Because I dislike shopping I decided to try to get my kids' fall wardrobes all in one day and have it done. The rainy, chilly weather brought the fact that they have few cold-weather clothes that actually fit to my immediate attention. So ten o'clock saw us loading up in the brown car and heading downtown. Finally after almost four years of children I have hit upon a system that seems to work. I start at the cheapest thrift shop and get anything I like in the right size. On to the next one. Then I fill in the edges with stuff from Wal-Mart. Lastly I go to the mall and get a couple of new, nice things so each kid gets something new. In this way they get an entire fall wardrobe but I don't have to spend hundreds of dollars.
With this in mind, I stopped first at Salvation Army. They are by far the cheapest; each item there is only $0.99. (Don't tell Wholarmor, she might picket.) The kids found enough toys there, thoughtfully stored under the clothing racks to entertain them for hours. Curly Miss found a MegaBloks fire engine that she decided she couldn't live without, so that was added to our pile. She kept leaving her Nap (blankie) around the store and I had to tell her repeatedly not to forget it.
Next we went to Goodwill, clear across town where Curly discovered she was missing her Nap. This was the point where I just about had a meltdown. We scrounged for kids' clothes in Goodwill, where they are not organized in any sensible fashion at all, so it is next to impossible to find the correct sizes. My kids rode tricycles around the store, while I prayed that they wouldn't ride into the racks of glassware. Needless to say I spent as little time there as I could and soon we were buckling back into the car.
We picked up Mom for lunch then we all went back across town to Salvation Army for the Nap. once it was retrieved, we met Hubby at the Mall and ate lunch. Having so much of my family around me for lunch was wonderful, since I am leaving tomorrow afternoon. Even though four days is not technically that long, I know I will miss everyone immensely.
After Hubby headed back to work, Mom and I decided she would be in charge of buying the kids' shoes. My mother has something of a shoe fetish; ever since watching a fantasy miniseries called the Tenth Kingdom she jokes that she is one of the trolls who loves shoes. At any rate she was tickled to be asked to buy shoes for the kids and we headed to Famous Footwear. Once there Curly Miss insisted that she needed shoes with Thomas the Train on them. Although there were shoes with Dora, Princesses, Spiderman and even Lightning McQueen, there were no Thomas shoes. Out we trooped, stopping in a Payless Shoes where an apologetic sales clerk informed us that they too had no Thomas.
Next we went to Ross where the kids each picked out a new outfit. Curly chose a cute High School Musical top with stars down the sleeve and Seth picked a shirt with a basketball on it. But we were once again disappointed when it came to the shoes. For a minute our hopes ran high as we spotted some size 8 Thomas shoes. Would they also have size 11? We searched high and low. Unfortunately the largest size they carried was 9. Curly, almost in tears, pleaded that a size 9 would work, but when we put it on her foot, her toes were so crunched that she agreed she needed a bigger shoe.
Our last stop was Wal-Mart where (hooray!) they carried Thomas shoes in every conceivable size. We purchased 11's for Curly and Little Mister amazingly needed a size 8 to give him growing room. My tall children need surprisingly large clothes and shoes. Mister isn't even two years old yet and is in kindergarten-sized shoes.
Mom reminded me to grab some Cheerios and we headed back out into the brisk Moscow wind. Being the doting Grandmother that she is, she put the new shoes on the kids right away, then we merrily headed back to drop her off and go home to nap.
Once home, I laid my purchases out on the table. I had done well, I thought. There were four outfits for Mister, four for Missie, several warm jammies each and a darling little blue and white pleated skirt/jacket dress for Curly Miss to wear to church. Along with that they had new tennis shoes and new slippers. Now I need to go through their drawers to pull all of the too-small clothes and put them in storage. It seems that keeping up with growing children is a never ending job. Now Curly can start Preschool in style and Little Mister won't have to wear pink sleepers unless the laundry gets really backed up.