Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teens, Tweens, and Clothing

My oldest son used to be so easy to dress. We had tops, and we had bottoms. It didn’t matter which top went with which bottom. He didn’t care, he didn’t complain. Whichever one his hand touched first when he opened his drawer was just fine. His shoe wardrobe consisted of one pair of sneakers and one pair of dark brown work boots that could double as dressier shoes, if needed.

My daughter was a little pickier, but still relatively easy. She went through her dresses only stage - and then her anything but dresses stage. But other than specifying what type of garment she wanted to wear, she didn’t much care what they looked like.

Shopping was simple. I didn’t need to have the kids in tow. I could go to any store, fill up a bag, bring it home, and they would wear it. But then... without any warning... the rules changed.

photo credit: Myeongdong via photopin (license)
Suddenly they knew words like “American Eagle,” “Abercrombie,” and “Hollister.” They began talking about “Adidas,” “Nike,” “Giorgio Armani,” and even “Prada!” "The Gap" and "Old Navy" became words of shame, and if I dared to even utter the words “Children’s Place” it was as if I had told them the world was going to end tomorrow.

Luckily – I had some new words myself – something along the lines of “no,” “crazy,” and “get a job.”

photo credit: Adidas Spezial Exhibition Manchester via photopin (license)
Then came the shoes. Surprisingly, my daughter was not the one with the demanding shoe wardrobe (although she is only ten – I’m sure it’s coming.) It’s my son. Apparently, once you turn thirteen, shoes become the next best thing to video games. At last count, he had six pairs of sneakers. To be honest, I hadn’t realized just how many shoes he had accumulated until I started unpacking from camp. It seemed as if my 6’3” thirteen year old had finally stopped growing (or at least significantly slowed down, thank goodness). For a while there, his feet were growing so fast, that I was buying new shoes every other month. I guess I sort of became accustomed to that schedule when all of a sudden his shoe size stopped changing. Well – the gig is now up. Sorry kid!

As I help my four year old get dressed every morning, I wonder how many years I have left until he starts complaining about his wardrobe. For now, I’m just relieved he is still happy in his jungle animal pjs.

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