The Motherhood of the Traveling Shorts
May 14, 2014
Can someone — you, the Internet, Miss Cleo, Flying Spaghetti Monster, anyone — please tell me where the hell I put the bin with all the size 3T shorts? Because I have lost the bin with all the size 3T shorts and possibly, also, my mind.
Not to be dramatic or anything (HAHAHA), but whenever I am asked*, "Amy, you have three boy children, how do you do it?" My answer is always the same: A ruthlessly efficient and impeccably organized system of hand-me-down bins. I have prided myself for years on my system, my ritual, my dedication to having the next size ready to go at a growth-spurt's notice, sorted by seasonal appropriateness and school vs. playtime quality. I believe that if you lose control of the hand-me-down cycle, the entire household structure will collapse into unspeakable chaos and probably catch on fire.
*I am never asked that.
And here I am, trying to figure out how in the world an entire oversized plastic bin full of clothing has gone missing. In this house, which is not that big, and not exactly flush with extra storage areas and hidey-holes where a bin could disappear into, never to be seen (or tripped over, or moved or cursed at because it's blocking your path to something important) again.
The bin of 3T shirts and PJs (spring/summer) was right where it was supposed to be, in Ike's closet. The 3T winter clothing had already been taken out of its bin and entered the wearable rotation a couple months ago. I assumed the 3T shorts were in the bin underneath that, but no. It was full of 4T clothing (winter). The only other bin in Ike's closet was also 4T clothing (spring/summer; but totally missing all the shorts). Ezra's wearing all the 5T; the bins in their closet are just Noah's outgrown 6/7 clothing. A thorough search of dresser drawers and wearable rotation contents revealed no 3T shorts, anywhere.
(I'm sure this is all quite fascinating. But this has seriously been consuming my life all week so I am compelled to share forensic-level details with you.)
Besides their closets, here are all the other places a bin of hand-me-downs could be, and all the other places I have looked, REPEATEDLY:
1) My closet. (No)
2) Under their bed? If maybe I packed them in a kind of weirdly small box instead of a bin? (No, but I found some Legos.)
3) Under my bed? (No, but I found a shoe I thought I'd lost.)
4) On the shelves in the basement. (No, but I should probably donate the maternity wear bin already.)
5) On the floor of the basement, maybe under some crap? Or in some weird corner of the basement, behind some more crap? (No, ew.)
6) The closet in the basement where I keep hand-me-down outerwear? (No, like I'd ever mix shorts with snowpants, I'm not an anarchist.)
7) The dusty awful attic crawlspace. (No, but now I think I have the black lung.)
8) Seriously, how is this bin not in either of their closets? Maybe I should go look again. (No.)
9) Maybe I should unpack the 4T bins just to make sure it really is all 4T. (Yes, and holy shit, why aren't there any shorts here, either?)
10) ROSEBUDDDDDDDDDDD. REDRUMMMMMM. AND ETCETERAAAAA.
Yesterday I finally caved and bought Ike two (2) measly pairs of $6 (six dollah) shorts at Old Navy. (Before that, I'd just been cutting legs off of his 2T jeans. Unfortunately my sewing machine skills are still pathetically rudimentary, so an attempt at hemming khaki pants into khaki shorts resulted in a pile of khaki scraps.)
I bought the shorts mostly in hopes that I would bring them home and then promptly trip over the hand-me-down bin, which was sitting there someplace obvious this whole time. I only bought two pairs because COME ON, he's the third boy. The last boy. The boy who has benefitted from a long, industrious line of former 3T shorts-wearers, including his brothers, his cousin, one neighbor and at least two friends who have given me entire garbage bags' worth of clothing. YOU DON'T BUY NEW CLOTHES FOR A BOY LIKE THAT.
At this point, I can only think of three possible solutions to this mystery:
1) That I had some kind of massive brain-fart/neurological/drunk incident where I bagged up the 2T shorts from last summer to donate, and accidentally tossed in all the 3T shorts that I didn't realize had already been integrated into the wearable rotation. (Possible, I guess. But then where are the 4T shorts? HUH? RIDDLE ME THAT, BATMAN.)
2) That there is another wing of my house that I have not yet discovered or have completely forgotten about, perhaps accessible by a magic secret passage, full of money, the missing shorts, lost earrings backs and probably a shitload of Legos.
Anyway. I am so irrationally annoyed by this, as you can probably tell. Please send help, most notably of the mental variety. I'm going to try sewing a semi-straight hem again today, because I am not buying any more shorts. I will go down with this principled ship, and I will never stop looking for that stupid bin of hand-me-downs, because WTF, man, it's gotta be around here somewhere, right? Right?