What could be more fun that going back to school shopping with your kids? I don't know, maybe gouging your eyes out with a blunt instrument?
Actually, my little angels were pretty good when we hit the mall a couple days ago. At least they seemed well behaved compared to some of the little hellions around us. This may have been due to the fact that I had carefully and calmly explained every little detail of our outing. I also warned them (and reminded myself) it would be crowded, noisy and unpleasant. And of course, I threatened that if they misbehaved I would make poster-sized prints of their naked baby pictures and plaster them all over the school.
Iowa has a "tax-free holiday" shopping weekend, suspending taxes on a very specific list of clothing for two days. This ensures that the stores will be teeming with tired, cranky parents with a specific budget in mind arguing with their tired, cranky kids with specific fashion desires. Luckily my kids are young enough that I can bend their fashion desires to my will (and pocketbook) with little opposition.
That is not to say that we always agree. For instance, they had the kah-utest! plaid capris at that find French department store, Tar-jay. I was oohing and awing over them for our 9-year-old daughter, thinking that maybe our sock and underwear budget could be stretched to cover one more outfit.
"Oh, aren't those just too cute?" I asked the Princess.
"Uh," she replied, hesitating to miss an opportunity to be fiscally irresponsible, "not really."
I plunged ahead, ignoring the Elvis-worthy sneer and dismissive tone of voice. "But that plaid is sooo adorable," I gushed. "And it comes in purple."
"Yeah, I just don't really like plaid," she said.
Doesn't like plaid? Doesn't like plaid? I did a memory scan of the entire birthing experience, wondering when my genetically-predisposed-to-like-plaid-child had been switched at the hospital. Nope, must have been when she was kidnapped by aliens.
Doesn't like plaid? And now, when she has a skinny little butt and can wear plaid without looking like a couch. Somehow stripes going in two different directions seem to have a 3-D effect on my butt, and God knows, it doesn't need that kind of... enhancement.
I sighed wistfully and steered the cart past the displays of cheeta-liscious outfits, and the low-rise lounge pants with "hottie" spelled out on the butt. Excuse me? I am not dressing my 9-year-old like a skank, even if that means breaking her little fashionista heart.
Oh, I know, the real battles are yet to come. But if she wants to wear a teeny-tiny, microscopic mini when she's in high school, I just might say yes.
Especially if it's plaid.