15 minute posts,  Bad Mom,  Bug

That one time I stole a sweater from Old Navy…



Yesterday was a pretty bad day for Bug and I. We regularly get on each other’s nerves but yesterday was really bad.  I admit I am fully responsible for my 50 percent of yesterday’s catastrophes. We had many blow-ups and many tears and many hugs and all’s relatively well in the end. In fact, we fell asleep hugging each other so it can’t be all that bad.


Being a mom is hard! Being a kid is hard!  (insert pathetic moan)


Being a mom to an only kid who is spoiled rotten because she has the full attention of her heliocoptering single-parenting mom who is desperately trying not to over-parent or under-parent or over-compensate for all the crappy things that have happened etc etc etc… One minute I think I’ve created a monster out of my normal well-adjusted brilliant snowflake and the other minute I think I’m doing just fine and I can’t think of a single question to ask her teacher at this week’s parent teacher conference because we are all just finey fine fine.


So how did I end up storming out of an Old Navy with a stolen cashmere sweater on my arms yesterday? I’m not a shoplifter!  I swear!! What the hell?


It all started because I had my hopes up really high. I think all my rants start there. I was looking forward to an afternoon shopping with Bug, just the two of us. We’d hit a few shops, share a macaron at the local French bakery… It would be a special treat!


We never shop. I actually hate shopping. Shopping is not fun when you don’t have much money. I’d rather skip the malls and big box stores all together so I don’t even know what I’m missing out on. Plus, every time we go to Target we end up spending 75 more dollars than I expect so that’s just a danger-zone, mine-field that I try to avoid.


But Bug needs new clothes.


Between her very high standard of fashion that changes every five minutes and the fact that she’s been growing like a weed and wearing her clothes out like she’s on a rugby team or something, our morning get-ready-for-school routine has been a little stressful of late. It’s been painfully obvious that she needs a few things.


So shopping we must go.


Target turned out to be a bust. She didn’t like anything and the things she did like I could NOT stand. Seriously? Off-the shoulder shredded neon t-shirts that are thinner than my threadbare maternity nightgown that I refuse to stop wearing and show more skin than a bathing suit? I’m fine with that in summer when we’re hot and sweaty but not when it’s cold and she thinks jackets are for sissies.


Then there is the shoe situation. Bug is the size of a small toddler. She wears a size eleven shoe. That’s the size that most shoe companies still consider “infant”. All the shoes in her size have big bright hearts and flowers, they’re ridiculously pink and have straps on them because they are meant for bumbling toddlers who still like Dora the Explorer.


Bug thinks she’s seventeen.


She doesn’t like Dora or Barbie or pink or hearts or flowers or pretty much anything at all that Selina Gomez wouldn’t wear.  She’s got some old black converse tennis shoes that she deems acceptable but of course Target didn’t have any of those in her size with shoe strings and not velcro.  So we padded around rejecting everything. It was a joyfest.


She loved the shoes in my section. But that did not solve any problems.


We left and went to Old Navy. By this time I was just thinking she had trouble visualizing how she could rock the kiddie shoes and make them cool. It’s all a matter of attitude and creativity, right?  Vans with little purple skulls could be wicked or sick or deuces or whatever it is the kids say these days.  Sequinned blue keds?  Surely, she could work them into her rockstar outfits?


But no, eye-rolling all around.


“You just don’t GET my style, mom!”


I feel so old. LIke a hundred years old.


I’m sure my mom is chuckling and mumbling something about me getting what I deserve. I know I was awful when I was fourteen but BUG IS SEVEN!!!


Bug is a fashion freak.


Fashion is important to Bug. She comes from a long line of picky fashionistas. After all, her dad is the one who could spend FOUR hours in a Banana Republic and not buy a single thing. And her paternal grandmother is the one who wouldn’t hear a thing you said but could notice a stray thread from across the room. I’m an artist, her dad’s an artist. Self expression is a way of life. etc etc etc…


She is who she is.


And that is about when I had had it up to here with Bug and her fashion sense and stormed out of the Old Navy with a borrowed sweater on my BODY.


It was cold! They always have the air conditioning cranked up to North Pole in Old Navy. I put it on the minute I walked in the store and I was totally going to buy it. I thought we’d leave with a few things but then all hell broke lose.


I needed a Mommy-time out.  I should have headed to the restroom or the dressing room or maybe even the maternity section to hide and count to five hundred in my head. But no, I stormed out! With Bug trailing right behind me.


I hate to be anticlimactic but once I was in the car and Bug was sniffling and putting her seatbelt on, I realized what I had done. So I walked back into the store, took the sweater off, tried to fold it back up neatly as I could with no retail training (I pretty much did an awful job) and put it back on the table where it came from.

Nobody even noticed.

I’m sure they were too busy looking up the phone number for CPS.


  • Beck

    Oh my goodness. I laughed so hard I almost cried at this “So we padded around rejecting everything. It was a joyfest.”

    I so can relate. Keep on keeping on!

  • Susan:)

    I just have to smile. My nearly six yr old niece is a lot like Bug. She is very into fashion and has very definite ideas of what she will and wont wear, which I do not always agree with! She’s been picky about clothes since age 2 when she refused to wear anything but sleeveless dresses for nearly two years! These days, she is into turquoise and sequins. At least she wears sleeves now and leggings. We finally got her into shorts this summer. Now if only she would let us do her hair!

  • Yara

    I’m sorry. I’ve accidentally taken something out of a store without paying (a dress I meant to pay for, but I hadn’t grabbed a cart at Target and the dress was over my shoulder, the boy in my arms amd the cashier said nothing)
    I also have a picky shopper. Being a mom IS hard! My mom totally laughed at me last week. But mine is a preteen quickly growing up and at least she will not-grumbling wear the perfectly good skinny jeans handed down by my cousins niece.

    Big frustrated mom hug to you.

  • Cathy

    Hah – you’re stealing a sweater and fashion wrestling Bug and making me chuckle at work (thank you!) It was hard for me when my eight year old wore her last dress one day after being a princessy, mermaidy, fairy-y little girl and never wore one again until once at 13 then not again til senior prom! At 18 she still poo-poos pink, glittery, neon, floral and rolls her eyes at 98% of dresses. Wanna trade? ;)

  • Sarah

    Ah, poor Bug: the never-ending embarrassment of having a parent…. Amazing how kids survive having to deal with the old people who can’t possibly understand ;) Good thing you can be so frustrated and yet see the humor in it !

  • Amy

    LOL!!! Pity you did not keep the sweater, you so EARNED it ;)

    My daughter is 16 and knows it all, is a fashion fanatic and driving me insane. Tell me where I can get me some ‘Mommy Time Out’!!!

  • Dawn

    First of all–you are NOT a bad mom by any stretch of the imagination, and IF they called CPS on you they would have to do it for all moms. My daughter has been a fashonista since she could walk. I pretty much just gave in and let her do whatever she wanted–and believe me there were some INTERESTING outfits. She is now 14 and a much more refined and respectable taste. I think she got it all out of her system when she was 10. lol. Good luck and hang in there!!

  • lynne

    I’ve walked out of a clothes shop before now with a pair of trousers in my hand as I got distracted when my cell phone rang and I went outside to answer it. I set the alarm bells off and security guard chased after me. Whoops! But the security guard let me off as he could tell was absent minded and not a thief. Phew!

  • lynne

    What I meant to say is .. it happens :) Also I remember my mother and I having some “different” of what was suitable clothing, especially school shoes when I was a young teenager. I think I was easier than my older sister who had to see what was in every shop before she would decide. I do remember our shopping rips fondly though :)

  • MargieK

    I sense that the hardest part is that if money were no object, you’d gladly indulge Bug in what she wants — if you could. But not only does she have specific ideas about what she will and won’t wear, she’s small enough that the things she wants don’t come in her size.

    My parents were raised during the “great depression,” which really had an impact on them. Even though my dad was a college professor and made enough that my mom could stay home, they were always extremely frugal, and taught (forced?) me to be grateful for what I had. So I wore what I was given, whether I liked it or not and didn’t dare challenge them.

    Maybe it’s too late to convey to her that life is tough and there are people worse off than her and that she’s lucky that you can afford things from Target and Old Navy, and that even if she doesn’t like what they offer, that’s what you can afford, so she’s going to have to make do with what there is and maybe hope that since fashion changes with the seasons, maybe next spring the colors and styles will be more to her liking.

    In the meantime, though, perhaps the boys’ department, where you won’t find any pink or hearts or flowers, will have something that fits? Or maybe Goodwill or other used clothing shops?

    I don’t know how many times I started singing the Rolling Stones’ “You can’t always get what you want” to my kids when they would complain about things not being to their liking. Because it sounds like she’s pretty much putting you “between a rock and a hard place,” and that’s not right. You’re the mom, and you control the purse strings.

    Believe it or not I was about her age when I learned to sew. Since you have relatives who sew, perhaps one of them can get her started with some simple items she would wear? I know this doesn’t solve the shoe problem, but at the very least it might give her more appreciation for the clothes she has and how difficult it is to replace them.

  • Chelsea

    I don’t know if this will help, but my daughter loves shoes as well. I buy her shoes at piperlime.com and they have really good sales on really cool shoes – even all the way down to the toddler sizes (not all flowers and princesses). Adults even comment on that they wish they had her shoes and she is a size 11t. If you sign up for emails they will alert you to amazing sales and coupons and if you happen to have an Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic card you get more discounts. The shipping is free both ways (in case the shoes don’t fit). I get my shoes from there as well – I hate buying shoes – the comments that people write are also very helpful. Also, I don’t work for Piperlime or anything they have just been a lifesaver for me. When my daughter goes to the shoe section she wants to try on adult high heels as opposed to the shoes that actually fit her…

  • Fishwomen

    Cloths/Shoes shopping is a struggle for me and my girls too. My oldest is 12 and has very narrow feet. Other than flip flops she only has 5 pair of shoes including 2 pairs of gym shoes one for home and one for school. Someone mentioned piperline. We use Zappos and Nordstroms as well. Also check out Kohls and famous footwear somethings they have cute shoes for girls. For clothes–I absolutely abhore going into Justice for girls they do have some good sales for clearance items as well as Macy’s. Having recently been out with my girls looking for winter clothes Old Navy and Target have very boring choices for this year.

    The shopping will not get better–only worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.