There were some needs in the Hooligan wardrobe. The smaller one has outgrown his sneakers. The larger one's t-shirts have become an embarassment to me. He could care less, but gets annoyed when I make him go change before we have people over for dinner or something.
I took them to Portland. My plan was to have lunch with my parents, go downtown and have a fun time shopping, and then back to my folks' for dinner before going home. This was a great plan except for the fun time shopping part. We found a parking spot between REI and Powell's.
I wasn't trying to challenge them. We weren't shopping for me! I know they have limits! I had no intention of so much as pausing in front of the window at any of those lady stores they hate so much.
Inside REI, they went straight to the display of flashlights and pocket knives. They were loathe to come look for anything they actually needed. They kept asking to go across town to the army surplus store where they could buy a de-activated grenade.
"But that serves no purpose," I explained. "And besides, you already have one and ninja stars, as well, because your father is so very nice to you. We are here to get some things you actually need. You get to choose. I won't have to return anything because you don't like it or it doesn't fit. This is a good thing! You get to make decisions! Just try it on!"
They rolled their eyes at me. "Can't you just order us stuff?"
Truly, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I suppose I should've just run with this: Hell yes I will order stuff. I will order striped shirts and plaid button downs and bow ties, also pants with little whales embroidered all over them. I will order saddle shoes.
Forget about cool!! I could make them look so adorable if they would let me! They have no idea what risks they are taking here.
I dragged them upstairs. There were actually no loveable sneakers, in the smaller hooligan's opinion. And only one t-shirt that fit and wasn't made of something so high tech and organic that it was a reasonable price. We did, however, find excellent snowboots, which we bought a size too large. They should last through this year and into next, and they were on super sale. Apparently they are "cool" as well. Isn't that nice.
Boys are mysterious creatures. After a short trip to Powell's for some dis-topian sci-fi and the latest Wimpy Kid (ugh), we got back to my parents' at dinner time. My mother had spaghetti and meatballs simmering on the stove. My sons joined my father on the couch, where they happily watched some show about war. With everyone settled and an hour before dinner, my mother and I zipped over to the nearby shopping center, where we shopped and chatted peacefully, without buying a thing.