I love fall in the Midwest. I love the crisp, cool air. I love the leaves changing color. I love wearing sweaters. And I love how it magically arrives out of nowhere one night, just when you think you can’t stand the sweat of summer for one more second.
But this year, fall’s arrival was slightly less sweet. Of course I was thrilled the morning I woke up to cool air and crispy leaves. It was glorious. But then I had to get the kids dressed. And Sweet Pea had no fall clothes.
Now, I’m a daycare mom. I always shop in advance. I know that when the weather turns cool, you need to have the appropriate clothes for your child THAT DAY, because she is going out on the playground whether you’ve had time to buy her a winter coat or not. Plus, time for shopping is scarce. The only reason my kids have anything to wear half the time is because my work has not yet blocked access to Old Navy online.
But Sweet Pea has been a notoriously difficult child to buy clothes for. Despite being born at a respectable 8 pounds 11 ounces, the girl just does not gain weight. For the first year of her life we struggled to keep food in Sweet Pea. Now, she eats like a high school football player but continues to fall off the growth chart. So after buying the same super-cute outfit two summers in a row, and Sweet Pea not getting big enough to wear it either summer, I stopped buying her clothes in advance.
And on Saturday, I paid the price. Sweet Pea grew over the summer.
Of course, I didn’t realize how much Sweet Pea had grown until after I had dug through the piles of winter clothes I so diligently stored this spring. And it wasn’t until I got those 6-12 month size pants on her 20 month-old body that I realized there was no way Sweet Pea could wear those clothes to school.
Thankfully, fall came on a Saturday. I dressed Sweet Pea in her too small pants and took her to Carters for some serious shopping. And as I was buying just about one of everything in the girls’ side of the store, I noticed my counterpart on the boys’ side, scooping up all of the in-season clothes and essentially ignoring the sales. When our paths crossed, I confirmed. We were both working moms taken by surprise by fall’s early arrival.
A few hundred dollars later, Sweet Pea is (mostly) ready for fall. And I’ve learned my lesson. We’re not waiting to see what size Sweet Pea or KJ might be this winter. It may be September, but both of my kids will be getting winter coats this weekend.