Thing number one I was not prepared for after having kids: The constant clothes-buying!
I had been more accustomed to my own style of clothes-purchasing. It goes something like this:
a) An item is on crazy clearance, and it is... wearable- BUY. (this is why I push the boundaries of ensembles that "match")
b) I gained/lost weight and need a few more "in-between" essentials. (as I have about forty tubs of clothing in various sizes, I have a wardrobe at the ready for whenever I balloon up or shrink down)
c) I need to replace an item that has been worn to exhaustion. (I still sleep in some sweaters from my high school days... there are many holes)
The strategy with clothing the kids is VASTLY different. I buy adorable little outfits, the kids look perfectly prim and proper, and they have the gall to go and outgrow everything! All of this happens several times a year, in fact!
Making sure my children are clothed, in season appropriate wear, seems to be a constant battle. I was completely unprepared for the stress this would cause me! Take this past week for example; The weather turned cold suddenly, and I was left rummaging around for last year's "too big" duds I had squirreled away. All I found was a few size 3T items, a size that had seemed to be rather large on the girls last winter. (even though they were 4 years old) Now the dresses were miniskirts, the long sleeves had turned to 3/4 length, and the jeans were awkward "high waters". The only thing that fit was the part around the middle (I am raising children the width of matchsticks- quite inadvertently, I assure you) I was able to cobble together something with leggings, ripped jeans, and heavily involving raincoats.
Immediately, I ran to the nearest outlet mall and grabbed a ridiculous bundle of clothing. I had to explain that I had twins, as the cashier gave my pile an alarmed look. The grand total, even though I had scored a lot of heavily clearanced goods, was... enough to make even the likes of Donald Trump blush. (Dude, twins are EXPENSIVE) I promptly came home and laundered the bunch, (two entire washloads) and tried to find a place for the "winter wear" that would be essential for the next few days, until the weather climbed back up into the 90's- mere days from now. (Oh life in the desert)
It was after I cleaned out the last of the 3Ts, sorted and divided the summer clothes vs. winter clothes, I found a mysterious, unopened box perched on the top shelf of Bunny's closet. There, in my own handwriting, read "girls' 4T winter clothes."
Ahhhh, right. The memories came flooding back; an online sale at Gymboree had prompted me to stock up in preparation for the girls' growing, and the season changing. I was determined to "get ahead" of the madness. It seemed like such a good idea- buying everything off-season. Except that I had bought a couple random things, then forgot about the whole endeavor, put off by the lack of selection and unfortunate patterns.
The package had arrived at my doorstep in May, and I had not even opened it, just popped it in a closet for the next winter. I groaned as I tried to imagine what the box could possibly contain. The girls were in 4T, except in dresses- my tall skinny ladies require a 5T on one-piece dresses. (they may hang off my girls, but at least they are an appropriate length)
Being unable to predict the future, I was not aware of this detail. (I really need to get my hands on a crystal ball)
I was not too disappointed, however. The mystery Gymboree box wasn't too bad. It even had some fluffy sweaters that I was unable to score on sale. Nevertheless, there were a few dresses that would, inevitably, be too short. Luckily, there were some random matching leggings included in the order. SAVED.
So I am SET for winter.
Except I know what looms just around the corner: Summer. When all these cute fleece-y things will be too hot, and I will have to start this whole, ridiculous process ALL OVER AGAIN. Sure, I may be able to find some deeply discounted summer fare now... but will it fit when the season rolls around? Or will I have a bunch of clothes, all with the tags dangling, and no one who can fit into them? (I am sure said clothing will be looking extra-smug at this point)
I will say that ThredUp has been rather helpful, on the rare occasions I can find non-Wal-Mart clothes. (yes, I am a snob- I get it) And I do get extra credit for sending off the girls' old clothes- making Little Man's stuff practically free. But it still requires a lot of time... and thought. Not to mention the very sweet and lovely Mommy friends who have offered clothes their girls have outgrown. I would love to be gracious and accept them, except that (TWIN ISSUE APPROACHING) the girls have to wear identical outfits. If they are not exactly identical, somehow, something, is not FAIR- then I have a slew of fit-throwing. Argh. That's super-fun to have to explain a million times, especially when people are just trying to help.
Clothes! Who knew it would be such a STRUGGLE?!