Much is written about birth order and what it says about you. Supposedly, middle children are peacemakers and creative while the youngest are highly social and unconventional.
Although the oldest child is said to be authoritative, a perfectionist and driven, I realized that there is another characteristic that I would like to add:
Extremely well dressed.
While going through Ben’s hand-me-downs for Quinn, I was struck by the sheer volume and quality of his 2004 attire. I can’t believe that I didn’t remember it, but apparently, Ben had a better wardrobe as a three-year old than I have as an adult.
It was insane. I found about five pairs each of jeans, corduroys (both wide- and baby-wale) and khakis in addition to chinos in every color of the rainbow. There were enough sweaters to outfit an entire school system and even the t-shirts – multitudes of them – were brand name.
Of course, the kicker was the eight-piece collection of Ralph Lauren button down shirts that I hung up in his closet…a closet with racks that are hardly ever used since t-shirts and shorts live crumpled up in a drawer.
I had to wonder…why, in the name of all that is holy, did Ben have SO MANY CLOTHES?!
It struck me that because he was my first child, I spent a fortune on his wardrobe and the novelty of dressing this little boy hadn’t yet worn off. Aside from the extra disposable income that I had as a mother of one, I used to love shopping for him. Whereas now I groan when I see pants getting too short, I would delight in the fact that this meant another lunchtime trip to TJ Maxx. I’m quite sure that I must have deposited my check, paid the bills and then spent
every last cent on size 3T sweater vests.
Although Georgia is the second child, she IS the first girl so she too had her fair share of new clothes. However, life had gotten busy (and expensive) so where I had turned my nose up at offers of hand-me-downs for Ben, I happily accepted them for Georgia. Just the other day my sister gave her a few bags of clothes from a friend and when she found that they included – gasp! – some great Justice tops, we were both thrilled. They are now staples in her wardrobe.
And then there is child #3. Poor little Quinn, destined for 11-year old worn jeans and sweaters, knowing that the only new items in his drawers will be underwear and socks. He’ll be resigned to wearing button-down Ralph Lauren shirts from the last decade with corduroys to match. And sweater vests? They will be SO last season.
Luckily for me, I don’t feel the need to dress them like little J. Crew models anymore. Ben may have strutted the halls of his Preschool wearing collared shirts and khakis, but after many kids and years of experience, t-shirts and jeans are perfectly fine. With just one child, buttoning a three-year old’s oxford in the morning is fun; with multiple kids, it can seem like the Seventh Circle of Hell.
Of course, now that Quinn has a whole new wardrobe of primo threads, he looks like a million bucks. I suppose I should be thankful that I went to such extremes to dress Ben the way I did, as they now fit Quinn perfectly. And even though the only time he’s worn one of those button down shirts was on picture day, I’ll try to work them into the rotation.
As for those sweater vests? I can’t promise anything.