I have two little girls (and one little boy – but he’s the easy one in this story). For the two little girls, everything must match. The water in their glasses must be to precisely the same height, and is measured accordingly. I’m dispatched to the tap, to even things up. The number of chips on each plate must be equal. The number of teddies on each bed must be even. The number of dresses in the wardrobe must be the same. And I would never come home from the shops with a new dress for one and not the other – there would be consternation, confusion and tears. I’ve probably brought this on myself, by starting the practice of keeping everything equal – now they expect it. But that’s how it was when my three sisters and I were small, so I carried on the habit. Even if that means constantly searching for two purses/ books/ packs of socks that are equally nice but slightly different.

It can be time-consuming. Today I bought a navy dress for my five-year-old, to wear on Christmas Day. I thought I was being quite clever buying it now, because I can give it to her as her “present” after my upcoming weekend away (it’s easier to buy presents before I go – does everyone do that?) If I’m going to buy dresses for them anyway, they may as well double up as presents, instead of duty free chocolate.

So I just needed to get a different but equally nice dress for the seven-year-old. I found one that I knew she’d love, but it was ivory. Not very practical. And where the navy dress will double up as a party dress after Christmas, the ivory one was just a bit too….ivory. And it wouldn’t work well with spilled gravy. Nor with tears following spilled gravy. But the main reason I couldn’t buy it was that it was fancier than the navy one. The five-year-old would not be impressed.

So I needed to find a dress that was suitable for Christmas Day, that could be worn to parties for the rest of the year, that works well with gravy, ketchup and chocolate, and that’s about the same level of glamour as a navy dress. And all in ten minutes, because I was on my lunch break. I searched two more shops, but everything screamed Christmas – bright red and gold dresses – some very pretty, but not really suitable for the rest of the year, and not likely to maintain an even keel between two little rivals.

Then I found some gold sparkly shoes. The kind of gold sparkly shoes that seven-year-old girls quite like. Or love. They had her size. She needs shoes – they both do. They have school shoes, and sensible boots, but no nice shoes for parties and movie premiers and royal balls, or whatever social events might come up (and yes, I am absolutely making excuses here – nobody actually needs gold sparkly shoes)

sparkly shoes Office Mum

So I bought the shoes. The presents from my upcoming weekend away were sorted. But hang on – they don’t match up. I can’t even work out which will be deemed superior, but I suspect each girl will eye up her sister’s gift with a covetous stare.

Does a navy dress trump sparkly gold shoes, or vice versa? I don’t know, and I’m not brave enough to find out. Both purchases have been hidden in the wardrobe, and I’ll try again tomorrow – I need to match up. Either a dress-that-is-fancy-but-not-more-so-than-navy (in the eyes of a five-year-old) or another pair of sparkly shoes.

Anyway, at least I just have this one present to worry about – when I think about Christmas, and the need to have two of everything; similar, equally good, but not the same, I feel very, very sorry Santa.

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14 thoughts on “Miss-match”

  1. Oh I know this battle, Santa left 2 of everything last year and equally measured other things but they still both wanted each other things even the exact same coloured leappad with the exact same games!!!!! They are actually looking for different things this year which is a shock but I know they will still want to swap, never ends!!! In other ways they are total opposites, I can never tell where I am with them lol
    Sara recently posted…Here’s to another year!My Profile

    1. Sara that’s it – exact same thing here. Very different personalities and might ask for different things, but perhaps have a bit of order envy after!
      Plus with small people, they tend to look at the size and colour of any given present, and might not understand the value – well I suppose to them the value IS the size and colour!

  2. I feel your pain and even if I have two boys, I can definitely relate… Except it’s all about cars, trains, or Minecraft characters. I always thought it would be easier if they were girls as they would be happy with clothes ( cheaper and easier to find than the Minecraft rollercoaster (that doesn’t even exist ) they both want with Santa), but after reading your post, I realised how hard it is to actually please them with clothes! So maybe I’m lucky after all… Good luck in finding another dress and pair of shoes 🙂
    Nearly Irish recently posted…My great great Grand-motherMy Profile

    1. The one advantage with clothes is that presents can be functional – I can buy them some much needed tops and leggings, and they get all excited! Santa brings them clothes too. But yes, I’d guess that overall girls might be fussier? Although reading your comment, maybe they all compare and contrast but just in different ways and for different types of things. Santa will figure it out 🙂

  3. I feel your pain! I never know where I stand with my twin girls. They frequently ‘swap’ favourite colours and always covet each others things yet never want the same stuff… except when they do. Like today, they insisted on being dressed in the EXACT same outfit, but half of one child’s stuff was in the wash, so they went out ‘almost’ matching but very grumpy. I can’t win!!

    P.S. I totally buy presents before going away. Away time is too precious to be wasting trawling shops for kids stuff 😉
    Sadhbh@WhereWishesComeFrom recently posted…Oisín The Brave – Moon Adventure: A Book ReviewMy Profile

    1. I imagine with twins it’s even trickier! But cute too 🙂
      And yes, I get very stressed if I have to shop for presents when I’m away – they would end up with Duty Free chocolate if it’s left till then 🙂

  4. We’ve a similar age gap in our house and similar measurement issues. Santa is very careful in this house.
    They calculate everything, checking which is better. I make them suck up some clothes things, because the child who has holes in his shoes needs them and the other may not.
    For the record, I think the gold shoes trump the navy dress, more frivolous.
    Sinead – Bumbles of Rice recently posted…Review: “Gruffalo: Games” AppMy Profile

    1. I think you’re right about the gold shoes. I am determined to find a dress tomorrow, and put away the shoes for now.
      And yes, we have the issue with the older child needing clothes – I have to really negotiate with the younger on that one, or buy stuff and sneak it into the wardrobe.

  5. I can so relate, for ages I just bought three of everything to prevent the rows/upset but now our very tall eight year old is in a different range of clothes to her sisters so there is a lot of deliberating as to how well clothes, particularly dresses, compare!!
    Mine would definitely pick the gold shoes over the dress….they are gorgeous!
    Life on Hushabye Farm recently posted…The ScreamMy Profile

    1. Sometimes I buy two of a certain thing, but then I feel I’m missing out on a hand-me-down opportunitiy, as in, the five year old will get two years out of her own dress, then end up wearing her big sister’s dress, that’s exactly the same, for another two years. But then, she probably wouldn’t mind that at all – maybe I should buy more of the same stuff for them!

      1. Unfortunately my children tend to be very bad at minding their clothes, they go ‘farming’ in their party clothes and painting out houses in their school uniform!!! I blame their father because he tells them that mucky children are happy children ( this seriously upsets the neat freak in me but I try not to show it!!) So hand me downs are not often an option.
        Life on Hushabye Farm recently posted…The ScreamMy Profile

        1. So all I really need to do now is buy a farm and rule out hand me downs, and my problem is solved – or move in with you maybe…all that lovely food….

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