Monday, September 15, 2008

My Boys Enjoyed Clothing Shopping - I Think Not!

I've entered the Twilight Zone, when it comes to keeping clothes on the backs of my boys. It's a strange and eery place for a girl like me who begged and begged her mother for clothes. I'm a gal who enjoys shopping, not in a neurotic way, I just enjoy acquiring the essential items.

My boys detest clothes shopping. They will shoe shop any day of the week, but mention clothes and, oh boy, you will witness every form of resistance. If you find a way to get them to go, they don't like to look at the clothes, they don't like to tell you which they like, and they definitely don't like to try on the clothes...and about this time a mother's brain begins to melt.

In years past, this refusal to shop was not a problem. I would shop for them and they would wear the clothes. Something has taken hold of these boys. They will no longer grab just ANYTHING to pull over their heads and onto their legs. They have become selective...AWARE.

So what's a mother to do? It's a truly bizarre dilemma. I'm still begging. Now I beg MY CHILDREN to go shopping with me! To accomplish this I've first, laid down the law: an outfit is worn for only one day. You'll have to trust me when I say one day is MORE than enough. Next, I have explained that if they do not go, they will have to wear last year's jeans when it gets cold, even if said jeans are three or four inches too short. Finally, I was simply forced to explain to them they will need to wear what I select for them NO MATTER WHAT, if they refuse to shop!

They agreed to go yesterday! To my great fortune, their father was home and in a moment of weakness, he agreed to go, too! As we entered the mall, my hands began to sweat and my heart to pound. Would I leave this mall with my sanity? I tried a strategy designed to make it easier on both my husband and me. "I will take Youngest (the child who needed the most clothing) with me and you take Middleman and Oldest to the store they like and we will meet." The ole' "divide and conquer" strategy.

Youngest seemed to like this approach. When we arrived at the store, I began by asking him of the shirts in a particular display which color combo did he like best. He pointed. I quickly grabbed his size. Onto the next grouping. Same approach, same result. Whew, this was going well. Jeans...dreaded jeans. Who knew a slight color variation could be so upsetting to pre-teen and teenage boys? A stroke of luck, however. All the jeans displayed were very close in color...grabbed a few sizes and we headed for the fitting rooms. Youngest was beyond cooperative!!! We left the store with some new clothes that he liked AND agreed to wear!

We met the rest of the crew and found they also were successful...a pair of jeans for each boy. We were able to work Oldest into selecting a shirt and some boxers (sorry son, I have inadvertantly revealed your boxer/brief preference). I may have learned the most valuable lesson of all today. The time to go shoe shopping is when only one child needs one pair of shoes... ha ha ha, that happens a lot, hee hee hee ho ho almost never! Picking up that one pair was amazingly easy. We made it out of the mall alive.

My plan is too study what we bought today very, very carefully. When it is time for the boys to have more than one pair of jeans that fits, I will go to the mall ALONE and buy EXACT duplicates. By then they will probably prefer some variation... refuse to wear them... and I will check myself into the local mental facility.


kimj said...

Man, you did really well! Congrats! I so know the pain that clothes shopping can create with boys... but it does get better for the most part. Loved it when the oldest could do his own shopping (with his own money!). The youngest is pretty easy (just a little screening needed on choice of skateboarder t-shirts!). But that middle one... UGH!!! Doesn't want to shop, and about 50% of the time, doesn't like or wear what I get for him. I've got to figure out a better system for clothing him!

Nancy said...

I think I should feel fortunate that I have girls. Or maybe not, as going shopping is never a problem.