Remember the last time we went shopping? I was huffing, grumbling slightly as I pawed through the wasteland that is the tights section at Target? You were dancing and daydreaming somewhere nearby, but I managed to snag the last pair (in your size) of cute purple tights with bunnies on the knees, and when I threw them into the shopping cart, do you remember what I said? I was like, “Please try not to rip these ones, okay?” and you were like, “Sure, mummy.”
Well, guess where I am right now? I’m at the mother-effing Myer, standing in the mile-long checkout line with two new pairs of tights, only this time they’re not soft, opaque ones because those are long gone. This time you’re getting two pairs of boring cotton tights that I know you’ll wrinkle your nose at, but it was all they had left. All this, because the one thing I asked you — that you not rip your tights — just couldn’t be done.
The truth is, I love seeing you scamper out of the classroom when I pick you up from school, your face full of laughter and stories and kisses. But then I look down at your knees, realising that yet another brand new pair of tights is snagged and dirty and ripped at the knee, and you know what? A little part of me dies inside. That’s right. Your tights-destroying antics are KILLING YOUR MOTHER! Well, not me, specifically, but definitely my wallet. Maybe one pair of tights only costs $5 to $20 but when I have to stock up as often as I do, it really starts to add up!
What I really want to know is: How did it happen? That time I picked you up from ballet and your entire thigh area — from hip to knee — was exposed, with little stray wisps of elastic thread dangling around your leg, how did it happen? Were you practising army crawl jetes? Arabesques with forks? I can understand the knee holes, and the butt holes and the toe holes, but for the life of me I will never understand that monstrous thigh gash.
And each time I notice a fresh rip in a new pair of tights, my mind goes a couple of places. On the one hand, I think, “Okay, I’ll grab the sewing kit and mend this delicate hole in hopes of eking another few wears,” but on the other hand I think, “Screw you, kid! I bought a three-pack of wooly striped tights less than a week ago and we’re already down to one pair? ALREADY?! Are you literally shaving them with a cheese grater at recess?!”
Don’t worry, sweetheart, I have no intention of actually reaming you out for being adventurous on the playground or scaling walls or even crawling along gritty pavement as you and your friends play baby kittens (well, maybe then). You are spunky and creative and brave and you deserve to be a kid and have fun. But can I ask you a favour? Just a little one, while you’re out there being rough and tumble and skidding into home base? And I’m not sure if you knew this, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but tights do not grow on trees. They are made of tiny little elastic fibres lovingly woven together by big giant machines and they cost money. The organic ones cost lots of money.
So, here’s the deal, kiddo. I know you’ve got the fashion sense of a delicate princess and the playtime goals of Indiana Jones, but if you can’t stop ripping your tights on a daily basis, I’m throwing them all out. It’s going to be long socks for school and all jeans the rest of the time. Utilitarian, dark blue, boring-a*s jeans. Just a little something to think about next time you’re bumping down the stairs or practicing being a human tornado.