I took Emily clothes shopping today. She is outgrowing all of her "girls" clothes and has been in desperate need of a more "pre-teen" style for some time. During break, she did a ton of babysitting and so we took her earnings and headed for the stores. I had so much fun with her choosing skirts and tops and shorts and shoes. We found some good sales and some great buys at a teen resale shop. She even bought her first pair of earrings for when she can take out the piercing studs in a few weeks. Very exciting! Emily said she felt like she won the lottery and could choose anything she wanted. I was so happy for her.
There was one downside to the whole experience and that was the three indians that tagged along with us. Christopher slept over at Grammy's last night, so he wasn't a part of the trip. For some reason, 7, 4 and 1 year old boys don't really love clothes shopping. There was a lot of whining. There was some running and hiding. There was crying. There was spinning out of control in a chair. There was crawling under dressing room doors. There was a lot of threatening and some brief thoughts of abandonment. J/K. It really did try my patience.
The whole experience took me back about 9 years ago to formal dress shopping with Anna. Formal dress shopping with any teenage girl can be difficult. But add in to the mix that the dress has to be modest AND that the said teenage girl has a vision in her mind exactly what the dress is going to look like and no store has it and she doesn't want anything else AND that you are dragging 2-3 whiny toddlers with you AND that you always end up at the mall about 1 hour before closing. It makes me shudder to remember some of those trips we had. They always started out fun. Her trying on pretty dresses...looking really nice...but then she never really LOVED anything. And then she would LOVE something and they wouldn't have her size. We would go from store to store to store to store to store... Usually she would return to the very first store and purchase the very first thing she had tried on. At least one of us, usually both of us, would end up crying at some point in the trip. The children, in their double stroller that was about as difficult to turn as the Titanic, would eat their weight in fruit snacks and throw toys and sippy cups overboard at every chance. We must have been quite a spectacle to see.
Anna and I have both decided that when it comes to Emily and Lucy and *hopefully* Lizzie going to a formal dance, they will chose their dress from some Utah-owned, all modest, formal dress catalog. No shopping, no hysterics, no stress. It sounds like heaven! For all my complaining, however, I wouldn't trade those shopping trips with Anna and Emily for anything in the world.
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