Friday, September 28, 2012

lilies of the field

I'm in the middle of the Great Autumn Clothes Change Over of 2012. Its not that cold out but our school room has an arctic air permeating it every morning now and there's been whining about the lack of sweaters and long trousers. So, of course, when Elphine came in just now wearing what appears to be a mini-skirt, I was able to react on the grounds that her knees would be cold and not to the fact that she looked like...well, there's no good way to end that sentence.

She and her brother are locked in an ongoing angry competition of who can get their school work done first every day, goaded along by their insolent siblings who say things like, "Well, you have to make your bed first," in a seriously nasty tone. Elphine is guaranteed a win today because Alouicious goes to Man's Bible Study (that's what he calls it) on Fridays, kindle and money for soda in hand. He gets up, has his cup of coffee, pretends to read the passage, forgets to get dressed until its almost too late, and then flings everyone into a three minute panic while he tries to catch up and leave for church at the same time as his father. He comes home two hours later smug and stuffed with bacon and tater-tots to finish the whole experience off with whatever we're having for breakfast, usually bread and jam.

What was I talking about? Oh yes, Clothes Change Over of 2012 (cue war music). Even though I got rid of 7 bags of clothes in the Great Spring Clothes Change Over of 2012 it seems that I am wrestling with Leviathan down there. Marigold, for example, is emotionally attached to all the clothes she wore last year but which, tragically, do not fit her at all. "That's my shirt" shrieks the girl who six months ago wouldn't say anything as I dress Fatty Lumpkin. "I want my shirt!"

And Gladys knelt worshipfully next to her drawer nearly all afternoon, waiting to see what I would put in it. Unhappily for her, Elphine went to kindergarten when she was five and had to wear a 'uniform' of khakis and different colored polo shirts, plus one pair of jeans for play. She picked the jeans out of her drawer gingerly, with real tears in her eyes and said, "I don't think these fit me."
"Sure they do," I said blithely, missing the point, "they're exactly right."
"No," she wept, "they don't fit at all, and they're very very ugly" and sobbed louder, flinging them in the pile of stuff to never be seen again. She resumed her kneeling posture ever more vigilant. I had to wait nearly a whole hour for her to be called away to put the khakis in. Pretty sure I'll find them flung all over the floor when I go down there this morning.

Even Romulus and Alouicious got in tussles with me about letting go of things that are really really really small. Romulus has two kinds of shirts in his drawer as a result, things to wear at home because they're full of holes and come up to the middle of his arm, and things to wear out because they won't let all the cold air in. "I just really need the shirt with the frog on it" he let me know after checking things over.

And then, to top things off, Matt stuck his stupid oar in. "Just throw away all the baby boy stuff" he postulated callously. I threw a book at him and gave it all up for the day. Stupid children, growing up, stupid husband, suggesting we ever get rid of the tiny baby sweater with the little cowboy and the horse and the little button shirt that goes under it, and the little tiny tie shoes. I'm going to give up my stupid diet and eat a piece of actual bread with actual jam.

1 comment:

Kat said...

This post made me so sad for Gladys, that I have the urge to haunt garage sales and Goodwill for appropriately girly dresses and besparkled things with BOWS to send to her. I'd cry too, if all I had to wear were 1 pair of jeans, khakis, and polo shirts! And Poor Marigold and Lady Elaine, to follow!

Of course, when I was 5, I begged my mother for jeans- she put me in dresses nearly every day, and I honestly don't think I owned a pair of jeans until I was at least 10- which were probably handed down from my youngest aunt.