Miss Claire feels pretty strongly that pants, especially jeans, are not comfortable. She claims they are itchy inside and hurt her waist, even if they are jersey cotton jeggings and have no waistband to speak of.
In the warmer months, this pants thing is not a problem. She wears the kid equivalent of biker shorts and strappy tank tops every single day. Because she’s so skinny, these items fit her like normal clothes fit other kids, which is to say, they aren’t fitted at all. (Her father has the same thing with skinny jeans. On other people, they’re all camel-toe-y. On Joel, they just look like regular jeans.)
When I picked Claire up from school on Wednesday, it was around 35 degrees, which is definitely too cold for shorts and a tank top. It also snowed this week, so she can’t default to sweatpants, her preferred pant of choice. Her adorable new furry winter boots are too bulky for pants to fit over, so the legs need to be skinny enough to tuck inside.
And thus, while trying to pick out clothes for school yesterday, began the great pants debate.
Because Claire splits her time between her dad’s and her mom’s, it’s hard to keep a regular stockpile of clothes in any one place. A lot of the stuff ends up at her mom’s, where she spends more time, so Joel often has out-of-season stuff or clothes that don’t fit anymore. He also has a pile of things that he impulse bought at Target, which she refuses to wear, even though quite frankly her father has excellent taste in clothes. Like, he’s really stylish, which is one of the things I really about him.
After a lot of back and forth about what pants go with what shoes and what pants are appropriate for winter and demanding that she try on All The Pants, she finally told us very calmly that she “doesn’t much like it” when people buy her things and she doesn’t get to pick them out. So I made her a deal. She and I would go to Target after school, and she would pick out pants. I only had one rule: NO SWEATPANTS.
You know what? Once she stopped mucking around in the pajamas and winter wear, it wasn’t a bad excursion. She picked out lots of good things, and proclaimed that one pair in particular were SO COOL, and she seemed genuinely joyful to have the opportunity to choose her own stuff. While I kept having to put back the size sixes for 6x — she was convinced that 6 was right, even though her legs are a mile long — we had a fun time romping around the family-sized fitting room.
As a reward, I let her get a pair of velour sweatpants that she was coveting, and also let her pick out a top. Big mistake! By this point, her attention was shot, and instead of finding a sweater or something, she wanted to dance and hide from me and talk in funny voices and pick up all the headbands and jewelry. I have to remember that Claire is not my bestie shopping buddy. She’s a kid, and won’t be ready for marathon shopping trips for a little while.
Of course, when we got home and started putting together tomorrow’s outfits, the disagreements began anew. She paired her new oatmeal grey sweatshirt tunic with her new heather grey leggings, and nothing I could do would convince her that grey on grey was a bad idea. How old does she have to be to recognize that I’m good at making outfits? 8? 18?