Jul 14, 2004

The Personal Shopper

All the celebrities have one...they make the celebrity look all decked out in the latest fashions. You've even seen them on "Extreme Makeover". But, not many people are aware of this closet skill that many mother's posses. I was so thrilled to find out that I, too, am a personal shopper. I pick out coordinated outfits for my children, one and all, each and every day - sometimes even two. Unlike most personal shoppers, I also get to launder these fabulous outfits. But I don't mind that secondary responsibility that comes along with 'the title'.

My eldest son, Gavin, who is 5, loves that he has a personal shopper. I am like putty in his hands (so he thinks). I take my position quite seriously on this little subject since he has acquired zero fashion sense. We'll thank genetics on that one (particularly Grandpa). However, I'm glad I can be there to assist him during such critical choices such as: does the "I'm a Dunkin Donuts kid" bright royal blue with pink letters t-shirt go with light blue basketball shorts? I think not - actually, it really doesn't go with anything, ever. It was cute on him at two - but I think it's out-lived it's 15 minutes of fame and needs to stay in the back of the closet.

Most of the time he listens. But when he likes his choice better than mine I break out into a small sweat and try to calmly encourage my choice. When that fails, I opt for plan C - find the sticker to place on his back that reads: "I picked out my own clothes today" so that other mothers won't look down on his personal shopper. It is in those moments that I'm unable to explain to the other 'personal shoppers' that I didn't even buy the Dunkin Donuts t-shirt and that he is in the critical phase of early childhood development where he needs to exercise his choices - even if they aren't the one's mommy would make.

Thankfully, my two year old, Bennett is already showing signs of fashion intelligence. If we could ever get him out of diapers, he could dress himself to look like quite the happing kid. He even turns down clothes options that his personal shopper lays out for him in the mornings. Again, his personal shopper doesn't take this personally because she knows that such choices are important for children to make to feel like they are 'independent'.

Sweet Chloe is my living little Barbie doll and I am in personal shopper's paradise when it comes to outfitting her, at least at this age (3mos). We might have to readdress this topic at a later date when she ges to the 'age of reckoning'. That is the stage of life which most little girls go through when it dawns on them that Mom might be stuck in a fashion time warp. IF that moment ever occurs between Chloe and myself, I will gently redirect her current fashion mishaps and guide her back to the ever so beautiful fashions of the 80's like I grew up with - and I turned out just fine, didn't I?!

Did I mention that if you choose to become a personal shopper - it would be handy to have a degree in psychology, reverse psychology, or mind-reading? You will find that this doesn't only come in handy for purchasing and putting clothes on your children, but in all aspects of parenthood.



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