Hand Me Down

Piper knows that when you outgrow something, you pass it on. This is true for clothes, shoes, and habits. When you aren’t a baby anymore, pacifiers get shipped to the cousins (whose mommies know what to do with them…ahem…). When you outgrow your favorite tutu, the hot pink tulle one you’ve been wearing since your second birthday, you give it to your beloved cousin, PJ, who loves to wear “cousin clothes” more than anything else. Your pacis, your tutu, your favorite fancy shoes, they’ll find a new home and they’ll be honored there.

Letting go is sometimes hard but it’s necessary.

Piper is hoping that I’ll be as generous. She thinks there is a chance that I’m still growing. I really want her to be wrong. “Oh, Mom! I love those earrings. Can I have them when you grow up? Promise?” She eyes me and my outfits like she’s shopping at the mall. This afternoon when I picked her up from school, Piper complimented my skirt. Then she narrowed her eyes. “I want that when you pass it on, okay?”

“I don’t plan on outgrowing it anytime soon, P. I’ve been wearing this skirt for years.”

“One day it will be time. I’ll help you,” she promised, patting my hand. Then she gently slid off my sparkly bracelet and claimed it as her own.

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Thumbs Up for Rice Krispies

A Piper doesn’t do blue jeans. They’re too stiff. She refuses to unbutton and zip. Tutus don’t easily slip over blue jeans and dancing is inhibited. So there.

Yet the leaves are changing and it’s starting to get cool. Blue jeans keep you warm. So yesterday we hauled out the hand-me-downs to add some layers to Piper’s tutu collection. Sissy made it into a fashion show. We blasted Lady Gaga and assessed new outfits with thumbs up and thumbs down. It was fun. At first. Piper gave everything a thumbs down. Too many blue jeans. Too many plain turtlenecks (Sissy was a bit more practical in her kindergarten fashion). Piper agreed to a few knit pants but only the ones with flowers, Eiffel Tower prints, and rainbows. The shirts were boring. The blue jeans were impossible. Piper was grumpy. So was I. Then she turned on Sissy. “Why couldn’t you like dresses and skirts?” she accused. “Now look what I have to deal with!” Sissy just rolled her eyes at her sister’s fussiness.

“Mom, you know what we need?” Sissy said.

“A shopping spree paid for by someone else?” In my mind I was trying to come up with a compromise between all the free hand-me-downs I’d laundered and stored and Piper’s fashion demands.

“Rice krispie treats.”

“Okay. A break would be good.” We pulled on fall jackets and walked to the store for the essentials. Along the way Piper was a little chilled. Bare legs in brisk fall weather will do that to you.

We made the rice krispies. We ate the rice krispies. Piper told us that marshmallows are harvested from the clouds. Sissy said, “Boy is she going to be disappointed when she learns about the water cycle.”

With bellies full of rice krispies we went back to abandoned clothes piles. Piper was more agreeable. I was more patient. Piper picked one pair of hot pink blue jeans with an elastic waist. She picked long sleeve t-shirts and tights that she could wear with her tutus. I showed her how we could layer all of her favorite rainbow t-shirts over the turtlenecks. Then we went back to finish off the rice krispie pan.