Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Straight Pants Only Please

This weekend I realized that Jooge presently owns about three pairs of pants that fit and that she will wear. I decided today that on our way home from school we'd stop by my favorite resale shop and find her a few new pairs. It didn't need to be many, summer is just around the corner. Armed with bagels and apple slices I was confident that between school and the store, we could get a little nutrition in and then hit it.

I got the kids out of the car fine and we all made it into the store. Greeting me was the sweet manager, who also informed me that I had a $28 credit because I'd recently unloaded a stroller, backpack, crib bumper, and exersaucer there and the stroller had sold. Sweet. Next to the entrance of the store, a huge tent/castle immediately swallowed both kids. They proceeded to play while I started browsing for potential duds.

My main aim was to involve Jooge for the first time in this process because she was very opinionated about her pants, only wearing ones deemed, "Straight." When I had selected a whole hand full of hangers and it was time for Jooge's input, I had absolutely NO LUCK engaging her in the task. Instead, she ran away from me and went and hid in the castle. Later I wrangled her into my grasp only to be kicked at which made me furious. She was being so naughty I was beginning to get a stress rash, my fair skin changing from normal to red and blotchy. The worst part was that my mind held one large beeping exclamation point. I felt unable to act in a way that would get the desired result: either 1) to get her to cooperate or 2) to give her a consequence that mattered to her.

Meanwhile Avery had begun to strip out of her pants and "HAD TO GO POTTY!" Sure enough she'd poooped a big 'ole smelly one into her drooping diaper.I went out to the car and grabbed the diaper bag, hoping everyone knew that I wasn't leaving, though believe me, for a moment I was tempted. I gathered up the pile of clothes on hangers, wrangled both girls into the changing room, and laid out the clothes, urging Jooge to pick something up that she liked and try it on while I changed Avery. She indulged me and put on one pair of shorts that was huge on her. Guess we're not into a size 5 yet.

I'd woken up with a bad hair day that had turned into a bad parenting day. I wanted to wring Jooge's neck but I didn't. She needed some new things but obviously, despite my persistence, this wasn't going to be the time to get them. I promised Jooge time on the step and we left with nothing. It wasn't until I was out the door holding a screaming, thrashing Avery that Jooge grabbed her boots, put them on, and followed me.

In the car on the way home I was feeling really frustrated with this child of mine. She won't wear jeans, she won't wear anything but her "straight pants" which I am still baffled by, and she won't stop for two seconds to help me understand what straight pants are so everything I buy is a guarantee. Don't even get me started on her eating habits, which are so particular and selective, it makes me mad, as in mad hatter mad. My daughter is smack dab in the asserting Independence phase and am bent on trying to change her.

As I drove home feeling increasingly frustrated, the kids were eating their bagels again and screaming, the kind of screaming that if you try to get them to stop, they just screamed louder. Suddenly I saw what I thought was my husband's car returning to work after lunch so I pulled out the 'ole cell and gave him a ringie dingie. Turned out it wasn't his car after all and I ended up calling and interrupting him during a meeting, which he flatly informed me of and which was the last straw. Cue the tears, and I'm talking about mine here. Yes people, I am PMSing. This isn't an everyday occurrence in my world, to bust out crying. I was so done though. So done.

What happened after that was a blur but there was one kid put in bed without books for nap and there was another who said things like, "It's all right sweetie" as she rubbed me tenderly. After she was in her room for quiet time and I was showered, facing a slightly better hairdo in the mirror, the phone rang. It was the gal from the resale store just calling to let me know I'd left Avery's fleece in the store. My long sigh was followed by her kind words. "You were having a hard time, believe me, I've been there. I totally know...." I knew she'd noticed, that's what made it so awful when I was smack dab in the middle of it, but just having her remind me that she understood, made it all so much better.

We will go and pick up Avery's fleece later and I will pick out a few things for Jooge and that will be that. That's how we've been doing it so far, and most of the time, the stuff I pick out for her goes over just fine. I don't know why I'm hell bent this time around on finding stuff she'll wear. (Maybe it's the four or five pairs that have been flung, rejected, into her closet). This time around, if she wears them, great, if not, there's always Avery, who thus far has no opinion about the orientation of her pants.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

Right now Liam will only eat hummus and pretzel sticks. Nothing more. And he will not wear jeans either, only cotton pants but only the too short for him cotton pants I bought this fall at Mervyn's which is, of course, now out of business. It's cool for boys to wear capris, right?

I guess what I'm saying is I am so there with you. Having it multiplied x 2 would surely send me off the deep end. You're doing good.

Holly said...

Oh my goodness...I hate to tell you, but this stuff has continued to age 12! I still return over half of what I purchase for my daughter, and have learned to not even attempt to buy pants without her present and willing to try them on. Don't get me started on food...
Hang in there!