13 June, 2012

I can't believe I managed to do that

Taking most boys clothes shopping is like trying to pry apart a brick wall. Pretty painful and nearly impossible to do successfully. But I did it today.

This morning I had my usual Magazine Editorial meeting by Skype. We shifted it earlier to accommodate the fact that I had the boys home on holidays and that they get restless after mid-morning.

I don't think the boys (even my 13 y.o.) have yet clicked to the fact that we try to get them outdoors and exercising in some way, every day. Or that when they start to get rowdy, it is often because their bodies need some bigger outlet than bashing around in our little house. Again, with no backyard I have to be far more intentional in getting them outside. For some reason they are usually very reluctant to go out (or usually one of the three of them, a different "one" each time), but love it once they are.

Anyway, today I saw the need to get out soon after my meeting and suggested a ride to our favourite 100 yen store (where almost everything is 100 yen plus 5% tax) to buy a couple of things for camping and out upcoming overnight plane trip (think, for example, eye-masks). Interestingly, today's most-reluctant-to-go-outside boy today piped up and said he needed new socks. Perfect, I thought: We'd slip in a visit to the clothing store that is conveniently located just off our return journey from the 100 yen shop! In the back of my mind was the possibility of getting the two older boys, who are in desperate need of new shorts, to agree to try a couple of pairs on and maybe purchase them. (I'd planned to take my eldest shorts-shopping on Monday but he'd point-blank refused.)

So we rode to the 100 yen shop, a decent length journey, about 2.5km, some of it uphill. Our tradition at a 100 yen shop with the boys is to allow them to choose one item for themselves. This used to involve cheap plastic toys, but their tastes are getting more sophisticated over the years. This time they had a lot of difficulty choosing their item. It was after 12 before we finished, so I engaged them in a discussion about one snack (for 100 yen) to split between them. It was challenging for them to agree on one thing, but I believe these sorts of discussions and negotiations are great life skills to learn.
Three boys in adjacent changing rooms. The third boy
decided he wanted a t-shirt, I didn't want to break the
momentum with the other two, so we found a cheap
one for him that didn't have skulls on it.

We ate our chocolate "coins" and headed off to the clothes shop for some "socks". When we finally all got there (the guys didn't listen too well to my directions, and of course rode ahead, so it took a bit of time for us all to arrive), I quickly found some socks and surreptitiously directed the boys to the shorts section. Working fast, I found some appropriate shorts and directed them to the change rooms.

Before the boys could really grasp what had just happened, we'd bought five pairs of shorts and were headed home on our bikes (the long way!).

I couldn't but help grinning to myself the whole way home! I'd not only gotten them to ride more than 5kms on their bikes, I'd bought necessary clothing that both fitted them and they liked. Awesome job!


Melissa said...

Clothing for boys with no skulls is a rarity. I even have to check that there are no skulls hidden in all the pink in girls wear.

Karen said...

Oh yes. In and out of the shop quickly is definitely the way to go. And the other advantage with boys is that there generally tends to be less to choose from.
I am already noticing that there are heaps more girls' clothes in the shops, even for little toddler girls! Choosing takes a lot longer...

-J said...

Well, and getting them to ride more than 5 km also means that you rode more than 5 km. I miss daily built-in exercise in Japan. Good for you!

Shirley Corder said...

Well done that mum!!!