Since a colleague's little guy wears clothing about a year ahead of my peanut, we inherit many hand-me-downs I'm desperately seeking, like snowsuit or swim trunks. Not being much of a shopper, I never realized until I needed to find these vital items, that I should have sought the swim trunks for June in January and the snowsuit for December in July.
Sadly, not one place I visited offered a Magic 8 Ball able to predict the size my unpredictably growing son would be wearing six months hence. Thank goodness for the hand-me-down tradition still alive and well – and for thrift and consignment shops, too!
Allow me to vent for just a moment. I have very few pet peeves, most of which revolve around poor drivers and stupid television commercials, but one additional peeve has reached the summit in the recent months: Retail stocking.
I understand, sort of, a store's need to stock items for an upcoming season a month or two ahead of time – especially craft stores whose patrons need those holiday fabrics in June to start churning out stockings and tree skirts and all things festive.
I might even excuse the department stores who, in January, trot out their bathing suit stock – presumably to cater to those snowbirds fleeing to the south or the lucky northerners headed on tropical cruises.
However, it defies logic that stores who cater to little people put out summer stock beginning, well, now. Perhaps mothers who've been doing the kid-thing for a while can predict the rate at which their children will grow and sizes they'll wear in four or five months. I sure can't.
I traded in three footie-pj sets for one size smaller because when I bought these winter sleep sets (in July), my little guy was growing at such a rate that I projected he'd be wearing 24-month clothing at a year. I overestimated by six months.
I don't have time to drive to every clothing outlet in the valley in search of the right-sized current-season clothing. I'm also not confident enough, yet, to buy Ben's clothing online. I still like to check that zippers zip, snaps snap, and seams won't split from a full-but-not-yet-changed diaper.
These stores have lost a more regular shopper who's turned to more traditional- and less expensive – means of clothing acquisition. Bring it on hand-me-downs, Via, and Free-cycle!