Tis the season to go broke…

One evening last week we were driving home from gymnastics lessons when it began to snow.  I got all excited, and my 4-year-old asked why I was happy about snow.

“I love snow!” I exclaimed.

“But my teacher says that snow makes mommies sad because it gets all over their cars,” she replied.

“Well, I don’t mind because it’s so pretty,” I told her.

She thought about that for a second.  “But,” she protested, “it’s not pink! Or sparkly!

I smothered my laughter and said, “C, things don’t have to be pink and sparkly to be pretty.”

Truly perplexed, she replied, “They don’t?”

Her obsession with all things pink and sparkly is further evidenced by the sneakers she picked out today when I had a momentary lapse of sanity and ended up with both my girls at the mall five days before Christmas.

I braved the mall because I’ve been wanting to take my daughter to try on jeans.  It used to be that I would shop, buy what I like, bring them home, and she would wear them.  ‘Nuff said.

But on the brink of her fifth birthday, she is becoming increasingly opinionated about what she wears and how her clothing fits, and every time I bring home a new pair of pants there is something wrong with them.  Which leads to an enormous blowout every morning when it is time to get dressed for school.

The blowout basically consists of my daughter writhing on the floor, pulling and hitching at her clothing and making all sorts of inhumane noises that are supposed to convey discontent and frustration, while I stand over her and tell her in no uncertain terms that she is wearing the ding-dang pants and she better get over herself and put a smile on her face because I am tired of being late to school.

This happens every. single. morning.  I always win, but not without a price.  The price being my sanity.  So I thought perhaps we could avoid the drama if I allowed her to pick out her own clothes.

Silly me.

The morning blowouts are superseded on the drama scale only by the performance she put on at the Gap this afternoon as I forced her to try on several pairs of jeans in hopes of finding a couple pairs that she would deem acceptably comfortable.

Of course this was AFTER we spent a half hour in the crowded food court scarfing down our Chick-Fil-A lunches standing up because there were no seats to be had, a half hour sitting on a bench in the playground area while my girls enjoyed chocolate ice cream cones, and another half hour in the Stride Rite store trying on sneakers.

So it’s no wonder she wasn’t feeling particularly cooperative by the time we made it to the Gap.  I did, however, leave with three pairs of jeans.


And while none of them seemed at the time to meet the high standards for fit and comfort that my daughter demands, perhaps there will be something in the lot that she will be willing to wear when it’s time to get ready for school in the morning.

I realize this is about as likely as peace in the Middle East, but I ask you.  Without hope, is life really worth living?

And besides, that’s what return policies are for.

As I mentioned, on our way to try on jeans we stopped at the shoe store.  I figured my 2-year-old might be outgrowing her shoes, and while we were there, I had them size my 5-year-old as well.  As it turns out, both girls needed new shoes.


Thank goodness they were having a sale, so we made it out of the store without losing our shirts.  But still.  New shoes were not in my master plan this month.

And did I mention that I parked outside of Sears and just so happened to walk past their Christmas department on the way into the mall?  And they were having a 40% off sale?  I have been wanting some gold ribbon for my formal tree, and I found exactly what I wanted so I grabbed it and made my way to the register, where I waited for fifteen minutes to make my purchase while my girls proceeded to poke and prod the seasonal blowup lawn ornaments on display and beg for every trinket in sight.

And somehow between the time I bought the ribbon and the time I got home, I misplaced the bag of ribbon.  I can’t find it anywhere, so I think I must have absentmindedly set it down somewhere during our shopping torture excursion.  At any rate, I do not have it, and my formal tree still looks rather nekkid.


Then this afternoon I stopped by the local butcher’s to pick up the rib roast I had ordered for Christmas dinner.  I guess it would have been a good idea to inquire beforehand about the cost of a piece of roast beast.  Because if I had inquired and been informed, I’m pretty sure I would be serving lasagna for Christmas dinner this year.

I’m glad the butcher was preoccupied with the cash register when he rang up my order and announced the amount I owed because had he been looking at me, he would have seen my jaw drop to my knees in horror and disbelief.  But he was blissfully oblivious to my consternation as I passed my Visa across the counter in a daze, imagining my husband’s face when he sees this charge on our bill.


Tis the season to go broke, evidently.

Tomorrow (today, if you are reading on Friday, which is probably when this will post) is the last day of school before the winter break, and after a preschool Christmas program and a 2nd grade holiday party I will have all three of my kids at home with me for well over a week.  So my blog posting might be a bit sporadic over the next few days.

So if I don’t get another chance to say it, Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!  Seasons Greetings!  And all that jazz.

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21 thoughts on “Tis the season to go broke…

  1. Each time I head to the store, I tell myself surely this is the last time before Christmas. After all, my refrigerator contains 7 bricks of cream cheese, 4 boxes of margerine, one box of butter plus there’s 8 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of flour, 4 boxes of brown sugar and various other items in the pantry. So what am I planning on doing this morning? Heading to the grocery store of course. Because there are at least seven items on my list that are essential to the survival of Christmas cooking as we know it. Sigh. And my checking acoount isn’t quite empty. And isn’t that the goal?

  2. I loved this post – I hate shopping with a passion, but sometimes will take the grands to the mall to “play in the play place”, which of course leads to a stop at the DQ on the way out. Chick Fil A sometimes as well. But NOT THIS WEEK. In fact, since being on our trip, I have not had the heart or the time to do any shopping. I hate to say it, but it’s going to be gift cards in gift bags this year. If you read about my daughter’s bed fast condition, you’ll understand.

    I have to say your 5-year-old sounds a lot like our Care Bear. She isn’t that way about clothes, but about anything else that gets into her head that isn’t instantly granted to her. She’s wonderful and adorable and brilliant – and STUBBORN. I have them a lot, so I am qualified and privileged to say these things.

    Anyway, it took me 50 years and 25 years of marriage to get to Hawaii, so there’s plenty of time! This was our 2nd trip, for our 35th, so it took 10 more years to get back. I hope not so many the next time. I’ve been doing a travelogue, and have reached Day 3 by Post 5. Could be a long one, if I continue!

    I came over from Home on the Range, and I love your writing style. You and my daughter would make good posting buddies, I think. She’s a great writer, too.

  3. oh, my dd would love those shoes too!! for us, it’s always dangerous when we come up on the clearance shoes at Target – she finds lots of pretty things there!

    thankfully we have not had to breach the clothing shopping yet – especially since i still buy a lot of stuff for her at garage sales & store it in her closet!!

    be sure to take lots of pictures of your roast beast, and savor every mouthful!!

  4. I only buy a rib roast when my grocery store puts them on sale. Even then it has to be a really good meal, because on sale they can be $20 or $30, so I can imagine what your bill must have been. Yikes.

  5. OK, God bless you for including sitting for 30 minutes and eating an ice cream cone after standing and eating your lunch. By then I would have been in “hurry up, we have to go” mode. See- now you can get over your guilt about not swimming at the gym!!!

    Merry Christmas! (And I can’t even imagine the rib roast- ugh- I would have been afraid to even order the thing!)

  6. It’s a good thing God gives us our children when we are young cause if I had to do the jeans thing I would need a nap before I could leave the store!!!! In fact I am weary just thinking about doing all of that mall thing with little ones! ha! That’s why I took D for his shopping WAY before Christmas. T could care less what she wears each day but D changes his clothes about 5 times per! I’d nip that in the bud or butt or whatever! Way too much laundry for me to do!

    BTW do you have my Mississippi Mud Pie recipe? I think I may have posted it months ago. Everyone loves it and you can make it the day before and it is totally loaded with fat and sugar which makes for a great holiday dessert! :o)

  7. “The blowout basically consists of my daughter writhing on the floor, pulling and hitching at her clothing and making all sorts of inhumane noises that are supposed to convey discontent and frustration, while I stand over her and tell her in no uncertain terms that she is wearing the ding-dang pants and she better get over herself and put a smile on her face because I am tired of being late to school.”

    OMG! I thought only my daughter did this! It’s so good to know that others suffer through this as well. We had a blow up issue the other day. It seems my daughter loves these shoes her grandma got her but they are tie shoes. She refuses to learn how to tie her shoes, and she wouldn’t let me tie them. Ugh. Half an hour later, we finally leave with her old shoes on.

    Brave woman going shopping! Merry CHRISTmas!
    Lisa B.

  8. Tell me how it’s possible for five-year-olds to REALLY be uncomfortable in their jeans. My daughter is the same way and I am so fed up with the daily battles.

    Have a merry one, my friend.

  9. I feel for you….my 4 year old is starting to get picky about what she wears too, but it’s more a colour than a comfort thing – like this morning’s “WAAAHHHHH!!! This shirt has BLACK on it! Get it off, get it off!!!! NO Black on me!!! I only like purple!!! Purple is my favourite colour!!!!”

    And I didn’t price Prime Rib, but I’m in charge of dessert for Christmas at my sister’s, and I was going to make a tiramisu trifle I found on Bon Appetit’s website….until I realized that just the mascarpone would cost over $25….the whole thing would’ve been over $50! No thanks!

  10. i’m assuming that Visa is a charge card, and not a debit one. lol. because if it were me, i would totally be up crap creek without a paddle 😛

    for some reason, i keep finding things that i need to buy. and it’s driving me CRAZY. i just need to say, as my dad does, “if you ain’t got it, you ain’t gonna get it”…lol.


    good luck with your beast! (i meant the roast, not the babies.)

  11. It’s funny you should mention your rib roast, because I just came from the grocery store where I was drooling over the beef tenderloin and other “high-end” meat and saw a rib roast and thought of you. And then I thought, Wow, that’s pricey! She’s gone upscale on us for this meal! I hope it turns out beautifully! Merry Christmas!

  12. I thought little girls that age only wore dresses. 😉

    Merry Christmas!

    Rebecca, who is leaving momentarily for the primo expensive meat store, but definitely not buying any roast! I’m thinking about buying some lovely steaks, wrapping them with my hero’s name on, and sticking them in the freezer to be found Christmas morning. he hee.

  13. Welcome to my life, only with 3-4 kids in tow. 🙂 I have to take Princess to try things on now too, because she doesn’t wear the same size in anything. I like the shoes–very cute. I have left bags at stores before and been able to get them back. But I suppose you will be out of luck since you probably left it in the mall. Bummer. I’ve got all of mine at home for two weeks!

    Merry Christmas!

  14. Wow, that sounded like a terrible shopping trip. And I thought my trip to the grocery store just now was bad….

    What about the knit pants for girls? They look comfy and they seem reasonably stylish enough for a 5 year old?

    Butchers are expensive, but usually they are worth it…

  15. You going to the mall so close to Christmas definatly beats my trip to Target :).
    My son is 4 1/2 and has to pick out his clothes now. It’s so annoying because all he wants to wear are button down shirts and slacks. Can you say Alex Keaton??
    I shouldn’t complain- it’s better than the phase he went through were he insisted on wearing a different shoe on each foot and his shirts backwards.

  16. I am SO tired of buying clothes for the princess and her REFUSING to wear them. Or she wears them until we are walking out the door to school and then they are suddenly unbearable uncomfortable and she MUST change.

    I TOLD you that roast was pricey!!

  17. I laughed my way through this post. My daughter will actually have a fit in the middle of the night if she has an accident and we need to change her pajamas. She will insist that they aren’t comfortable. How can you tell the difference at three in the morning?!

    Unlike you, I did a horrible job this morning of hiding my horror when the pharmacist told me that a tiny bottle of eye drops for pink eye would cost me fifty dollars. What?

  18. You are a brave woman heading to the mall so close to Christmas! Cute shoes though.

    If you phone the mall info desk maybe some kind soul turned in your ribbon.

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