It finally happened. I threw my hands up in the air and admitted defeat. I succumbed to the voice in my head called reason, and I took two pairs of size 18-24 months leggings back to Old Navy and exchanged them for size 12-18 months.
My nearly 19-month-old old daughter is somewhat small for her age. She mostly wears leggings because jeans and other pants sag below her bum, making her look like the world’s tiniest hoodlum. I thought it might be time to upsize a few items in her wardrobe, but the larger size made no contact whatsoever with her waist. Rather than hanging them up in the closet next to nearly a dozen other pairs of pants that do not fit yet, I exchanged them.
As I’m sure any parent knows, even amongst identical infant/toddler sizes, there is tremendous variation in the cut and fit of the clothes. It’s the same in adult clothes. So the fact that I must size down mustn’t seem like a very big deal. It’s not a big deal to the voice of reason in my head. But the voice of reason must debate with the voice of pattern recognition (VOPR). The section of my brain concerned with the established order is strong and mighty, and it does not care for nuances or shades of grey. (And yes, the VOPR has been on high alert since Sonja was born, searching frantically, endlessly and often hopelessly for new patterns and semblances of structure.)
When a baby is born, it is put in teeny-tiny little newborn-size outfits, and that lasts for a few weeks until it is moved on to 0-3 month sizes. Then 3-6 months, then 6-9 (or sometimes 6-12) and then 9-12. Sonja kept right up with the sizes until she was about 9 months old. By that time, her growth had started to slow but I was already in a pattern of seeking out sales and stocking her closet with larger sizes and weather appropriate outfits for upcoming seasons. And I just kept right on going with that pattern until the closet filled up.
I began worrying that clothes I bought ahead of time might not get any use at all, if the warm or cold weather went before she grew into an outfit. Then I would need to buy new clothes, but how would I know what to buy, in what size, and when? I spent a lot of time wishing my daughter to fill up her clothes. Then I noticed something. I noticed that all those summer clothes in her closet, the ones I bought last year and which only got a few wears if any at all, were going to fit her this summer. I realized I wasn’t going to need to buy her clothes at all. I realized that this was a good thing, this unique moment in time when I could lighten my load instead of my wallet.
I’m passed the point of worrying about the numbers on the scale, as my petite, piccolo baby is happy, healthy and thriving. She doesn’t care what she wears, although lately she really would prefer to wear nothing at all. I’ve made some minor adjustments to the settings on the voice of pattern recognition, which is now prepared to dig out old clothes instead of buying new ones, and ignore the numbers on the tags. If we get any summer at all this year, the unused shorts from last year will surely fit, provided they are not too big, and the t-shirts probably will too, provided we can get them over her head. The established order is set. I’m happy. And my wallet is too.