Monday, August 14, 2006

Back To School Shopping

I love back to school, but not the shopping. Last year, Elena did not grow one bit and all the same clothes fit her the entire year (sneakers too) until the last week or so. I went through her closet and drawers to see what we had-nothing, really nothing.

I did pick her up a couple pair of jeans in the past week or so, but haven't even started yet and I dread it. She's at the age where she has to try the clothes on and hates it, despises it and balks the entire time-in turn, this makes me hate it and I balk the entire time.

She's picky, not at that stage where it has to be certain brands, etc. (soon enough, I know), but shirt-wise, she's picky. All cotton, long sleeved tops for fall and winter-occasional sweatshirt type shirt. No sweaters, nothing itchy, nothing bulky, nothing too warm. Of course, there aren't any long sleeved tops out, just short sleeved, which we have a boatload of. The jeans-one size 7 fits great, another brand is too big in the waist, another brand too long, some too low waisted, others need a belt (which she doesn't like). Oh the joy of it all.

I did manage to clean out her stuff from last year-what was salvageable was listed on eBay and it wasn't much. Three pair of jeans were in great shape (she has play clothes and school clothes) but didn't fit-of course, these were only purchased in April, so they looked fine. A few jumper sets, which she didn't really wear because she has gym 3 days a week and has to wear sneakers and Elena prefers sneakers, so they were fine. Two pair of dress shoes. A few fall jackets. All of her tops were bad, really bad. She was the neatest baby and now somehow manages to wear everything on her shirt. I am a laundry fanatic and have Shout!, non-chlorine bleach, Clorox bleach, whitening detergent, detergent for colors, etc. Special laundry brushes. You get the picture. She gets a stain and I presoak, stain stick it, scrub it, run it through a few times and, if it doesn't come out, I trash the shirt. I freak over spots on clothes. Yes, I am strange.

I found last school year the words "Washable Marker" sent chills down my laundry loving spine. This is a misnomer. Yes, technically the washer will wash off her skin-hence the word "washable", but off of clothing-no sir. It says in those "oh so small letters" may not wash out of clothing, etc. Her class uses those markers on the daily basis and 3 out of 5 days, she wears said marker color of the day on her shirt. I used to keep the shirts for play shirts, but learned a hard lesson. When I was in the hospital, her dad got her off to school. Now, her dad wears a suit almost every day to work-shined shoes and extra starch in his shirts (no, I don't do his shirts-that's what the dry cleaner is for). Anyway, his hair is perfect, he is scrubbed, shined and buffed and what does he do? Somehow, he found Elena's playclothes in the drawer (playclothes in drawer, school clothes in closet). I thought he knew this unspoken arrangement, but apparently I was wrong. He brings Elena into the hospital to see me and she has on a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee, a shirt with three spots of magic marker and her hair looks like she put her head in a fan. I am aghast and calmly ask "Why would you send her to school in THAT???". He answers, "It was in the drawer". Did you not see the stains, hole and other things that would make it not be for school??? Would you wear that??? She has 10 pair of jeans and those are the ones you picked??? His answer "I didn't even notice". Now, this is the man who leaves for work in impeccable condition-I don't get it. I learned, all play clothes are stowed underneath all her good clothes. Any shirts with stains-tossed. Any undies she's almost outgrown-tossed, ditto socks. I am afraid to let it sit in her drawer just in case I can't dress her in the morning. Neurotic, yes, but I am who I am. I asked once about the hair-she hates having it brushed, so I didn't-yes, life went on, but I swear I was up all that night wondering what he was going to put her in the next day.

Chocolate ends up on most of her shirts-why I don't know. Like a chocolate magnet and I tell her nicely, please try not to get chocolate on your shirt and, if you do, please don't rub it in-she does. Occasionally I will hear "oopsie" from the living room and then a dash for the kitchen sink and the question "Does______ come out of the rug? Does ________come out of the couch?". She washes her hands a lot, but the face, ugh. She comes home from school with peanut butter and jelly on one face cheek and fruit roll up on the other, with a schmear of jelly rubbed into her shirt for good measure.

Anyway, the shopping is looming....the tension, I can feel it building up in my neck. My head hurts, my daughter is already preparing the "Do I have to try it on? You are soooo mean, you make me do everything" speech-I know, I feel it in the air. We have to get shoes and sneakers too. That's always a battle too. Some kids wear anything and don't care-Elena, no. If it feels slightly tight, maybe from her sock having a crease, she refuses to wear them. Socks have to be to the ankle, not below the ankle, not too much above them-no seams.

Okay, enough, I am working myself up already.


Kathy said...

Breath, Deneen, breath. Before you know it she'll just grab your credit card and shop herself.

Bron said...

Like mother, like daughter? Sounds like being particular runs in the family...don't get my started on my "picky-about-weird-things" kids!

Because, obviously, they didn't get it from me! ::wink::

I second what Kathy said - Breathe. Soon enough it'll all be a distant memory. :)

Stacy said...

I'm at that stage with Ash. They sound just the same. Lucky for me Em is still into whatever I choose for her and in predicitable sizes.

Susana said...

I absolutely hate August! I just finished my school shopping. I'm lucky enough to have her in uniforms, it's the spending of the money I hate. (clothes, supplies, shoes, glasses, it goes on and on)

Wendy said...

Sierra is the same way with getting clothes stained. Oh, and the paint they use at school only washes out of clothes if you wash on HOT with Soap. If you wash on cold and treat it with shout or a pre-treatment you will set the stain. Of course, they don't tell you this. I had to ask the teacher to read the bottle last year as she came home every day with paint all over her clothes.

I am so happy I don't have to take her school clothes shopping just yet. I bought all of her clothes from the childrensplace online. They are cute and semi-affordable. They aren't as pricey as gap or gymboree.

I also found Levi's at Costco on Friday for $10 (with their coupon,) can't really beat that.

Oh, and Tony is the exact same way. One time he took Sierra to school and her hair wasn't brushed, sheesh! His excuse was he didn't notice and he tole me it looked good enough. (yeah, bed head...)

DixieRedHead said...

ewh. school shopping. my one bit of advice.... don't stay in a hotel. Shop. then go home.
but,seriously what are the chances of feathers n ketchup occuring twice in a lifetime though..LOL

Priscilla said...

School shopping for the kids is the pitts. Clothes and supplies.

Jewels said...

OMG, I do not envy you. I'm with her on the trying on clothes...I detest that, it's torture. I need pants for work so bad and haven't yet worked myself up to being able to try them on.

Kelly said...

Wow I'm so glad now that my daughter is 22! Ugh the memories...

I agree with Stacey... stay away from rooms with feathers, and ketchup! LOL

Lucy said...

Ya know, I don't think any of that shopping thing just changes. Mine is in college and that the topic of conversation in August...CLOTHES!!

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

I am EXCACTLY like you when it comes to stains!!! I also get rid of shirts I can't clean and have every stain-remover under the sun--I find chocolate to be an easy one to get out tho--cold water as soon as you see the stain, and lots of it, then wash normally usually works for me.

Other sort of unusual stains that I've found solutions for: ink/dyes (kool-aid, food coloring--stuff I only use to dye yarn at home but somehow at school ends up ingested and on the clothes) There's a product called "goof off 2" that works for this stuff sometimes. It's a solvent, but not quite as toxic as regular "goof off" because it's water-based.

The other kind of stain that I hate are grease stains--you often don't see them until the clothes are clean! to get them off I use Goo Gone-it's an orange-oil based liquid that also removes gum, sticker residue, etc. It works really well...

I haven't even started thinking about clothes shopping for Selma because here in Maryland summer weather lasts in to October and starts in April or May, so we have a short '"school-clothes" season. Such a shame, because fall clothes are my favorite to wear! I love layers.

OH--and what's up with schools these days not using SMOCKS for doing art??? I always wore a smock at school. Last year, I even sent one in with Selma that didn't get used... its soooo frustrating!

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