The Big Sis and I hit the consignment store over the weekend. The goal was to find a bathing suit for The Little Sis for our vacation next month, as I would much rather pay $3.50 for a swimsuit than whatever full price is these days. While I was looking through the baby sizes, I told The Big Sis to look through the swimsuits that were her size, mostly to keep her occupied, as she has two or three swimsuits from last summer that should fit her fine this year.
She found a Little Mermaid swimsuit. I should probably note here that I am not crazy about licensed characters on clothing and other items, though I certainly don’t forbid it either (as that’s just the way to make it even more appealing to her). Generally I keep it limited to items that we keep at the house (pajamas and toys) instead of things that she wears out. Softening a bit during her pleas, I looked at the Little Mermaid swimsuit and saw it was a size 4, but I held it up to her anyway, just in case it might fit. Unfortunately, there was no way that was happening, as her torso is quite long. Knowing she wouldn’t react well, I told her that it wouldn’t fit but we could still continue looking at the swimsuits in her size and maybe there would be one she likes more. She didn’t exactly believe me, but I did manage to fend off the tantrum I expected. (Point: Mom!)
Sure enough, she found another one in her section — but this time it was a size 3. Not any better! I thought for sure she’d lose it then, but she kept looking instead. Then BAM! We found it — a Little Mermaid swimsuit that she loved. As it was just $3.50 and she’d been a great shopping helper that day, I told her we could get it, and naturally she was elated. We could have left the store right then and she would have been on cloud nine.
Now, when I’d been looking at the baby swimsuits, I’d found a couple that I liked in basic floral patterns. The Big Sis didn’t see the choices we had for baby suits since they were on a pretty high rack, so I could have easily just grabbed one of the cute flower ones and been done with it. But in the baby size, I’d seen a similar Little Mermaid swimsuit. I knew The Big Sis would LOVE for The Little Sis to have a matching swimsuit with her. (Well, they weren’t the same swimsuit, but “matching” in that they both had Ariel on them.)
So I had a choice. I could easily buy the flower swimsuit for the baby and The Big Sis wouldn’t have known the difference. Or I could make her very happy and buy the Little Mermaid swimsuit so they matched.
I should also note that I am not into really matchy things for siblings — not that it’s really that much of an option with girls 4 1/2 years apart in age — but I opted to get the Little Mermaid swimsuits for both girls. One, it IS hard to let the girls wear matching outfits, so this was one way to let them do it. Two, I knew The Big Sis would love to have both of them wearing The Little Mermaid. Three, it’s just a swimsuit.
So I showed The Big Sis the baby swimsuit and asked if she thought The Little Sis might like it. Seeing her eyes light up reaffirmed my decision. She gasped and said, “Can we get it for her? Pleeeease??” I told her we could, and she grabbed both swimsuits and hugged them close. She said, “Yay! Now we can be sisters!” She meant twins, of course, but hearing her enthusiasm was very satisfying.
Sisters are many things — and sometimes the relationship is very complicated. They are friends. They are enemies. They are confidantes. They are allies. They are partners in crime. They are mentors. They are learners.
And sometimes they simply wear matching swimsuits.