I took my brother's kids back to school shopping for jeans today. We go through the same thing every year. I'll drop my teenage niece off in the juniors department to try on clothes by herself while I accompany the two younger boys to their section and begin my uphill battle of the day.
The older of the two will always immediately grab the first pair that are closest his reach. (Which will always be at least two sizes too big. His size on the jean wall is always more at eyebrow level.) He'll hold them up against his chest (I'm not sure why he thinks that's where they go) and announce, "Yep, I like these!" as if his work here is already done. "No, you're going to try them on," mean auntie counters. I grab six pairs each, find a fitting room and the same thing happens every year:
- They'll both act confused about what they're supposed to do in a fitting room. "What do we do with these?" You put them on. "Do I have to take my pants off first?" It usually works best that way.
- The youngest at this point will always realize that he's forgotten to put underpants on that day. (Every year!) I'm still confused about how this happens. I see the waistband of his Fruit of the Looms sticking out of his pants every other day of the year. Not sure why it's always on shopping day or how it even happens at all. Do I forget to put my watch on ever? Yes. Jewelry? So, many times! But, if I'm not in the shower, underwear are pretty much a permanent fixture here. I guess not with five-year-old boys.
- Per stage #2, comes the repeated reminders to the youngest to be very cautious while zipping up and to please stop dancing in front of the mirror (He must not get to see himself pantsless enough in the privacy of his own home.) Are you asking yourself, "She's really letting him try on pants commando?" Yes. I'm an aunt, not a mom. That's how I get away with these things. I'm not going to gather up three kids, run all the way back home to grab a pair of underoos and load them all back up to return and refind the pile of pants we'd already accumulated. We're just careful not to try on anything we're not seriously considering purchasing.
- Older brother will always act confused about snaps, buttons and zippers. Even though he's been wearing pants for nine years now and putting them on himself the majority of that time, he suddenly forgets in a fitting room how these strange fasteners work. He'll continuously whip pants up and down those skinny hips of his without a thought of undoing them. I'm sure it's a comedy show to the neighboring rooms (or, possibly even a drinking game, if they're carrying a flask) to hear me say repeatedly, "If you put those on without unzipping them, they're much too big!" Him, "They fit!" [while modeling jeans with the crotch brushing against his knees] Next pair, "Remember to unzip them before putting them on!" Next pair, "Remember the zipper!" Next pair, "ZIPPER!!" Next pair, "UNZIP the pants FIRST!!!"
- Once the pants are finally on and zipped, I can never get either of them to stand up straight so I can check the fit. They always have some fly modeling/ninja move they feel more appropriately tests the quality of the pants instead. Today's move for the youngest was dipping down into the splits. "Okay, I can't see if they're long enough while you doing the splits. Please stand up straight." He returns to his feet for a whole 3 seconds before slooowwwly sliding back down again with a sinister grin on his face. The oldest's move today alternated between a Chuck Norris side-kick and an exaggerated hand-to-hip, hip-thrust-out stance. Aye mi!
- It will take only five pairs tried on for the youngest to pick out two (This boy knows what he wants! No cargos jeans, dark wash preferable and usually one pair of non-denims. He eliminates about 2/3 of the store just in the pre-dressing room walkby. Works for me!) It will take the oldest about dozen or more tried on just to weed out two.
After gathering up big sis (who's smart and checks the clearance rack, thereby earning herself an extra pair) I'm relieved that back-to-school shopping day is almost complete. I'm trying to ignore oldest boy while he's doing some sort of wild arm-flapping bird dance in the checkout line until he almost whaps the elderly lady in line behind us and I have to intervene.
Balance paid, bags in hand, relief in the sight of the parking lot ahead and then I remember I promised them tops next payday. Stay tuned.