Jonathon's Closet

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Little Girls Like Camouflage Backpacks ... who knew?

Last week, one of the Dads at the grief center asked if I would take his daughter back-to-school shopping. His daughter is 12, and thinks she is quite grown up. And Dad is at a loss as to how to handle a child who really is a child, despite the effort she puts into acting as mother to her two younger brothers. He was unsure of what she needed, and equally unsure of what was appropriate for a 12 year-old girl.

So I picked up Kami, who instantly begged me to put the top on the car down and was practically jumping up and down in excitement when I complied. Her Dad handed me an envelope containing $600 – and asked if I possibly could, would I please bring this shopping trip in under $500? Uh, yeah - no problem, Gary.

I handed Kami a notebook and a pen and told her to write down everything she thinks she needs during the ride to the shopping district. Before we got started we discussed her list, and did a little editing - it’s kind of difficult to get things like “lots of makeup” for a 12-year-old on MY shopping agenda, and I know her Dad agrees!

I gave Kami a $200 budget, knowing I was carrying plenty more should she need it for anything. You should have seen her eyes get wide when I said $200! She asked “do we need to buy things for my brother too, or is ALL of that for ME?” When I answered that today was ALL about her, she jumped up and wrapped her arms around my neck, hugging tightly.

Kami was responsible for checking items off the list and also recording how much we spent on each item. We changed the list as we went along, making sure we had covered all necessities. Kami was quickly learning how to search the sale racks and compare one item against another for style, price, and quality.

Here's what we ended up with:

2 “girl cut” T-shirts; 1 pink, 1 yellow $3 ea
2 “baby doll” blouses, floral with cap sleeves; $3 ea
2 Hoodies; 1 baby blue, 1 lavender $5 ea
2 Turtlenecks; 1 white, 1 black $5 ea
2 lightweight V-neck sweaters; 1 lime green, 1 black $7 ea
2 pr. Jeans; 1 light, 1 dark $8 ea
2 pr. Capri pants; $6 ea
2 pr. Cargo pants; 1 olive, 1 khaki $9 ea
2 pr. walking Shorts; $5 ea
1 denim Skirt, with embroidered flowers along the hemline; $11
2 pkgs. Panties; $4 ea
4 training bras; $6 ea
2 pkgs. Socks, $4 ea
1 pr. satin pajamas, $16 – My idea, because sometimes a young lady needs a little indulgence!
1 “stylin” cap, or so I’m told; $3
2 pr. Sunglasses from the dollar store. $2
3 pr. Earrings, 3 Purses, 2 clear lip glosses, 2 Necklaces – from the 10/$10 bin at Claire’s $10
1 Camouflage Backpack, $17
1 pr. pink Sneakers, $11
1 pr. lime green “crocs”, $8
1 pr. white running shoes, $13
1 pr. “high” heels (about a ¾ inch heel!) $7
Grand Total: $240

We did quite a bit of talking while trying on clothes and putting together outfits. One thing that never ceases to surprise me is how I can actually see the shadow come over the face of a child who is talking about a deceased parent. The haunting look that resides in the eyes and creeps out during "thinking of them times" is unmistakable.

Kami was an absolute delight to spend the afternoon with, and was totally thrilled with all of her new purchases. She was especially proud to share her list-keeping and price-recording skills with her father, as well as tell him the story of the 3-store search for a Camo backpack that didn’t break the bank and how we ended up with the “very best one in the entire mall!”

As for Gary? Well, he was thrilled with the "Mom-approved" wardrobe, confided that he really expected us to spend all $600, and he nearly hit the floor when I handed him back almost 2/3 of the money he had planned on spending!


  • Kate,

    You are hired. Your deal finding skills are wonderful.

    And what a fun day for Kami, some girl time.


    By Anonymous Amy, at 8:17 PM  

  • Kate--I LOVE your bargain shopping. I too, am a devout bargain shopper. I love looking at how much (or little!) I can get an item for.

    I'm actually considering starting a "bargain blog". Would you be interested in contributing?

    themrsm (at) gmail (dot) com.

    By Blogger Mrs. M, at 8:17 AM  

  • Nice job, girl! Thanks for the good news post!

    By Blogger Valerie - Still Riding, at 1:31 PM  

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