Today I worked on Sparky's clothes. Having four girls means we have a lot of hand-me-downs. We are lucky enough to have friends and family who hand stuff to my girls so I rarely have to purchase any clothes. That certainly helps the family budget.
However, it comes with a price.
That price is time and sanity.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
I spent no less than four hours today going through 8 bins and 6 trash bags full of clothes for Sparky. Two years ago Sparky started a medication that suppressed her appetite. And by suppressed, I mean decimated. She wouldn't eat anything. We were feeding her the highest fat foods we could find; cereal with full fat whipping cream, burgers and milkshakes. It was not a position I ever thought I'd be in- encouraging my child to eat as much fat and calories as possible. It was really crazy but the medication was helping with behavior so we kept her on it. She eventually plateaued a bit and stopped losing weight. But she was skinny. I mean, see her ribs skinny. She swam in the hand-me-downs from Ya-ya. I had to buy "slim" jeans for her and tighten them as much as possible.
Fast forward another 18 months and we changed medications and added some new ones. One of the ones we added was a sedative that caused Sparky to be hungry ALL THE TIME. At first it was great- she was less picky, enjoyed family meals, and gained some needed weight. Then it was swinging too far in that direction and she put on a bunch of weight. As a mom I really struggled with the bizarre food messages we were sending her "Eat as much as possible," then "One serving is plenty." In the last 2 months we were able to eliminate that particular medication and now Sparky's appetite seems "normal"- if I even remember what that is.
The end result is that Sparky's clothing sizes have been all over the chart. And as picky as she is about some things, the girl truly could get dressed in the dark for as much attention as she pays to clothes. She dresses by comfort (both on her skin and familiarity) So if there is a pair of shorts and a t shirt that she finds comfortable and has worn before and liked, she puts them on. No matter if they are clashing colors or patterns. In fact, she still believes that dressing monochromaticly or wearing a floral and floral or stripe and stripes is matching. I'm sure that can be done with finesse by a fashionista, but Sparky isn't quite there yet.
As of late, she has grown so much that most of her clothes are too small- but she pays no mind and just puts on what she likes and what feels good. Over the weekend my mom took her out to buy an outfit for the first day of school. This is the first year she has ever wanted to make a good impression on her teacher and classmates so my mom happily obliged. In trying on clothes they discovered that she is most comfortable in a size 14.
She skipped right on over size 12 and all the size 10 winter clothes I was expecting her to wear this year. So my four hours today was spent digging through all the clothes and pulling out the 10s and 12s and packing them up to go to the consignment store or thrift store. I don't keep clothes after Sparky wears them because Ranger is over her own mind and hasn't worn a dress or anything remotely girly in more than 2 years. I figure it'll be at least 5 years before Pixie hits the sizes Sparky is in now, and I just don't want to store clothes for that long. I packed up 5 bags headed to the consignment store and have another 4 ready for the thrift store. It was fantastic to get so many clothes out of the house!
There are still at least 4 bins of clothes that are the right size for Sparky. We now need to go through them all and decide what to keep and what to pass on. Yikes- that adventure will require a whole other post.