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Pretty Plus

Fall is here, and that means new clothes for the kids. I drug out the storage containers form the garage, laid everything out, and determined which hand-me-downs would fit which child. Then, I made a list of how many shirts, pants, jeans, t-shirts, etc. I needed to get. One place we were pretty solid  was pants. Will gets Jack’s leftovers from 2 years ago. Sam gets Jack’s leftovers from last year. I hit the end of season sales last spring, and loaded Jack up on corduroys and khakis and his last year jeans still fit — at least until the first of the year. That just leaves Tom. And with Tom it’s a bit trickier.

Tom is what you might call solid. Thick as a tree, strong as an ox — I’m convinced Tom is going to hit his 4 year growth spurt and then decide between completing pre-school or declaring himself NFL draft eligible. But in the meantime, he needs pants.

I searched GAP, local department stores, J.C. Penney and finally, after much soul searching turned to Sears. Why the hesitation? Two words — Pretty Plus.

Pretty Plus is a code word they use for a special segment of the girl’s clothing line at Sears, and I’ll clue you in now — it doesn’t mean MORE pretty. It means MORE to love…MORE material required…MORE trips to the buffet line. In short, it’s the clothes for big girls, and it’s the only place I could find pants until the 6th grade.

So for me, a return to Sears shopping meant revisiting a LOT of childhood trauma. I worried that giving Tom the “Husky” label (the code word for the boys’ clothing line) at such an early age might be hurtful. I worried that he would notice that his clothes were different than his brothers’. In short, I worried that I was placing the weight of all my childhood angst squarely on his sturdy little shoulders. It was a lot to swallow, but I took a deep breath and clicked through the checkout screens required to place my order. Then put it out of my mind.

But as the days went by, and Tom had to wear sweatpants or elastic shorts while the other boys were wearing jeans, I really began to look forward to that Sears order. So what if he’s built a little differently? He still deserves to be comfortable! I started to get a bit angry with all those other retailers for not realizing that awesome comes in all shapes and sizes. And three years old is way too young to be told that you don’t “fit the mold.” Come to think of it…I’m not sure it’s ever o.k. to send that message.

The box arrived last night. And after his bath, when he was smelling his sweetest and feeling his cuddliest, Tommy got to try on his new pants. Pants with enough room in the waist so his tummy doesn’t hurt. Pants built for a boy born with a booty, so he can run and jump and play without constantly having to stop and tug them back into place. In short, pants that made him feel good. He patted his new jeans and said with a huge grin, “Mommy, dese fit me jus’ wight.”

And suddenly, I remembered the beautiful eggplant corduroys I got in the 4th grade. They came with a matching Lavender turtleneck covered in flowers. I remembered how soft they were when I slipped them on. How I felt like smiling more when I was wearing them. And in that moment, just like flipping a switch, I decided Pretty Plus just might have stood for “More Pretty” after all.

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6 Responses

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  1. Staci says

    Being a “pretty plus” girl all my life, I appreciate your thoughts more than you know! I believe awsome does come in all sizes and “husky”, “plus size”, “pretty plus” etc. just means more to love! I know that Tom looks handsome in his new jeans!

  2. alonna says

    oh this was so good it almost made me cry. I get very aggrivated that most retailers just slump all boys into 2 categories. They don’t make enough cute clothes for boys. I never realized this till I had one of my own. The Gap is my go to place, but most stores want them to wear camaflouge (nothing wrong with that ) I just don’t care for most of that or something with trucks on it. The other side of the spectrum is john johns. My sister has loved those since Atticus was born. I can’t stand the way they just look so uncomfortable. But to each his own. Your such a good mom Jodi the husky section just got cuter from a little boy name Tom. :D

  3. angie mizzell says

    Thanks for the memories. I ate a lot of Sweet 16 donuts as a child. My mom tried to limit my sweets, but my grandma always felt sorry for me and would sneak me some goodies. My three month old is already wearing 6 months plus… I think he and Tom should hang out. :)

  4. Jennifer says

    Your boys are gorgeous in all their different shapes and sizes! And you have always been beautiful, inside and out! I remember you in your “purple” I was totally envious (purple was my favorite color and that outfit was awesome).

  5. jodi says

    Jennifer, I cannot believe you would remember that! Memories are so much more fun when there’s someone to share it with. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Chrissie says

    Jodi, I LOVE this! I remember you talking about being a pretty plus back in meetings together, and I thought then “she gets me” and reading this I thought it again. I remember the frustration of the girls that always bragged on their “slim” sizes, and I was always a regular for sure! THis put a smile on my face!



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