Much to my husband's delight, I really don't enjoy clothes shopping that much. Elena can wear Ariana's hand-me-downs for the most part, although since Ariana is a January baby and Elena was born in June, sometimes it doesn't match up just right. Regardless, I still have to shop for Ariana and Joel each season. I was watching for sales, and got a 30% off everything coupon, so I decided to take advantage of it this afternoon.
Oh, what fun! By myself, it would have been just OK, but Ariana asked to come, too. She wanted to wear a summer dress, but it was about 40 degrees outside, so she suggested that she wear the dress with a jacket, and agreed to wear matching pants underneath it. However, she hates to wear pants (and I used to tantrum if I were forced to wear a dress--it makes me chuckle), so she pleaded to be able to remove the pants once we got in the store, with the provision that she carry them and not lose them, and put them on again before going back outside the store. Truly, her negotiating skills are remarkable for a five year old. She can almost always come up with something that satisfies everyone. She could be a fantastic lawyer someday...
Once we arrived at the store, she was too excited to think about her pants. First, she went to the baby girls section and began to scour the racks for clothes for Elena. Ariana prefers things with plenty of sparkle, and I must admit her overall fashion sense is far better than mine. I was impressed with the things she found. We would up getting two adorable outfits for Elena. They are both really cute dresses with matching leggings. I think pantyhose are of the devil, so it is hard for me to want to put an innocent baby into tights. At the same time, carseat straps can chafe their legs, and it can be too cold without them, so I love leggings.
We found a nice dress outfit for Joel with a guayabera-inspired shirt and matching dress shorts. Since for the last couple of weeks he has only wanted to wear Spiderman shirts, we also found two Spiderman outfits that I knew he'd love.
Finally, it was time for Ariana to look for her own clothes. She chose two nightgowns (she absolutely refuses to sleep in pajamas, or even a T-shirt). Next, we found an entire row of ultra-yummy shoes. Ariana and Joel both adore shoes, and there were dozens of cute ones to choose from. She looked at me imploringly. "Do I have to choose quickly?"
Finally, we got to the dresses. Ariana found a green one that she especially liked (because green is her favorite color). It also matched her favorites out of the shoes (pink and green with lots of beaded fringe). Then, to my surprise, we found the matching outfits to the two dress sets she had picked out for Elena. She was actually excited about wearing the same outfit as her little sister.
She then had the time of her life trying everything on, modeling it with the shoes, and using the dressing room mirrors to evaluate each outfit from multiple angles. She was having so much fun that I enjoyed the shopping, too. We did pretty well at the checkout, too. Full price for everything we got would have been over $300, but after the discounts, it was less than $100.
It just so happens that the store is right next to Starbuzz, so we restored our strength after the strenuous shopping with white chocolate mochas and some egg-free chocolate covered cookies. On the way home, we sang along to our favorite tracks from Marcos Witt's Sobrenatural CD.
I would like to think that ten years from now, we'll still be having the time of our lives together, that she'll want to go shopping with me, that we will giggle while trying things on together, that we'll enjoy talking about everything and nothing over cookies and coffee together, and that we'll both sing our hearts out to our favorite music on the way home. I really hope that our connection is that strong then. I know the odds are against it, in our culture here. Maybe we'll be different, maybe not. I'm glad we have today.