August 7, 2008

Back-to-School Muumuus

My daughter will wear anything as long as it is a shapeless, short-sleeved pink dress devoid of buttons, zippers, or elastic arm cuffs. With a style range as vast as this, I am free to shop just about anywhere for back-to-school clothes.

Camber and I began our shopping trip at one popular children's clothing store in the mall. There were no shapeless shifts in sight, but fortunately, we did luck out and spot a table containing its fashion equivalent: a pile of fluorescent t-shirts. Each t-shirt had a picture of a large monkey on the front, coupled with an uplifting message that read "I'm a spoiled brat!"
"What do these shirts say?" Camber wanted to know.
They say, "Not for kindergartners" I told her.

Our next stop was Limited Too. We found some very nice jeans in there for $42, but we left them on the rack because they cost $42.

Over the next few hours, we went upstairs to J.C. Penney, downstairs to Macy's, and across the street to Old Navy and Target. At each of these stores, we encountered more friendly monkey shirts, as well as a vast selection of clothing that was perfectly unoffensive and reasonably priced. However, because nothing remotely resembled the highly coveted and rare muumuu, we left all of these stores empty-handed.

Exhausted, frustrated, and more than a little grumpy, we dragged ourselves into Gymboree 30 minutes before closing. I knew that my only chance of success was to show absolutely no interest in both my daughter and the articles of clothing she was looking at, so I stood in the store entrance and did my best to look bored.

This was Camber's cue to leisurely flip through the racks of clothes. I cried little tears of sadness when she skipped over the plaid skirts and matching apple-print sweater vests, but I bit my lip and bore my loss stoically. A few minutes later, the picky dresser approached with an armload of waistless knit dresses that eerily resembled the maternity dress that I was wearing at the moment. Each dress was appropriately marked $3.60. I was about ready to do the happy dance when a store clerk pointed out that the price tags actually read $36.00.

Two hours earlier I would have shuddered at the thought of spending so much for the same article of clothing that you make in a beginning sewing class, but I was so thrilled that none of the dresses had monkeys on them that at that moment I would have paid double or even triple what was on the price tags.

Camber plopped the dresses on the check-out counter and I got out my purse. As I gave the cashier my credit card, the woman could tell that I was in severe pain. Not wanting me to have a heart attack in her store so close to closing time, the cashier gave me a 20% off coupon. This numbed the pain of having to pay $115 for 4 muumuus and matching hair clips.

Over an ice cream cone at the food court a few minutes later, Camber and I assessed our progress.
"Now all I need are some new shoes!" she said excitedly.
"I can't wait for that shopping trip," I responded, trying hard to mean it.

21 comments

Reese said...

I had the same experience recently at Gymboree. The apple sweater vest just about did me in. Just wait until she asks for a tshirt wth Zac Efron's face plastered over it. I set a rule early on that characters only belong on pajamas but my kids still whine and complain when I try to force them into preppy unobnoxious attire.

Nikki said...

Oh my!! This little event just reinforces my plan to make the DI and Goodwill the most desirable places on earth!!! :) At least she is the only girl, right?

Sants said...

Hannah Anderson got me through my daughter's NINE years of nothing on her waist. The good news - they last at least that long so you can consign them or hand them down.

mommyofthree said...

The dreaded school shopping....Oh, if only it could get better as they age. But I have to say it gets worse. (Sorry about that.) I wish my girls would go for a muumuu again. So simple.
Good luck on the shoe trip.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you try Lands End for mumus? Girls short sleeved dresses on sale for $14.99.

Mrs. Morty said...

I so feel your pain! My four year old Preschooler has recently taken on a new fashion mind of her own. Unfortunately her issues deal with the particular texture of the item and how it feels against her skin. First off she reject almost anything that is not pink and the she has to try it on. I got a way cute shirt for her for $5 that was PINK and had a few random sequence stitched to it. She put it on and instantly started pulling it away from her skin, grrr. I felt the inside of the shirt and could barely feel the stitching. My husband said to keep in and force her to wear it.

Likes Chocolate said...

I guess boys are good for something. Though I would just about give anything to even buy the pink mumu. Love the new background.

gigi said...

That's the way my grand daughter is. She won't even wear shorts muchless pants. Dresses only and they can't have any elastic anywhere! She will only wear croc's. Doesn't matter if they are the real thing or the ones from Wal-mart. But no tennis shoes and no Sunday dress shoes or it's a total melt down.

Helen said...

First, I love the new design!

Second, you made my day when you commented on my blog! My husband couldn't understand why I was so excited, but my friends could :)

Third, this post made me so glad I have all boys (and to think I was sad when I first learned it was all boys).

Anonymous said...

One word: Walmart.

Cuddles, Kisses & Tantrums said...

I feel your pain, however, I would trade your pain for my mine. My 8 year old daughter is insisting on picking out her own school clothes for the first time this year. Unfortunately her idol is Hannah Montana and some girl from High School Musical. We have been battling over short skirts and sequined halter tops. An hour ago, red faced with embarrassment, I hauled her crying out of a store and drove us home empty handed. I'm thinking that last years clothes will do just fine again this year. I just don't have it in me to battle with her again!

Anonymous said...

I like your new design, but can't read the words very well. It's too small. Any chance on increasing it?

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

My 3-year-old daughter thinks she's a boy and the only dress up outfit she will wear is Sportacus from Lazytown. I dream of dress-like. Or pink.

smiles4u said...

Oh the magical back to school shopping trips...surely someone would be crying, someone would come home with nothing, someone would want everything they seen...they don't usually like the things we think are cute...and the prices for a peice of childs clothing....rediculous! I do not miss these trips and I am glad that I get a break from them for a couple more years!

Have fun shoe shopping!

Leslie said...

I have it easy right now since my two little guys haven't started school in the "big house" yet. I know a day will come though when they will probably care (too much actually) about what they wear and about how much it costs and believe me I'm dreading the day! But right now I'm taking advantage of dressing my pre-schooler in the cheapest, yuckiest clothes I can find because he just destroys them.
Anyway, love your new look Jana - it's hot!

Jan Russell said...

Hi! I clicked on your blog at LeeLou's website and have been laughing my way through your recent posts. You are adorable! AND THEN, I realized that HELLO?!? I think you live very, very close to me! Omigosh, how random, right? I recognize the lake, the pool with the lazy river, the gross zoo, etc. Isn't that crazy! Anyway, I wanted to say hello and that I'm sure I'll be reading more of your witty posts, thanks for "keeping it real" :)

Anonymous said...

The mall is the absolute worst place to go if you're trying to shop on the cheap. Limited Too!! Pa-lease! Highway Robbery would be a more appropriate name for that store.
Don't you have a Wal-Mart or Target? Or for that matter. Salvation Army?

Kelly said...

I say get some pillowcases and a sewing machine!

OvaGirl said...

Congrats! On your shopping success and the new design...very funky! (not the dresses though but at least it's not you having to wear them.)

Caroline W. K. said...

I think I have a playful spirit but some of the girls' t shirts take it a bit to far. One of the worst (with the exception of the shirt reading 'Porn Star' in size
4T) is a shirt with 'I like spending my dad's money'. While that statement might be true, it might be in poor taste to drape a 2 year old in it or reward her for that attitude. It is a far cry from a 'Daddy's girl' t shirt.

Tara G. said...

Of my triplets, who are also preparing for kindergarten, I have one boy who can tolerate no tags, only elastic shorts from Target with boxers & only crocs and one boy who will literally wear anything.

My daughter is just like yours with very particular tastes. Rule #1 is no collars. Rule #2 it must at the very least have pink or purple somewhere. Rule #3 even though she has no butt, no waist and is impossibly skinny she will not tolerate the way those buttons and straps feel on adjustable waist bottoms.

I have got to bite the bullet and take her shopping this week as school starts a week from Monday but boy am I dreading it!