"No pants, no 'rawls!" my then two-year-old son shrieked as I tried to dress him for pre-school. He hated anything (pants, overalls, shorts, David Beckham sarong) that covered the loin-half of his self. He was meant to be free. Yes, but I wanted to dress him with me in adorable matching sailor sets.
I remembered this last night when -- in the role of my life, The Harried Suburban Mother in a suburban docudrama called Looking Last Minute For Uniform Pants -- he was trying to stuff himself into a size 10 and the waist-button went boing, popped off and rolled under the bed to join Ninjago Lego minifig heads (if you have to ask, just don't) and he welled up. He said with mounting hysteria (apple:tree) that nothing fit him.
He was right. He looked like a Japanese anime badger in a 2-pound sack. The uniform pants that I had pressed, folded and neatly set away for the idyll that is summer (where one can wear something elastic-waisted all day) had shrunk, tightened, gone Cabbage-Patch-doll-sized like a cashmere sweater accidentally in the wash on hot. A first-world problem. The treachery.
"Mommy's on this," I said. "Don't cry. Mommy is a problem solver." Mommy is problem-solving this like a Sherlock Holmes who solves everything by gunning the Hyundai to the consignment shop, and failing to find pants in Size 12 Husky because that pretty much describes EVERY GROWING BOY IN THE COUNTRY then mutters, swears, and drives like a bat to Hunt Valley and throws money at the Lands' End catalogue.