I’m a huge fan of Splendid clothing. They are soft, well made and stylish.
I’m a huger fan of Splendid Littles; Splendid clothes for kids. The boys clothes are the cutest ever; lots of stripes. I adore stripes. And as I said, super soft.
My friends Ali and Larissa told me about the Splendid sample sale. It was at a warehouse downtown a few times a year. A $75 Splendid Littles shirt was only a reasonable $15.
So I’ve been a few times, Spenser a baby in a stroller, quietly hanging out while I sorted through racks of kids clothes and leaving with a huge $200 bag of amazing outfits. I was in Heaven.
Well, this weekend was the sale again. Dan was in town so he said he’d come with us, hang with Spenser while I shopped and then buy him the clothes as an early Christmas gift! I was SO EXCITED!!!
photo by Mara Casey
We went on Friday afternoon. We walked into the warehouse and….. WHERE THE HELL ARE THE KIDS CLOTHES???? I searched the racks in the kids’ area and there were like 100 girls diaper covers and a bunch of shorts and that was it!!! I felt sick. I was so sad; sad for my kid’s wardrobe!!!!
Dan strolled around with Spenser and I went a little nuts. Nothing was hung up on the racks this time. All the kids clothes were in big brown boxes. I had an inappropriately violent internal reaction. I kneeled at a box and angrily starting sifting through it. No boys clothes left! I was about to cry (OK, maybe I wasn’t… but I really wanted to) when a nice woman saw my face. “I was here this morning and it was a nightmare. It was too intense and I only got a couple of things so I had to come back.”
“Too intense?” I asked. I’d heard stories from Ali and Larissa about women wheeling entire clothes racks around claiming rights to the whole thing.
The nice woman started sifting through another box near me, “Yeah, it was almost violent with all the hoarding.”
Dan walked by with Spenser in the stroller. “How’s it going?” He asked me.
“Not great,” I told him, “still looking for any boys shirts in his size.”
Dan strolled away.
“Your son’s so cute,” the nice woman said. “How old?”
“20 months,” I answered.
“Oh,” she said, slightly less pleased, “Mine’s 18 months.”
I smiled enthusiastically and when I saw her serious face, I realized…. we were both looking for size 2T. Ugh. It was sort of mini war now.
We dug through boxes in silence.
“I found a 2 T,” she said out loud to herself. Her eyes darted up to mine in a guilty way. I looked right back at her. She tucked the adorable shirt under her arm. “Your son looks like he’d wear a bigger size, than 2T” she mumbled to herself as she found another size 2T and tucked it under her arm again. I was a little upset that she hadn’t given the second one to me, even though we were strangers. I would have given it to her! Maybe.
Eventually, I found a few pairs of leggings for $5 each, which are borderline unisex/girl items and two super cute shirts.
I didn’t find much this year,” I told the cashier as she bagged my items.
“They’ll put all stuff out again tomorrow morning,” she said.
“I have to come back in the morning at 9,” I said to Dan, like an addict.
Dan couldn’t come back Saturday, so I was on my own and oh yes, you’d better believe, I was going.
Spenser and I drove down there at 8am for a 9am doors open. For some reason, S fell asleep on the way there. Maybe because he’s been waking up between 4:40-5am since the time change.
By the time I got in there, it was 9:15.
“You are not allowed to use your stroller to carry items,” a worker said to me.
“OK,” I said as I headed to the children’s section. The racks were still slim pickins. What the F???
Then I saw the back of the room. Box after box of opened, tossled Splendid Littles all over, with about 30 women sprawled out on the floor protecting piles and piles of clothing they had “claimed.” Most of the boxes were left empty.
NOOOOOOO I wanted to scream. How long would Spenser let me sort through boxes before insisting “go go!”
I went back to get a closer look at these hoarders. Wow. When I say women had hundred of pieces of clothing in front of them, I’m not exaggerating. And when I say if you got too close to one of these Splendid Little vultures, their talons thrust out and scratched your face off, I’m barely exaggerating.
It seemed that all of these women had come with friends. They were hoarding together.
A group of three hugely pregnant women sat on the floor with maybe 500 pieces around their big bellies. They were each wearing big diamond wedding rings and sorting clothes.
“Oh! Here’s one for Marnie’s baby,” one preggie would say.
“Oh! I have four of this pattern. Rachel, do you need it?” said another preggie.
“Here’s a size 3T. Do we know anyone who needs this? What about Kelly’s daughter?” the third preggie said.
And on and on. They must have taken the entire contents out of like six boxes. I stood there staring at them until one preggie looked up at me with a nasty “may I help you?” expression.
“You have any rejects?” I asked in my pushiest, most annoyed voice. Yeah, I can be passive aggressive when I want to be.
“Not yet,” preggie said to me, like she pretended she was sorry. She wasn’t. It was super condescending. Like there was something wrong or weak about me because I didn’t have an arm load of Splendid Littles in front of me.
I was gonna cry for reals.
I couldn’t use my stroller to carry items and yet there were women here with shopping bags and even garbage bags filled with clothes. Whatever!
Spenser was just starting to get antsy. I kissed him and offered him water and crackers.
“Your baby is being so good,” some lady with 2 shopping bags of clothes said to me. I was about to smile at her when she added, “I would never bring a child so young here. My husband’s with mine.”
Ah, so here’s mom solo, having to schlep her child to the sample sale and being judged for it. I’d show them. I was going to find Spenser lots amazing clothes all by myself!
“Mama!! Up!!” Spenser started yelling, just as I heard a rumor that they were going to put down some new boxes. Spenser started to cry. Though my heart was pumping fast at the excitement of fresh boxes, I couldn’t let him scream, so I picked him up out of the stroller.
A box went down, unseen by vultures and I sorted through a ton of shirts at my leisure, all the same pattern: grey or navy. I got size 2T and 3T in each color. I felt some relief.
OK, these were good. I could go now.
The worker came back with another box. Only a few people saw. I had to stay. A few of us descended on the box. Mostly girls clothes. Boo.
Another box was coming. I could see them prepping it. Spenser reached into my shirt and grabbed my boob, “Not now, love,” I told him. He whined. The box was thrown down and opened. BOYS CLOTHES!!! I knelt down and a few pushy women joined me. Spenser full on pulled out my boob and began to nurse. I didn’t care. I just searched for 2T.
“If you see a 3 T could you give it to me?” a lady over my shoulder asked. I was about to say “sure,” but when I looked back, it was Not Yet Preggie lady! OMG! How dare she! I knew she had 500 shirts already! I ignored her and vowed to myself to keep any and all 3Ts I found! But then another woman came over and grabbed every single item of clothes out of the box and whisked them away so she could sort through the sizes by herself, in her rude little corner.
A few of us left shot each other looks of disgust, but now I knew what I had to do when the next box came… and I was ready. Spenser sat on my lap, happily nursing.
A new box was dropped. Boys shirts!!!! Spenser now had both my boobs out and was switching from boob to boob. Someone came and lifted half the shirts away. The patterns I was looking for were gone! CRAP! I quickly and blindly grabbed handfuls of boys shirts, as women tried to pull them out of my hands. I pulled back and stuffed shirts under my arm. Grab! Pull! Stuff! Naked Nipples! I had no idea what repeats or sizes I was getting. Just get these precious shirts to my stroller (rules be damned) and sort them in private. Spenser was super happy, nursing with my boobs fully out. I didn’t care who saw – I was getting size 18-24 months!!!
When the box was empty, save some size 3-6 months stuff, I went to sort through all my findingss. I had done well.
There were actually some of the shirts I had really liked in 18-24 months, which he’s just starting to fit into. A few 2Ts a couple 3Ts and I was done! I was a bare breasted, aggressive vulture now. And I was quite pleased with myself.
When I was first pregnant, and starting to fight for things for my self like not being near second hand smoke and making sure everyone who wanted to be near the baby in the first few months had whooping cough shots, my therapist would say, “you are becoming a mama bear.” I didn’t really know what she meant, but now… mama bear, vulture whatever it is, I am.
Mothers are animals. We fight for our children. We claw, we protect, we are rude, we show our tits. We want what is best for them… In Los Angeles, this means the best Splendid Littles money can buy, on sale!
These are just some of the shirts I got for $15 each by lowering my compassion and care for others!!! I LOVE stripes on boys!!