I have been trying to convince our 12 year old to add a new item into her “pajama-yoga-chic” wardrobe.
Before you start screaming, “Let her be her own person! She’s discovering who she is! She’s finding her identity!” Relax. I’m simply suggesting she own a pair of jeans—I’m not saying she has to worship Satan and tattoo spiders on her face like the rest of us.
I love that my kid is comfortable—always. I’m merely suggesting on that rare occasion when we have tea with the queen that she has something with slightly fewer hoods and something in the shoe or boot family vs. the slipper or fuzzy sock family.
I haven’t put any pressure on her at all. I simply wear my super-cool Mom jeans as often as possible (sometimes for weeks on end) in the hopes some of this eclectic cutting edge style will rub off on her. No?
Over the holidays, we visited an outlet mall. I wasn’t trying to lure her away from fleece or spandex or luon (whatever the hell that is) but I saw an opportunity while in the GAP to encourage her to try on a pair of jeans.
She had her eye on a $4 shirt from the clearance rack (I’ve taught them well) but before I would let her pass go into the change room, I made her a deal.
“If you will agree to try on these jeans, I will buy you that shirt in your hand, no questions asked. You just have to try them on and the shirt is yours.”
“What’s the catch?”
“I get to see you in the jeans before you take them off so I know you’ve actually put them on.”
We bumped bellies and sang a Christmas carol (we’re Canadian) and off she went.
Enter my teenage daughter in her amazing (and heavily discounted jeans) and a shirt that looks like all of her other shirts.
Okay Mom, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, “Wow, those look…”
“Nope. I still get the shirt though right?”
“Yes, but the jeans really look…..” (change room door slamming in my face)
We walked through the check-out line in silence. I scurried back to the change room and held the jeans over my arm (like a fur stole being offered to Cinderella) and tried to negotiate one last time, “Hanna, I’m buying you the shirt, that was the deal. Would you be in agreement to having these jeans in a drawer inside your closet? You wouldn’t have to ever wear them, just know they were there in case we get invited to one of those galas with “No yoga or pajamas-that-kids-call-daywear” allowed.
“Mom, I am NEVER going to wear these jeans but if you want me to have them in my closet, fine.”
We packed for our trip home and I was careful to keep the jeans separate from Hanna’s other clothes, even sending them back in a totally different suitcase just in case she found an opportunity to say the jeans were bleeding onto her other clothes or making her cozy socks smell funny.
When we arrived home, the kids all grabbed their clothes from various suitcases and were instructed to put them away. (This was repeated several times so as not to be confused with “Hey kids, throw your clean clothes all over your bedrooms, someone else will clean them up.”)
I tucked Hanna’s jeans into a drawer in her closet after she fell asleep and felt totally and utterly ridiculous about this stupid, exhausting process I have brought completely on myself.
The next morning, the girls woke up for school and out walked our 12 year old in her new shirt and stylish, heavily discounted, adorable jeans.
I kept my shoulders low and my eyes on the floor. I knew one word or the wrong look would send her back to her room to chop those pants into the first ever denim, paper doll chain and I would be wearing the zipper as a necklace.
“Good morning girls, time for pancakes and fresh fruit cups.” (Just kidding, they have to make their own breakfast but that did sound good)
Hanna didn’t mention the snazzy, new strides and neither did I. Mostly because I was afraid of saying something like, “Man, those are some snazzy, new strides.”
I waited on the driveway with the kids for the school bus to arrive. We talked about after school activities, dinner ideas and how a bill becomes law, never did we so much as nod towards Hanna’s pants.
I waved to the kids and heard a little voice as the bus doors closed, it was Chloe, our six year old, “Hey, Hanna’s wearing jeans!”
And then I ran inside.