I put my bag of new shoes in the trunk and Sassy (then 12) and I got into the car to head home. Sassy had never been to the shoe warehouse. I have no idea how many shoes are in there, but ALAWT seems accurate. She’d been awed. She said she wanted so many new shoes. I said, “When your feet stop growing, you can start investing in shoes. While your feet are growing you just need the basics. When you settle into a size, we’ll buy you more. Terrible thing about being an adult, you sometimes don’t consider you should buy new things, since all your old things still fit you.”
She was quiet for a bit and then she asked, “Is that why you don’t buy me clothes all the time anymore?”
“You used to buy me clothes all the time. You hardly ever buy me clothes anymore. You’ll say I need jeans or warmies or whatever and we’ll go get them, but you used to buy me new clothes all the time. Like, all the time.”
“You used to grow so fast, I could barely keep you clothed! I HAD to shop all the time!”
“I feel so much better! I thought you didn’t love me as much anymore.”
“I didn’t know.”
“I thought…Oh, I just thought…”
Can you imagine the heartbreak and devastation of this conversation? I realize it’s also horrible funny, but Oh My God, my child thought I didn’t love her as much anymore!
When we had Irish twins, people said how great it was that we could pass Sassy’s clothes to Moo. No one could have predicted Sassy would be a giantesse and Moo would be tiny. It takes many years for this gap to close on the clothes.
For most of their childhood, people would ask me how far apart they were and when I answered 14 months, people would be shocked, and I have gotten over being asked if I am sure!
For years, Sassy the Giantesse outgrew everything in a matter of months. One day she wore the blue 6-9 month onesie and then the next day, it was too small. That was the beginning. From that point on, she was in the 90th percentile or off the chart. She was in 3T by one year, in a 7/8 by kindergarten, in the women’s department by fourth grade. She passed her older sister a long time ago. Shopping for her was a constant necessity.
For almost two years, I couldn’t keep her in pants, so I’d buy her oversized dresses to wear with tights, and when those crept up on her, she could wear them with leggins and bike shorts.
Sassy would grow out of clothes in a matter of months, but it would be years before Moo could fit into them.
In contrast, Moo didn’t outgrow her training panties until she was 9. She wore a 6x until fourth grade. Moo could ride in the baby basket of the grocery cart until she was 8. Moo was in a car booster seat until she was 10. For most of her life, nurses nagged me about Moo’s weight, until one day, she finally hit the low end of the normal range. I’ve hardly had to buy Moo any clothes. She always had tubs of clothes to grow into. She still has two right now.
When you’ve got another kid to wear all the clothes, you don’t mind to purchase nice quality items, but when you’ve got one who grows so fast, you also gladly accept hand-me-downs, order a lot from eBay, and shop at thrift stores. It was a lot of shopping, constantly, all her life, okay?
Not too long after we moved here, Sassy’s growth rate slowed down considerably. We didn’t take her shopping all the time, we didn’t buy her new shoes every few months, we didn’t order a box lot of clothes from eBay and take her to the thrift shop almost every weekend. We didn’t need to, since she had stuff that fit.
If you’re a child whose whole life has always involved getting lots of things, whether new or new-to-you, when it stops, you don’t see it as a pleasant end to constant shopping, you think maybe you’re not as loved as you had been. Terrible stuff.
This post was inspired by Sassy’s latest growth spurt. She passed my height this summer. Moo is presumed to be seven, even though she’s twelve. She can fit in your average suitcase.