My seven year old and I have a morning ritual. It goes something like this:
“I don’t have any pants.”
Occasionally we argue a little bit about what constitutes actually “looking” for something but eventually the hunt falls to me. After thirty seconds or so of futility , I generally give up, grab whatever pair of jeans he just took off, run them through a quick cycle in the washer and throw them in the dryer by themselves. The inseam doesn’t freeze to his legs as long as he keeps moving.
This Monday however, even I came up empty handed. When I ascertained that the pair he wore Saturday had been left at his cousins, I became determined to locate, once and for all, every pair of pants the kid owns and I don’t know, thumbtack them to the ceiling. Surely he has more than that one pair of blue jeans languishing in my in-law’s dirty laundry hamper, correct? Surely his jeans are just mixed in with an older brother’s or fallen behind the washing machine or inexplicably folded up in the bottom of the Lego bucket, right?
Actually, no. Apparently we’ve been washing and wearing the same pair of blue jeans for three months. Which might explain how thin they are getting. I spent two hours last night emptying every dresser, every laundry basket, and sorting the resulting mountain of denim.
The kid has one pair of pants–the ones at his cousin’s house.
I did, however, discover 10 pair of jeans one size up, six of which I bought, brand new at the beginning of the school year. I have also been washing those jeans over, and over, and over, even though nobody wears them.
(Because we all know what happens to clothing you try on that doesn’t fit, right? Onto the floor, back in the hamper, and it’s a merry-go-round of laundry to keep mother entertained and out of trouble.)
I confiscated Mr. Nobody’s jeans until next fall, when hopefully he will develop enough of a derrière to hang them upon, and tonight we are going denim shopping. He’s going to try on every pair. In the store. And model them for me.
And then I’ll stick them to the ceiling with thumbtacks. He can ransom them one pair at a time by trading me for the dirty ones, maybe. We’ll see how generous I’m feeling.