Friday, February 12, 2010


Three years back, I was expecting my third son and my friend Rachel was expecting her fifth. We chatted about the girly things we missed being the moms of boys and boys alone.

Tights, we agreed, were high on the list.

You know, those cute tights you pay an arm and a leg for at Lands’ End or Hanna Andersson. They come with stripes or hearts. You pair them with a corduroy skirt and a coordinating sweater. Suede mary janes with a butterfly complete the outfit. So cute! So, so cute!

Shortly after Ainsley’s birth a package of clothes arrived in the mail. I rifled through the box, and there they were: Ainsley’s first pair of tights.

“Look, boys!” I, the excited mother, exclaimed, “Tights!”

Of course they were less than impressed, and one of them was slightly embarrassed thinking that tights were sort of like holding up a pair of underwear for the whole family to see.

What do they know? This is a rite of passage.

In the ensuing weeks, as I actually starting putting the tights on Ainsley, the dark side of tights, the long-forgotten side, began to emerge.

For one thing there was the price. The first pair I scooped up for a song - $2.99 on the sale rack. Problem was, you team up the tights with a pair of baby shoes held together with Velcro, and what do you get? Snags and pilling right from the start. You don’t get much in terms of longevity for $2.99. For the same price, you can head to the boys’ aisle and buy a four pack of socks that will get handed down three of four times.

Snagging aside, there’s also the problem of fit. There is a very slim window during which tights actually fit. Ainsley’s tights reminded me of a commercial from my childhood. A mother and daughter are in front of the elephant compound at the zoo. The daughter shouts, “Look, Mama. You have wrinkly panty-hose just like the elephant!” I never could figure out who actually wears panty-hose to the zoo, but I guess that's beside the point.

After the wrinkly stage, the tights look nice for a short span before you quickly enter the tug-and-pull stage. Think back to childhood Easter and Christmas outfits with tights that hovered somewhere between your waist and your knees. Remember the tugging and the flailing? An especially itchy brown pair comes to my mind.

On the bright side, I recently scored big at the consignment shop picking up two pairs of tights for a whopping eighty cents. Considering the pilling problem, that's about what they are worth.

Now that Easy Bake Oven? It had better not disappoint.


Amy Parris said...

As soon as they fit, they decide they dont' like them anymore:(. Enjoy these days before they have an opinion. And...I have an Easy Bake Oven you can have when she's ready!

Kelly said...

I'll take it! I remember how fun it was with Megan and Lissi.

I hear the opinions come earlier than one would expect.

When I come up for a breath of air, I would still love to borrow some girl clothes.

Ecce Quam Bonam said...

I used to pull the excess length off the end of Ailish's toes, then folded it flat back under her foot as I slid her foot into her shoe. As long as she kept her shoes on, all was well and the tights lasted somewhat longer.

I tended to go with leggings instead tights because they generally served the same purpose and held up so much better. At least one Walmart multipacks of tights were bought monthly though.

Recently, I actually ran across some tiny tights left over from Ailish's toddler days. Tights and hair bows still percolate up from drawers and boxes, and I can't bear to let them go.

Kelly said...

So sweet, Kit! I pulled out one of Ainsley's infant diapers and couldn't believe she actually fit into it just a few months back. Of course the diaper is probably huge compared to the diapers you first used with Ailish.

I agree with the leggings. An extra layer of warmth, but they last longer.