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glimpse of My World said...

laura, email -- no email yet-- cant wait to get you the pearls!

Kat said...

This is such a cute post. Who knew that you had to worry about what was "cool" for a 5 year old? I sure didn't. And I think the wallet idea is a hoot, maybe you'll be able to find one yet. And to answer your question, yes it is HOT here too. Central Texas usually gets 5-10 100+ days a season, I think we are up to 48 or more this year. As Matthew Broderick said in Biloxi Blues "that's Africa hot!" Hope you have a great weekend. Kathy

Debbie's Garden said...

I feel your pain. I only have one daughter, but its one thing to hear her say at 13 what you pick isn't "cool". When she's a grown woman and says it to you its just a little more like a kick in the stomach.

Kelly said...

How thoughtful you are and how lucky your grandkids are.

Tootsie said...

I AM the mother and I am not looking forward to the shopping trip with my three!!! I am not one who loves shopping...
I remember the trips for school clothes when I was a kid My mom was as cool as a cucumber and very organized about the whole thing Me...not so much. I am easily overwhelmed by the whole thing! I have one son and two girls....and they are all different in what they will or will not wear...and sometimes, it gets a little much when you have three under the age of 11 and are all over town!
my hat goes off to you friend!!! happy shopping!

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Laura, yikes! I was hoping I had at least to age 8 before this would start. Our oldest grand is 5 and still likes things we get, but evidently that time is not long! Our grown daughter "scarred" me when she was in her late teens from EVER giving her clothes again. She could say she liked something, I would get that very thing for an occasion, and lo and behold, she had changed her mind!#*! Lately, however, after baby #2 was born and she had "No" clothes, I took her to her favorite store, had her pick and try things she liked, put them on hold, and then I went back to buy. That seems to be a workable situation after many years of hiatus! Good luck! Keep us posted. Linda

Domestic Designer said...

I feel your pain. Shopping for someone else is almost impossible even if they are only 5. Looks like you did a good job to me!

Domestic Designer said...

I just read your comment on my post. Feel free to email me anytime and I will try to answer your questions. :-)

Marguerite said...

Sounds like fun! I always loved back to school shopping. I am looking forward to having little ones to shop for, someday.(no grandchildren, yet)


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