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Second-hand is first-rate for Boots

Submitted by on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 No Comment

hand_me_downs1Poor Boots. At age 3, he’s not retail savvy enough to realize everything has to be brand-spanking new and expensive.

He actually prefers hand-me-downs, taking pride in wearing something his brother once wore. Or, in many cases, donning something clothing-picky Big Guy refused to ever put on.

He looks forward to the day when he’ll inherit Big Guy’s wardrobe. “Will I get to wear that when I’m in kingergarden?” he’ll ask daily.

Oh yes, you will. And I’m glad you like it, because it’s one of the perks of having same-gender children.

When it was confirmed that Boots was a boy, I was thrilled on two levels.

First, it meant I likely wouldn’t have to deal with an outbreak of girly-girl colors. Sorry, Elizabeth. I love your blog, but I just don’t do pink. I’ve been known to break out in unsightly hives when in close proximity to pastels.

Second, it meant massive savings in clothing expenses, though I did buy Boots a few new items. It seemed unfair for a shiny new being to be clad constantly in shades of spit-up. And Big Guy was a puker of volcanic proportions his first few months.

By and large, though, Boots subsisted on recyclables, except for the ocassional overly expensive guilt purchase as he watches me pile the cart high for new goodies for Big Guy. No, he didn’t really need that $12 Lightning McQueen shirt that makes noise. But compared to how much I was spending on Big Guy that day …

Remembering my sister’s experiences with hand-me-downs, I’ve always felt a bit guilty about Boots’ wardrobe.

We were the sibling equivalent of Jack Sprat and his wife, with her skinny frame swimming in my voluminous castoffs.

To make it worse, my wardrobe consisted mainly of the finest polyester that season’s Sears catalog had to offer – usually the same style in every pattern my mother could order.

If you think polyester looks bad on the first generation, try putting it on a tiny hiny after the initial owner’s bubble butt has stretched it unrecognizably. This generation doesn’t know how fortunate it is that we as a society have gotten past our polyester passion

At least the guys are size simpatico so far. And recycled pants won’t be an issue for Boots much beyond this season, because it was about age 4 when Big Guy discovered the joy of knee-shredding kamikaze jumps that limit his jeans’ life expectancy to about two months.

And while hand-me-down clothing is fine, it does bother Boots that he gets old toys. He hates riding Big Guy’s former tricycle, and he’s been dying for a skateboard since Dec. 26, the day after Big Guy’s showed up under the tree.

That’s why, when Big Guy needed baseball gear recently Boots got in on the purchase, too. He now plays happily, oversize glove flopping on his tiny hand as he tries to play catch.

Please don’t tell him that I bought the gear at Play ItĀ  Again Sports. It would breakĀ  his heart if he knew his “new” glove was used.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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