I haven't enjoyed shopping in a very long time. It is pretty rare for me to shop alone, with no children. I don't consider grocery shopping the same as 'shopping'. However, I rarely do that alone either. We have three teen girls who are always in need of something or other. I used to be able to pick things up for them without them being there. Now a simple size is no longer simple, they have to be there to try clothes on. Not to mention that I can no longer figure out what they like and what they don't like. I could buy something identical to a favorite shirt or the like, and they would hate it. Just when I think I have a clue what they like, they change their minds.
So, now I have to shop with them. We were in Target the other day shopping for bathing suits for the the 14 year old twins. As I sat there waiting for the girls to show me what they liked, holding a squirming 3 year old boy, I learned my girls aren't so bad. That was a surprise. There were a few other moms sitting as I was with serious frowns cementing lines into their foreheads as their daughters threw hissy fit after hissy fit over what they wanted versus what was appropriate for their age ranges.
My daughters liked some bathing suits that I would never have let them wear around the house let alone in public, but they didn't throw hissy fits. I would simply say "yes that's okay" or "no". One mom asked me how I got them to be so agreeable. I laughed and told her that they had to find a suit that I approved of or they simply wouldn't get one. She actually seemed confused.
I wish our girls were still built like this other mom's 14 year old daughter. She was a stick, no curves and no boobs. They were having a very difficult time agreeing on a bathing suit. I told her that her daughter would still fit into the bathing suits at Justice for girls. She laughed and said her daughter refused to even go into that store. Wow, our girls were frustrated they couldn't wear Justice suits anymore and I was frustrated I couldn't buy them a suit at the Justice prices.
We then went to our new favorite store, a second hand shop that is huge and carries great name brand clothes. My girls were in a dressing room there and another mom was arguing with her daughter loudly. I gave her the 'so sorry' look. She sighed and said, "I will trade you mine for whatever you have in that dressing room". I laughed out loud. Then I simply told her that I had twin 14 year old girls in there. She cracked me up, all she said was, "F*@#!"
I remember when our girls were much younger we would go out to a public place, like a play area in the mall. Parents would ask me how I managed with three toddlers. I would say one minute at a time. There are memories that I am pretty sure are mentally blocked due to sleep deprivation. The girls ask me things like, "what was our first words?" And I have no idea. I didn't sleep for five years. Someday I hope those memories come flooding back, but until then we have lots of pictures to help fill in the holes in my mind.
However, no matter how overwhelmed I was, everyone else's kids were a constant reminder to me that mine were not so bad. I am honestly surprised every time that happens. I am surprised and pleased that our children may be little brats from time to time, but they are good kids at heart. I may be the Candy Ass Mom, but saying no isn't that hard to do. Really, it's not.
I don't think I will ever enjoy shopping, especially with teenagers. However, I will always appreciate my children and their absence of hissy fits.