Growing pains eased with shopping trip

Teaching Your Child

Teaching Your Child

October 10, 2008|By LISA TEDRICK PREJEAN

"Mom, I think I need new pants for school."

I nodded and made a mental note to buy my son some pants.

Then I noticed that my daughter was still wearing her white summer sandals with her church dresses.

"Why don't you put those away and start wearing some closed-toe shoes with tights, now that it's October?"

She sweetly smiled and said, "Mommy, I would if any of the shoes from last winter fit me."

Oh. Dressy shoes for my daughter, too? Add that to the list.

"And, Mommy, my jeans are up to my ankles."

New jeans for her? Got it.

Then my son mentioned that his long-sleeved shirts were becoming more like short-sleeved ones.

The dollar signs started flashing in my head. Did they really need all of this?


Since we were in the height of soccer season, the first marking period was kicking in at full throttle and a music recital was on the horizon, I kept putting off that trip to the store. How could we fit it in anyway with all the practices, games, lessons, projects and homework? If I could just put it off a few weeks, we'd be in between sports seasons and it would be easier to schedule a time to go.

Everything fit -- and was even a little big -- in mid-August. My 13-year-old's school pants couldn't be too small already, could they?

Come to think of it, I had more frequently noticed his tendency to wear white socks. If I was seeing more sock, that meant there was less pant. Perhaps he had grown a bit.

The other night we were walking up the stairs together. As we chatted, he suddenly looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm almost as tall as you are."

In some families, that wouldn't be a feat for a 13-year-old boy. It is in our family, though, since I am just 2 inches shy of 6 feet tall. I think he's growing. Perhaps he's trying to surpass his growth last year of 3 1/2 inches.

So, yes, things were getting too short, and we had to find a time to go shopping.

I knew I couldn't pick up the things they needed by myself. They are at an age where style and fit matters. Mom's taste isn't always one that they prefer.

We decided to go shopping as a family on a Friday night. The initial plan was that my husband and I would meet in town, grab a quick dinner, then divide and conquer. At least, that was my plan. My husband's plan was to meet us, eat and go to a home improvement store.

I can't complain. He installed a new sliding glass door at our house. (If you see him, tell him I said he's wonderful.)

Since their dad had a mission to accomplish, that left the three of us to do the clothes shopping.

My son had his selections made in about 20 minutes. Then he made not-so-subtle references about the sun going down, the dog needing to be fed, etc., etc.

If his sister heard, she didn't let on. She was determined to find a pair of shoes for fall.

This was no easy task because her feet seem to grow overnight. She's only 9 years old, but she takes a woman's size 7 1/2 in shoes. It's challenging to find shoes for her that look like something a little girl would wear.

We found a pair at one store, but they were $50. I told her that was more than I wanted to pay, especially for something that she'd only wear a few weeks.

(At one point, I thought her brother was going to offer to pay for them so we could go home, but then he fell asleep.)

We ran into a good bargain at the next store, buying a pair of dress shoes and dress boots for less than a pair of shoes cost at the first store. It was a good lesson for my daughter to learn: To shop around for a good bargain.

As we were walking to the car, my son observed that his sister had found more things than he had.

"We originally planned to come to town to buy me some school pants," he said while gazing at the moon.

The next time he needs pants, he'll be sure to tell me when his sister is out of earshot.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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