A few days ago I had a mini photo shoot with the girls. I love this photographer. I want her to do a session with the whole family and then I'll frame them and hang them up and, while I'm at it, hang up the pictures from our last family photo shoot from November 2013. Good intentions, but we still haven't managed to get family pictures taken. However, because this photographer also takes the pictures at Madison's dance school, they arranged a Valentine's theme shoot, and we jumped at the chance.
Now dressing for these kind of things totally stresses me out. I want the girls to look cute. I want them to coordinate without matching. I want them to look like themselves...but well dressed, clean clothed versions of themselves.
And the problem with a Valentine's Day shoot is that I didn't want it to be too Valentine-y. If I dressed them in red or covered them with hearts, I couldn't use them on next year's Christmas card (since I don't have a ton of faith in myself to actually schedule another shoot). And I didn't want to buy new clothes! And hair accessories! And..
So I asked some photography savvy friends and I emailed the photographer herself...and I gave in. With all the props she was planning to use, dressing them in black or blue would just look weird. So off I went to the mall to find something "Valentine-y but not too Valentine-y".
After about a half hour of asking employees and various unsuspecting moms in Gymboree, I settled on pink and red heart outfits, which actually looked super cute. They were Valentine-y, no doubt, but they can definitely wear them again. And the session was A-MAY-ZING. I can't WAIT to see finished products.
But I'd forgotten my coupon. And that was just unacceptable. 20% is a lot!
So naturally, the only logical thing to do, since Gymboree doesn't price adjust for coupons, was to go back, rebuy the items WITH a coupon, and then return them with the receipt for the original purchase.
Now I had to bring the girls with me.
A few months ago, when I was trying to pick up mom friends in the play area, shopping with the girls was fairly easy. The girls sat in the stroller while I picked out a few things. Easy. They didn't really care.
Then Madison started to care. She'd typically follow my lead, but she'd express preferences for certain thing and disdain for others. When our tastes didn't match, I simply told her the offending item wasn't available in her size.
Oh, that's a shame, baby. The sequined purple dress with attached tutu just doesn't come in your size! Darn it!
I'm sorry kiddo, those light up Dora sneakers just don't come in your size! Too bad!**
Anyway, she cared, but Reagan didn't. So when I was on the lookout for coordinating dresses, I only had to worry about Madison. As long as Madison was ok with it, Reagan would wear it.
Yesterday the tide turned.
I brought the girls into Gymboree, and rather than running toward the back where the TV was, they started shopping. Both girls were pawing through the racks of the full priced clothes saying things like "oh, I love this shirt!" and "Mommy, look at this dress!" and "MOMMY! They have shoes with cats on them!"
And if that wasn't enough, Reagan kept picking things and asking "my size? My size?".
Ballet flats. My size?
A new dress. My size?
A denim jacket. My size?
The kid was attempting to try things on.
And she started piling adorable things into her abandoned seat in the stroller.
Even Madison didn't do the actual shopping. She asked about things, but she never actually took them off the rack!
Naturally, I reminded them that we were there to return something and we would pick another shopping day later. And didn't they want to go to the play area? They did, so we finished up our errand, played nicely, and returned home in our sensible playclothes for a nap.
Ha ha ha ha ha. That's a lie. I returned and rebought the Valentine outfits...and promptly spent the difference plus an additional dollar amount on cute dresses and denim jackets.
If the evolution has already reached this place, I think we're in serious trouble for the next sixteen years.
**It should be noted that this no longer works. Madison knows her size and can read tags. Not only that, but she has taught Reagan how to recognize HER size. So now I've been telling her that those particular things are "too expensive" or "not on sale". Which will also come back to bite me, since she's already asking me what "clearance" means***.
***For future reference, clearance means "expensive".