I took my two little ones, ages 4 and 11 months, shopping for Easter outfits LAST MINUTE. Crazy, right?! Desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm not even going to go into why it was last minute. Anyone with children knows how easy it is to lose track of time, and anyway, I thought it would be fairly easy if I could just find what I need quickly. I was armed with a bottle for the baby and cheerios the two could share in case they started getting antsy. I found outfits for the kids first and then made my way over to the ladies clothing, deciding that if I couldn't find anything for myself, at least the kids would look adorable in little matching outfits!
I worked in a clothing store right after high school, and everything in the store had matching tops and bottoms way back then. This store had some really nice long skirts but I could not find a top that would look nice with any of them. I managed to get enough courage to ask a young employee where the matching tops were. I feel like I'm in a "Somewhere Between" stage. I am small enough to fit junior sizes, but old enough to wear more MATURE outfits, yet I'm not ready to look like a grandma because I'm starting motherhood all over again. I think the employee really didn't know how to respond to that, but she was kind enough to lead me through the entire women's clothing department to search. Why matching tops are not with the skirts is beyond me, but then she actually said, "well, we USED to carry matching outfits, but now they are all just separates!" 😒
Once we found a couple of tops, I headed for the dressing room and managed to squeeze the stroller in, leaving barely enough space for me to stand and turn around to see at least part of myself in the mirror. The 2nd outfit that the store employee helped me find, was extremely hideous. In the dressing room DD heard me mutter, "It looks like I'm wearing a sack" and she said OUT LOUD, "I WIKE dat sack, Mama! Can you buy dat sack?!" Probably because she was just ready for me to be DONE already. Now I was starting to sweat in my rush, worrying about what might happen next with these predictably unpredictable babes..I went back out to search. My helper had disappeared, so now I was on my own. So much for friendly customer service. She didn't stay around long enough to even ask if I needed anymore help. Oh well, not far outside the dressing room I found a one-piece dress! For the 3rd time I squeezed the stroller into the dressing room to try on the dress. While standing in my underwear, getting ready to slip the dress over my head, my DD YELLED "Mama! You're NAKED!!" I heard snickers and giggles coming from other dressing rooms... I hurriedly finished dressing and whispered through my teeth to my daughter, "I'm NOT naked, I'm wearing underwear" as she grinned at me, and then out loud I said to the eavesdroppers as I walked past their dressing-room doors, "This is why I DON'T go shopping..." -- more laughter. I was relieved at not having to come back in to try on another outfit.
Just as I got out of the dressing room, Baby Boy got tired of sitting in the stroller and started crying crocodile tears that broke everybody's hearts in the store until his shrill scream split their eardrums and they looked at me like I'm the meanest mom on the planet for making him miss his nap to go clothes shopping. I avoided saying out loud, "Hey, I actually HATE shopping for myself, so I wear the same clothes for a minimum of 5 years or until they literally fall apart..." I've said that before and the response I got was, "well you're lucky those clothes still fit you after so many years." Sooo, does that mean I should feel bad about shopping? I actually do struggle with feeling selfish, unless it's shopping for my kids or someone else, so add that to my stress for the day. Oh yes! The bottle! BB was able to hold the bottle himself, but since I was out of his view while pushing the stroller I decided to stand where he could see me and hold it for him. Screaming stopped. All three of us calmed. At least for now. Whew!
After finding a nice shirt for Hubby I joined the long line of customers waiting to check out. Cheerios were a perfect pacifier since we were only walking a few steps forward every 5 minutes. When it was finally my turn to check out, DD decided to be sweet to BB by giving him one cheerio at a time as I had been doing while waiting in line. But then, tired of being his servant, she dumped ALL of his cheerios out of the baggie into his tray where he could barely reach them himself. Most of them were all over him and on the floor. Of course everyone in line saw what was going on except me. This was one of those times it would have been so nice to REALLY have eyes in the back of my head. Yes, I did pick up the cheerios off the floor, but the ones in the stroller went to the birds outside.
It felt so good to get outside in the cold air! Feeling proud of myself for what I had just managed to do without much help I reflected on what I found: the only size 6 little girls' dress left for DD, not in the little girls section, but in front of the baby boys' outfits (go figure), a cute sort-of-matching outfit for baby boy, a dress that actually fits me after 40 minutes of searching and trying on only 3 outfits instead of 20 (Thank you, LORD!), and a nice shirt for my hubby within 5 minutes of finding my dress. I also managed NOT to lose my patience, although I think I was really border-line during the times when DD whined, "Mama, are you almost done yet?" while I was still hunting. After all, it was my fault for taking them shopping during their nap time. DD was thrilled when I told her that I was proud of her for being so good and helpful, and she got to have a treat in the van on the way home.
Extra bonus: the kids were both in bed asleep by 7:30pm! Yay! But next time I'll call my friend to come with me.
I have to say I didn't get through this trip by myself. I am not naturally patient. But I believe that "our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth." Psalm 124:8