Yep, you heard right. It’s the middle of summer, and they’re out already. In other words, bring on the whining and arguing because shit’s about to hit the fan. How do I know? I lived this sweet tale to tell.
During a recent shopping trip to Sam’s Club my son conveniently spied the Batman, Spiderman, and any freaking superhero costume you can think of hanging on an end aisle. I think stores do this to parents because they know kids will spot that from a mile away. It’s like one of those light zappers that attract bugs, without all the zapping of course.
I imagine the corporate marketing Kahunas sitting in their office while flexing their suspenders saying, “Make sure to display them in plain sight. Put them in reach for children to pull off the hangers while their parents drag them away. Suckers.”
Why else are they putting them out so early? Not only do I have to listen to my kids argue about what back-to-school folder and ridiculously small creature shaped eraser they want, but let’s add this to the mix.
Adding to the madness, there’s My Little Pony ensembles and dresses with sparkles, polka-dots, jewels, basically anything that will attract my daughter’s attention. I thought her head was going to explode when she saw how much glitter was hanging in a two-foot radius.
My husband looked at me. I knew what he was thinking; You aren’t seriously going to buy that for them, are you?
I gave him the what the heck are we supposed to do-I have a giant shopping list and if this gets me out in the door in fifteen minutes- so be it! look. You know what I’m talking about, right?
“I’m going to the snack section to pick up whatever else is on the list,” he says while sauntering over to the next aisle. Don’t think I didn’t see that smirk on your face, honey, as you left me to deal with our two whiny children.
We ended up purchasing the Batman costume and a My Little Pony get-up. My son is jumping around all excited because again; he got what he wanted. Can you blame me? I wanted to finish shopping and do you think that would have happened with a three-year-old dangling off my leg? No way.
At home, my son has the costume on faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. All the whining has subsided, and I’m thinking I may have just spent the best twenty bucks of my life when Rainbow Dash comes prancing in to tell me the bad news.
“M. can’t wear his new costume. He says it’s choking him.”
You have got to be kidding me. After all, we went through at the store? My son walks in the room. He can barely get his arms in the costume, let alone velcro the back. The size said 2T-4T. I grab the package out of the garbage. It reads 2T-4T, 1-2 years-old.
My husband once again knows the look on my face (he’s good at that) and laughed, “Didn’t anyone teach you to read the fine print?” I think I roared or made some loud, angry noise because the dogs woke up from their deep sleep to look at me.
2T-4T, 1-2-years-old- that’s not even in the same category, is it? You’re telling me that I have to break this little boy’s dreams and bring it back to the store because someone decided to throw a bunch of sizes on tag knowing that any superhero fan would have to have it? The nerve.
My husband distracts our son with some chocolate ice cream (bribery at its best, thank you) while I stick the costume in a bag with the receipt. I accidentally drop it, and it rustles. Darn, I should of have hidden it in my purse.
“What are you doing with my costume?” M. says looking up at me in between licks of his chocolatey goodness.
“Uh, um…well…,” I stammer. A wave of guilt floods over me as I think about having to answer this question. I shouldn’t have bought it for him in the first place or at least read the stupid tag. Now I have to explain to a toddler why their dream of becoming Batman for Halloween is about not to come true?
I tell him that we’ll go back to the store tomorrow to exchange it for a bigger size. While it didn’t completely satisfy his wishes, he was too distracted by the ice cream dripping down the side of his fingers to say much more.
What happens next is just the icing on the cake. We go back to the store only to find out that all the costumes are the same size, as if all children come in the same size, too. With all the talk about differentiating in the classroom, meeting each child’s individual needs, what about applying this to superhero costumes? I’m talking to you, suspender wearing corporate man at Sam’s.
So, what’s a mom to do? I whip out my phone, search online, and find one just his size. Put it in the online cart, click ‘purchase,’ and voila! It’ll be here in two days. Ridiculous? Maybe. Crazy? No, way. When tragedy strikes, no task is too big (or too small) for Batman.