Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Gymboree Fashion Show

I parked the car and my heart thumped with excitement. I could feel my hands start to tingle with anticipation as I stepped out of the vehicle. I sucked in a deep breath of air and grinned as though I had an important secret to keep. I headed for the trunk and pulled out the stroller for my daughter Natalie, who was watching me from her cow print car seat. When I pulled open her door I went, “Are you going to sit in your stroller like a big girl?”

She nodded, her brown curls bouncing against her neck. I knew she was fibbing, God bless her. She’ll sit in her stroller for all of five minutes and then climb out. “All done!” she’ll say cheerfully, as though she had just accomplished a big favor for me. I’ll attempt to get her to sit back down but she’ll go stiff on me, refusing to bend her legs.

“Seriously,” I told Natalie gravely as I put her in the stroller. “You need to sit.”

“Okay Mommy,” she said sweetly even though we both knew she was lying through her teeth.

We walked into the mall and passed the boring stores that mean nothing to me. I used to like Spencer’s Gifts until they started filling it with all sorts of Twilight crap. I’d rather not have Edward’s creepy eyes following me as I giggle at the edible penis pasta, you know?

Natalie and I continued to blaze past the stores that didn’t interest us and then suddenly, there it was in its beige glory. A big smile formed on my face as my heart started to quicken again. I started to wonder if this was how Columbus felt when he discovered America—I mean, the poor guy was surrounded by water for months on end and then, oh my gosh, LAND!

Okay, so the two aren’t quite the same thing. But still. Whenever I see Gymboree I can’t help but feel ecstatic. My hands gripped the handle bar of the stroller and I headed determinedly towards the store. As I was approaching, a woman walked out with two bags stuffed with clothes and this was when my heart dropped.

She took everything! What if she’s taken all of Natalie’s sizes? What if she’s taken everything I wanted?

The thoughts swirled through my head and I craned my neck to try and see what she had in those bags as she clomped by. She clomped because she had on a pair of high heels that looked dangerous to walk in. She had on a smart pencil skirt with a button up blouse and her hair was twisted up in a neat bun on the top of her head. When I saw her, I immediately thought that she had to be a lawyer.

So, did the lawyer take all the clothes I wanted?

Could I SUE her for that?

When I walked into Gymboree my favorite worker was there. She gave me a wide grin, probably because she knows that I’m a great shopper. I’m not one of those annoying customers who ask a billion questions because by the time I get into the store, I basically know what I want. I know the clothing lines by name and I know exactly where Natalie’s section is.

“I take it you’re here for the Baby Sale,” the worker said knowingly.

I nodded. “Of course.” I always show up for the sales. The Baby Sale, in case you weren’t aware, means that all the items have $10 and $20 pricemarks. Plus, you can use a 20% off coupon which makes them $8 and $16. And if you have a Gymboree Visa (which I do for obvious reasons) you can save another 5%.

“Do you need help with anything?” the worker inquired as I spotted the dress I wanted.

“No. I think I’m set,” I replied and then started pushing the dress along the rack for Natalie’s size.

Did the lawyer take the size 2T?

At first I thought she had because I couldn’t find it. But then there it was, in the very back. I pulled it down and gazed at it lovingly.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” I cooed to Natalie.

Who was no longer in the stroller.

My poor heart, it was obviously abused that day because now it wasn’t thumping with excitement but now it was thumping with panic. My eyes scanned the store—it’s not that big—and then I found Natalie pressing her face against the ceiling to floor glass window.

“Natalie!” I admonished, rushing over, “We don’t do that! There are germs. Do you want to get the swine flu?”

Natalie giggled. “Yes!”

I scooped her up. “No you don’t want to get the swine flu,” I corrected, and carried her back to the stroller.

Of course she turned stiff on me. No matter how hard I tried to get her to sit, her legs refused to bend. Natalie just grinned up at me as I tried to set her back down as if to say, “You can try all you want, woman. I’m not sitting.”

I eventually gave up and placed her on my hip. But then she started reaching for a bunch of different clothes.

“No, Natalie,” I lectured. “You can’t touch.”

“EEEEEEEEE!” she went, right into my ear which immediately started to ring.

I set her down beside me. “Do you want to play with my cell phone?” I asked, digging it out of my purse. I handed it over.

Natalie turned it around her palm for a few seconds and then opened it. “Heddo?” she said into the receiver. “Heddo?”

I started to gather the other clothes I knew I wanted. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Of course I had a list of things I knew I wanted to get in my mind. But then when you see OTHER clothes you start to long for those too. But then you remind yourself, no, you have a budget, you can’t get the adorable polka dot boots and the brown tutu....

It can give you quite a headache, really.

“All done, Mommy,” Natalie said, sticking the phone back into my purse. And then she started walking off.

“Natalie. You have to stay by Mommy,” I said firmly, trying to take her by the hand. She immediately yanked her hand from mine and shouted, “NO!” and stomped off into the boy section. She crossed her arms around her tiny chest and stuck her tongue at me.

Shopping with a two-year-old is almost as bad as shopping with a man.

I went over to her and squatted down to her level. “You may not behave like this. I understand that you’re bored and you’re welcome to watch the TV,” I said, pointing to the television that Gymboree has set up. The singing vegetables were on again. Vegetales which sort of creeps me out because I don’t want broccoli singing at me. Then again, the other shows Natalie watches aren’t exactly the picture of sane either.

Natalie thankfully decided to watch the television.

“A tomato!” she said cheerfully as she sat down in front of a tomato who was singing about...gee, I don’t know, being happy? I wasn’t paying attention.

It took me awhile to figure out if I wanted to buy the adorable brown tutu. I kept twirling it around in my hand and sighing at it. Tutus really aren’t practical but they look adorable on a little kid. But...Natalie already has a purple and pink tutu. I reminded myself of this as I stared wistfully at it and wished that I had a rich family member who would volunteer to buy whatever clothes I wanted.

I put the tutu back and realized that I better get going. Natalie was turning on the singing produce and I can tell from her expression that I had less than two minutes before she went running off. So I placed all the clothes on the counter and chit chatted with my favorite worker as she rang me up.

“Weeeeeee!” Natalie shrieked, racing past me as I paid. She stood at the entrance of the store. “Hi! Hi peoples!” she said, waving.

“She can be our greeter,” the store worker said.

Can she get paid in clothes? I wanted to ask.

When the worker handed me the orange yarn handles of the bag of clothes I felt a sense of satisfaction as I took hold of it. I couldn’t wait to try them on Natalie.

This is what I got:

The boots are not Gymboree. I got them from Target last year for 75% off.

I asked her to smile for the camera and she's like, "I just did, lady."

Then I put the pumpkin hat on her. I bought this last year on sale.

I asked if she wanted a sandwich for lunch and this was the look she gave me. A simple "no thanks" would have sufficed.

She's all, "Hi. My Mom is nutso!"

I just love love LOVE this dress. Oh, and if people are all, "Oh gosh, she probably spent a fortune on all of this!" just know that everything was $100 and I totally used the money I made from eBay from selling last year's clothes.

I asked if she wanted a chicken patty for lunch. She was thinking about it.

Natalie was all, "Circles on dress!"

On went the hat. I LOVE hats on kids. Sometimes Natalie just rips them off and I'm all, "No no darling, it's part of the ensemble." I think she's starting to comprehend this...

So run to Gymboree and tell them the crazy blog lady WhisperingWriter sent you!


  1. those hat pictures deserve to be blown up and on display in every gymboree across the country, then they can pay you in clothes for usage rights..

    cutie patootie!

  2. She is so cute! My favorite outfit is the last one. It looks so cozy and fabulous at the same time!

  3. My daughter runs straight to the back of Gymboree where the television is...

    Say what you want about Veggie Tales but Hip-Hop Harry is an abomination and should be thrown in prison immediately.

  4. OK, those are the cutest outfits ever.

  5. So I loved the post as usual and the photos are adorable but hold the phone, you have an ebay store where you sell all her clothes?! You must show me where it is. My daughter is a little behind Natalie and I would LOVE some of her 'last years' clothes.

  6. I love your pictures ... Natalie is so adorable (I think she looks just like Tommy!) and you've got some mad photography skillz, lady!

    What kind of camera do you have? Must get one. Someday when I have, you know, tons of money.

  7. The outfits are so cute. I forgot how fun dressing girls can be. That hat is the bomb.

  8. You know, you could probably make a lot of money taking pictures of kids because all the ones you show are perfect to frame and give to grandparents for christmas!! But then, I remembered, you have no tolerance for other children besides your own, so that really wouldn't work out now would it. Natalie is SO cute and she works it too! :) I love all the outfits!

  9. Greeter, hell! --she should be paid for modeling those adorable clothes because she is the cutest thing I've ever seen! Dag nab it, she's cute!

    (And the pumpkin hat is to die for!)

  10. Those are way, way too cute! Now? I am wishing I had a girl to dress. Not my own, mind you, but someone else's..!

  11. She has to be the yummiest thing I have seen all day! Darling!

  12. The second to last picture is my favorite picture! you scored!

  13. Wow....Please do tell what your ebay store is.....i'm really excited about last years clothes...... :)

  14. Ok, you convinced me, I'll go tomorrow. But I don't think there clothes fit me! LOL I love the pink and brown!

  15. Ok I officially love her and her colors and her orange hat. What a sweetie! Come stop by today and enter the Thursday book giveaway...

  16. She is too cute she needs to model for Gymboree and they can pay her in clothes. You need to send these pictures to corporate they are so good.

  17. OMG, how do you live with so much cute every day? Seriously, wow.

  18. She is TOO cute. I love the outfits. It's moments like these when I wish I could get away with dressing my son up in girly clothes.... I would if I could!

    I, funnily enough, am about to head out the door to do a bit of Fall/Winter shopping for the littlen'. I can't wait! :)

  19. Plenty to love about this posting. Utterly gorgeous clothing and your daughter is just adorable.

    That noise you can hear is the last remaining shreds of my masculinity officially disowning me.

  20. I think you should quit everything else and get that cutie of yours signed on as a Gymboree model! I bet you get to keep the clothes...!

  21. I think you should quit everything else and get that cutie of yours signed on as a Gymboree model! I bet you get to keep the clothes...!

  22. ZOMG Cuteness! I can't wait to get my son into his new fall clothes...not quite cool enough here yet, though.

  23. What a little doll! I just love that last outfit. I think my daughter needs it;) Guess I will be visitng my local Gymboree!

  24. heres an idea....submit all these pictures to Gymboree marketing and maybe then they will pay her in clothes.....shes adorable....great finds!!!!....good idea on the eBay thing...i usually take clothes that hes out grown to a consignment store and get a little cash that way!! these are cute though!!!!

  25. Those are some really cute outfits on a really adorable little girl!

  26. I'd be surprised if Natalie didn't take an interest in modelling, she's a natural. A lovely little girl.

  27. She's adorable & I'm totally digging the polka dots this season. Fall clothes are the best IMO.

  28. Adorable! My daughters are adults, but I remember the excitement of those big sales. They were not nearly as much fun when they wouldn't let me dress them anymore. Darn them...Have fun with you baby doll while you can.

  29. Glad to have found your blog! Was a lot of fun to read.

    Technically, though there's a dispute over whether Columbus actually "discovered" America...still I'm sure he was much more excited to find land than you would be suing the lawyer.

  30. Oh heck...she's just too cute. And, with all that hair.

    And, the stroller dilemma/battle is too much for me, too. I find myself grabbing at Isabelle's pants as she is running away.

  31. She's so adorable! And the monkeys! Oh the monkeys. I love them.

  32. Love the hat!!!

    And a girl can never, ever, have too many tutus.

  33. what a total cutie! and i love all the polka dots... so sweet!

    have a wonderful holiday wkend!

  34. OK, seriously, she needs to be in a Gymboree ad (do they do ads? I don't have kids so I don't know) but seriously!!! She is a little model!!!!!

  35. Reading all the other comments, I have to agree - your daughter sure is cute, you take great pictures of her, she should model for Gymboree, and they should give you the clothes for compensation. In all seriousness, why not send some pictures to the corporate office? It couldn't hurt!

  36. What a beautiful little girl - I'm sure if she waved and said “Hi! Hi peoples!” at the Gymboree their sales would triple within minutes.


  37. Aw! She's such a cutie! I'm loving the little sister outfit, and really wishing I had thought to buy those target boots on sale last year!! You did good buying ahead with that one, I'm always guessing the sizes wrong. :P

  38. you have a gymboree model on your hands!
    she could not be any cuter!
    the clothes are all adorable!!

    my mom used to manage a gymboree, it was when my little sister was ages 2-5. sure you can imagine who had the cutest dressed kid every single day!

  39. You are the Queen of the Bargain Shoppers! Very cute outfits. ANd Natalie is an absolute doll.

  40. Aww, I miss dressing up little girls. Natalie is beautiful, and she sure knows how to work the camera.

    K, I'm off to find a pumpkin hat for the boys.

  41. OMG I love that dress!!! It looks so much cuter in real life than on the website!! I will be getting that tomorrow for sure! What a great fashion show!

  42. I can't even remember what this post is about, I'm too distracted by the ADORABLE pics!

    And by lamenting over the fact that my girls will no longer wear Gymboree clothes because "they're too baby-ish" {sniff, sniff}

  43. I can't even remember what this post is about, I'm too distracted by the ADORABLE pics!

    And by lamenting over the fact that my girls will no longer wear Gymboree clothes because "they're too baby-ish" {sniff, sniff}

  44. She fantasticly beautiful and playful!!!

  45. Oh my gosh she is the CUTEST thing in America. What in the world. I want to come over to your house this instant and photograph her. I hope you live near me in Pennsylvania : ) Crossing fingers. And toes!

  46. I think she looks adorable in those outfits. So Cute! I am glad that I found your blog! I also had to mention that the Tomato creeps me out to the extreme but that is actually a story behind that one!

  47. OMG, she is absolutely precious!


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