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Use a Pen, dammit

Use a Pen, dammit

September 11, 2007

“Wait, was there a message?” I asked.

“Yeah, but I can’t remember.” he answered, looking down at his computer. Like I was interrupting him from some very important thing, like perusing the lego website. My blood pressure started to go up.

I have a post up about my son and his inability to TAKE A MESSAGE when he answers the phone.

Our lazy summer days are over. School has started again in earnest and since I am the teacher that means I am busy teaching and planning and alternately between patting myself on the back and being crippled by feelings of self-doubt. The activities the kids are all involved in have restarted and I feel as though I am in a contest to see if I can drive to every corner of the state in a single day.

I ordered the kids a bunch of new clothes online last week, mostly jeans since they wear through the knees in record time. There was a good sale and so I bought 4 pair of jeans each for five kids. The jeans came and NONE OF THEM FIT. Not one. When my fifth kid was trying on the jeans, in the size he should be wearing, and they were twice as big around the waist as they should be and too long I started to wonder if I have mutant children. Miniature mutant children.

So now I need to head to the store, with my children, to exchange the jeans for ones that fit. Just typing those words makes me want to curl up in a ball in the corner of the room.

Posted by Chris @ 8:42 am  

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  1. Courtney says:

    Don’t you just HATE that? I bought my DD, who will be 8 in 2 weeks, some pants for school yesterday that were on clearance. She has always been petite, but I thought 7 slim would do. Nope. HUGE in the waist and way too long. Seriously? I have to my 8 y.o. size 6 pants! Oh well, maybe she’ll get lucky and have my sister’s slim figure, not always fighting the battle of the bulge like her mommy!

  2. Mary Alice says:

    On the anniversary of 9-11 all my usual petty annoyances fade away and I am grateful to stand in lines, I am grateful to exchange things, I am grateful that normal life exists….because six years ago life was SO not normal. Tomorrow, I will be annoyed with ill fitting jeans.

  3. peepnroosmom says:

    I curl up in a ball just thinking I have to take my son clothes shopping. I swear he is worse than a girl!

  4. Chris says:

    Mary Alice,

    Well thank you for making me feel petty and self centered.

  5. Jenn says:

    My 6 yo has a pair of jean shorts she wears to school that are a 3T. Every time I buy her jeans they are too big in the waist and too short in the legs. I have to look for the kind that have that adjust strap thing inside the waist and cinch it as small as possible and cross my fingers.

  6. Maria says:

    Lands End and only Lands End. First - just about everything has a waist adjuster - critical for my stringbean “slim” kids. Second - everything is 100% guaranteed FOR LIFE. They wear through the knees of the “knee buster khakis”, return them, absolutely no hassle, and get a gift card worth of credit for the next order. LIFE LINE for my six kids.

  7. Linda says:

    In only a few minutes from now…on this day, 6 years ago, I remember driving my husband to our county court house here in Denver with my very new and first beautiful baby daughter (3 weeks old) in the back seat. My husband had jury duty, and while trying to find a parking spot downtown, over the radio came those deafening words about our World Trade Center, and an airplane…and then a second airplane. I stopped the car in the street and listened, fear welling up in my heart, with my baby in the back seat, and my husband about to go into the court building. My mind began to race, wondering about the safety of my family, my country, my freedom.

    It is now six years later, my oldest is 6 years and 3 weeks old today, and I find that buying clothes online that don’t fit my kids can make me have something close to an aneurism. I also find that shopping at midnight works great for me. With three kids 6, 4, and 2 in tow, it’s just easier to shop at the 24/7 stores to take care of business like returning clothes that don’t fit. I just hate that! But today, I can say I also love it…I love the fact that I can choose to return something, or just sell it on Craig list, or donate it. I love my freedom and I love this country!

  8. fidget says:

    my kids are all mutants when it comes to clothes. The only thing I can order without trying on is Hanna Andersson and well, I can’t really afford to order much of that!

  9. Mir says:

    20 pairs of jeans that don’t fit… I think I would’ve thrown them out the window. Good luck at the store.

    Maybe if you’re lucky someone there will scold you for doing something as mundane as CLOTHING YOUR CHILDREN on this day when we should all be really patriotic and depressed. Here’s hoping. ;)

  10. Mary Alice says:

    Chris, I’m so sorry, I honestly didn’t mean to make ANYONE feel petty and self centered, I am annoyed more often than not with life crap myself…I’m just saying that 9-11 always stops me in my tracks, clarifies things for me and reminds me to be grateful.

  11. Not The Mama says:

    Ugh, that is the downside of the the wonderful world of online shopping. I myself am a mutant and inevitably when I order something online that SHOULD fit, it does not. It drives me insane, so I can’t imagine how crazy I’d feel if I had a house full of mutant children to outfit as well!

  12. Linda says:

    Same here, I get very emotional on this anniversary day…but life goes on…gotta go change a diaper now.

  13. BOSSY says:

    Or you could just do as Bossy does and never let anyone answer the telephone.

  14. Jodi says:

    I have mini mutant kids too. My 10 year old is wearing size 7 clothes. My 8 year olds are both in 6’s.

    Good luck at the store! I always take my hubby along for chores like that. :)

  15. Christine says:

    Chris, don’t you know? You’re just not allowed to express your REAL feelings today?!?

    Okay, seriously, just poking fun at Mary Alice. That’s all. not trying to start a riot. I seem to be doing that just by waking up these days.

    I’m looking at my youngest right now, outside riding her bike. The shirt she is wearing should be a bit small (size-wise). It’s not. The shorts should be a bit big (size-wise). They’re not. So, she basically looks like she’s riding her bike in a sleep shirt with no pants.

    Yet, it’s live with that, or take my kids shopping with me. Screw it. I’ll just let the neighbors talk.

  16. Karen Vogel says:

    I really sympathize with the jeans disappointment - so often we think we are being ultra-efficient, and then we just end up having to do it all over again anyway. I can’t even keep track of anyone’s sizes anymore. It’s pathetic!

    And, yes, it’s 9-11; but no one has to feel guilty about being alive. And I should know - my husband lost 6 people he knew from his Navy Watch Center at the Pentagon - I just thank God he wasn’t there at the time. I think we all deal with the duality of hey, it’s just another day in our lives now contrasted with how horrible we all felt and how horrible that day was. How can we go on as if nothing happened? But we can and we do - you can’t live any other way, really.

    But it is so sad, so sad, remembering. It seems like yesterday, really.

  17. Lilly says:

    I feel your pain over shopping for jeans for the kids. I only have one and I need his body with me when I buy him new pants because even though he doesn’t look odd to the naked eye, most jeans that fit around the waist don’t fit lengthwise or crotch wise etc. I have the opposite size problem. My just 11yr old is now in size 16-18. When we find something that fits I jump for joy and buy 3.

  18. Esme says:

    I don’t think we have mutant kids… I think the clothing manufacturers are making things enormous so that, um, huskier children fit into the sizes that correspond with their ages. Kind of how I — a huskier-than-I-used-to-be Mama — am all of a sudden a sleek size 6 again at some stores, even though I’m a good 20 pounds heavier (and about 15 years older) than I was last time I fit into a size 6.

    Hear, hear on the adjustable waist thing, Maria. My kids would be running around pantless without it.

  19. Kate says:

    I remember 9/11 too, because my co-workers had to be evacuated from our office, because I thought my brother might be dead, because people I know DID die, because I had to walk through the streets of Manhattan wondering what the hell had just happened, because my apartment was in the frozen zone, because it happened to my city, and because I had to go back to work a few days later and walk past the remnants of the trade centers with a lump in my neck. It was sad. I can’t believe it was six years ago. And of course the whole country knows that, and is remembering that.

    But life does go on, and just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you have to put up a memorial post. I’d just as soon read about ill-fitting jeans. I know you didn’t mean it this way, Mary Alice, and I’m not really directing this at you, but I can’t help but find “reminders” of 9/11 sanctimonious.

  20. Ashley says:

    You ordered them from Old Navy, right?

  21. Annalise says:

    I hear you on the message thing. My son sometimes goes a step further and puts the mail in obscure places, leading us to ignore important bills etc because we DON’T KNOW THEY EXIST!

  22. Multiple Hats says:

    I hate, hate, hate that! I did the e-Bay thing for the school jeans - and my problem was the opposite of yours. If I can get them long enough, we have to wrap a belt around his skinny little waist about 3 times to get them to say up (the adjustable waist pants hurt his “hip bone”). So, none of the eBay jeans fit, can’t take them back, and I wait in anticipation to see if his younger brother will be fat enough to fit into them someday . . .

  23. Anna says:

    20 pairs of jeans and 5 boys and nothing fits anyone?! I might even start to weep a little if it was me…(if it was maybe Old Navy that this purchase was made…I got a sales flyer today that all kids clothes are 25% off…so maybe you’ll get some money back on the exchange…maybe.

  24. BeingParents says:

    Buying clothes on online does have it perks as well as its quirkiness. Back to school shopping can be mentally demanding. We buy most books and electronic online. I tell though there are some great deal to be had online.

  25. Kristen says:

    OK, the person who takes her kids to shop at midnight is hilarious. OK, maybe she doesn’t take the kids with her, but still. Come on, Chris. Can you see taking the kids shopping at midnight? That would be hilarious. Hilarious in a “I know it is impossible for you to write down a damn phone message but I’m sure you can drive the van over me when I lie down in the street” kinda way. I am totally doing that. That was the best suggestion yet.

  26. Carolynn from Western Australia says:

    I don’t have kids so don’t have the dilema of trying to clothe them,but has anyone noticed that clothing sizes generally are totally inconsistant. My wardrobe consists of clothes from size 10 to 16 (these are Aus sizes not sure of your equivalent).These clothes all fit me, so what size am I. I find you can no longer see something you like and just grab your size because you have no idea if that item fits unless you try it on.
    I do however buy knickers via a mail order and they have been the best buy yet in that department.

    Carolynn :)

  27. Susan says:

    Clearly the ill-fitting jeans are part of a terrorist conspiracy. As is your decision to write about them today.

    And your son’s inability to take a phone message probably figures in there too.

    love, the Conspiracy Theorist

  28. John schmidt says:

    I understand that sept 11th is a very important date for the United States, at the same time people still have lives to live. I am a Canadian and love my country and I don’t ever think that if this happened in Canada that we would have other Canadians coming onto our blogs to tell us we should be less annoyed because it is 9-11. Come on get a grip.Life goes on.

  29. carrie says:

    At least your son will answer the phone.

    Mine just stares at it, dumbfounded.

    And oh, the activities. I need a loan for my gas bill alone!

  30. Earl says:

    I have a friend who’s birthday is 9-11, 6 years ago, she didn’t have the TV on, finally someone told her what was going on and then she had to worry about her daughter in NY….. who she couldn’t get hold of for hours. Her birthday has never been the same.

  31. Kathi says:

    OMG. I have a copy of your article on taking out the trash on my fridge. I have 5 kids- 18 girl, 15 boy, 14 boy, 14 boy (stepson), and 8 girl. I read you faithfully now and seriously cannot help but just roll every time you post. So many moments I remember well and so many I live each day. Thank God someone else exists in this world that makes me realize I am not alone and equally not Monster Mom. Have a loverly glass of wine on me!

  32. Sue says:

    20 non fitting pairs…. I wouldn’t have thrown them out like Mir said.. I would rather throw myself out of the window. Or would have broken my head against the wall… Or… ENOUGH!
    The other post reminds me of myself. Trying to multitask and forgetting the important part of it. Should be a 1000 times I told my mom that I didn’t remember what the caller said… Even after my mom maintained a scribble pad and a pen literally “tied” to the phone!!!

  33. genpoco says:

    The Minion is in that tween boy stage where he is bulking up but hasn’t shot up in height. Shopping for pants was a tear out my hair nightmare this school year. He’s too thin for Husky, too chubby for Regular. I finally found and bought what fit in the waist and have rolled them up 4 times.

  34. Jennifer says:

    yikes… good luck!

  35. Lori says:

    I totally understand your post, which is miraculous because I don’t have kids. I’m still basically a kid myself.

    I hate it when people don’t take down messages! I think it may be genetically encoded. My parents don’t do so well at messages. So I rely on my cell phone to keep track. I know. You HATE the phone and don’t give out your cell phone number. Understandable. (Who really wants all those damn people calling anyway?)

    And the clothes thing. I’m 19 and I still have a hard time finding clothes that fit. It’s like my ass has confidence and emerges some days and then hides on other occasions. Same thing with boobs. Yet somehow, my ass and boobs are confident on shopping days, so I have nothing to wear when they decide to be shy.

    Good luck with the clothes. As someone who buys clothes uncontrollably, I know how expensive it can get.

  36. Meritt says:

    My son is now 15 and STILL doesn’t get messages right. Even after I showed him how we keep a pen and paper next to the phone just for that reason!

    BabyGirl has missed a couple of babysitting jobs due to him writing down 576-9823 when the call back number was really something like 576-7362 and wrote down “Ann?” when her name might really be “Hannah”.

    CLOSE does don’t count. LOL.

  37. taffi says:

    my 15 year old son takes messages like “J called - print off church online thing” and doesn’t understand why I get irritated.

    I won’t even delve into shopping with two teenage boys and a 5 year old diva.

  38. Pia says:

    Kids clothes sizes are a maze - I do find that H&M are have good sizes for small waisted girls - but I don’t know how they are for boys. Josie likes their girls clothes though and Julie, 2 years old, is going 70s in brown and pink velvet and cords :) I newer thought I would see the day…