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From Sweatshirts to Tee Shirts


Good-bye, fleece pants and sweatshirts.  Hello, shorts and tee shirts.  It’s that time.  Time to fill dresser drawers with summer clothes.  So I asked Daughter in a text, “Can I help with changing out clothes?”  She immediately replied, “Sure!”

Stacks of pass-‘em-down summer clothes, sorted by sizes, were piled on the girls’ bedroom floor.  My three granddaughters, ages 6, 4, and almost 2, jumped over the stacks.  “Let me have Elaine,” I said.  I claimed a corner and sat on a bed where I hoped to keep my constant-moving young Grand corralled.

“These are the size 2’s, but some are big and some are little.  Just slip them on her and you can tell,” Daughter told me.  Elaine held her arms high over her head and lifted her chin as I took off her long sleeve shirt.  She willingly pushed her hand through a white, short-sleeve tee shirt with a pink flower on the front.  “Perfect!”  I said and stripped it off, over her head.

While I put that shirt in the ‘keep pile’ and reached for another, my Grand toddled away and grabbed a pencil in one hand and a Lego piece in the other.  She’s always liked to hold things, and I knew she’d be happier clutching something, but there was no way that I was willing to navigate a pencil through shirt sleeves.  Using my greatest negotiating ability, I convinced Elaine to swap her long pencil for a pencil eraser.  I maneuvered her closed fists through the next shirt and the next and the next.  One was too short.  One too tight.   One was just right.  It was time for me to eyeball ‘just right.’  I stood Elaine on the floor between my knees and laid shirts across her shoulders and guessed ‘just right.’  “Try some of these size 3’s and here’s some shorts,” Daughter said.

“Okay, Elaine, let’s try on shorts,” I said.  I put my hands under her arms to lift her onto my lap.  She slithered to the floor.  How does a kid know how to do that?  She stretched her arms, flat against her ears, straight above her head and slid.  She lay limp.  In a ball.

I sang a silly made-up song, “Let’s try on some shorts.  Let’s try on some shorts.  Elaine, Elaine.  Try on shorts.”  My Grand responded with a smile.  She only had to try on two pairs for me to determine which of the others would stay up and were the right length.  I continued to sing silly songs, and I bounced her on my knees.

“Here’s a couple of dresses to try,” Daughter said.  By now, Elaine wanted to escape.  She ran from our try-on corner to a baby doll bed.  I coaxed her back and quickly pulled a dress down over her head as she squirmed and wiggled.  It fit.  I lifted the dress off and Elaine again slithered to the floor.  Dressed only in her diaper, my Grand lay on her tummy.  Thumb in mouth.

I knew just how she felt.


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