Tuesday, April 10, 2007

AAAUUGGGHHH!! Okay, you caught me...

Okay, you caught me. Stacy and Clinton, I confess. I'm guilty. I wear the uniform of a mother: I don the same outfit... EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

All you mothers out there know what I'm talking about. We all wear it. It's that wonderful, comfortable ensemble that WORKS... We find it, and then we buy MANY of them, so that we can rotate them through the laundry over and over and over again...

My uniform varies with the weather. When it's cold out, I wear jeans and a turtleneck. When it's warm out, I shorten the jeans to capris, and top them with a t shirt. I have these outfits in a multitude of colours, and I confess that I buy in bulk... When I find something that fits me, is wash'n'wear, and doesn't cost me an arm and a leg, I buy it. Okay, I buy MANY. Black and white are staples, but depending on the season, I'll wear the same shirts in every colour of the rainbow.

Stacy and Clinton, it's no secret that you have NO idea what it's like to raise children. Saying that you have "nieces and nephews" that you occasionally spend a little time with doesn't count. Until you've been through the incredible yo-yo experience of pregnancy and post-partum figures, and then the very PHYSICAL act of mothering small children, you have precisely NOTHING helpful to say about this matter.

For my clothes are not simply things that make me look good. At any given time, my clothes must be able to withstand being barfed, slobbered and snorfled on. They have to see me through children's birthday parties with ridiculously outlandish themes, through gruelling hours of laundry, house and yard work, and through the grocery store with three kids swingin' off of the sides of my cart. I have to be able to go from baking a zillion cookies with a toddler, accompanying a hysterical six-year-old to the dentist, to looking semi-believable at a PTA meeting in under 30 minutes flat.

I don't have TIME to change my clothes, much less worry about them.

And as for accessories? Well, let's just say I ain't no Imelda Marcos. This simply isn't the type of lifestyle that can accommodate "kitten heels", or any other sort of heel, for that matter. When you're chasing children, you need basically two types of shoes: trainers and crocs. Oooohhh, I LOVE my shoes, all right, but according to you, not for the "right" reasons. They're comfortable, and they allow me to go FAST. Almost as fast as that two-and-a-half year old who is hurtling top-speed down the driveway on her tricycle... Luckily, in MY choice of shoes, I can sprint just fast enough to GRAB HER before she hits traffic. Do you SERIOUSLY think I could accomplish this in the footwear you two are touting?? Nay, nay!!

And purses... Hmm. Well, I WAS actually paying attention last fall when the Large Handbag came into vogue... My first thought? "I wonder how many diapers I could fit into that sucker..." Mothers of the world rejoyced when that trend hit the runways! I now feel TOTALLY prepared, wherever I go, with only ONE bag to lug around. However, somebody who WASN'T prepared to deal with my new purse was the security man at the front door of a huge theatre event my husband and I attended several months ago... I handed my bag over for inspection, and passers-by stopped to stare at the myriad treasures he slowly revealed from its depths. There were no fewer than seven pacifiers, several matchbox cars, five diapers, a burnt-out halogen bulb, a chocolate chip cookie, an empty apple juice box, two asthma inhalers, a Polly Pocket with one leg missing, a comb with two mis-matched barrettes clipped to it, an unfinished application for summer camp, a bic pen that had run out of ink, and an empty bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol. Go figure. The kicker was, I discovered that I had completely forgotten my wallet.

So, Stacy and Clinton, I will not be surprised if I wind up on your "Worst Dressed" season finale... But you know what? I like my clothes, and I'm proud of the job that I do... My kids are happy, abundantly loved, and relatively well-adjusted. What's more, so am I. The clothes that I wear are not really a "uniform" per se... They're more like a super-hero outfit. I may not LOOK exactly like Wonder Woman, but I am.

I'm not so sure I could do what I do, and feel this good about it if I was wearing, say, $200 shoes and dry-clean-only pants, and someone dropped the top-half of her rocky-road ice cream cone on me...

So you know what? You can keep your $5000, unless I'm allowed to use it exclusively at Old Navy.


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