Growing Out of Things

Cara McKee, a writer and mum-of-three from Largs, wishes they could stay small forever…

Every year I somehow make myself believe that if I ensure the children have all their school uniform ready for the beginning of term (in generous sizes) because of course they’re going to grow, with their names scrawled on the labels with a Sharpie laundry marker (because life is too short for name labels), then somehow that should see them through. And every year I am disabused of this notion, because it’s kids who are wearing these uniforms, kids who wipe whiteboards with their sleeves, kids who do something horrific to their shoes instead of using the brakes on their scooters and kids who just keep growing! This year both of my girls have been on a growing mission and nothing seems to have fit them right for more than about five minutes. Finally, last weekend we took the trip to the great big Sainsbury’s 30 miles or so away to get more school uniform. Other shops sell school uniform of course, but the girls like Sainsbury’s for the cut of Miss 10’s blouses and the softness of Miss 7’s jersey trousers. The boy thinks buying clothes anywhere is boring.

I think my girls must have some giant blood in them as we had to age up two years, but at least it’s only supermarket prices I’m paying. This year there were also brand new fancy tartan pinafore dresses from the official uniform supplier, but they started falling to pieces way back in September (the shop took them back and re-stitched them but that took a while).

I should probably have got my son his blazer from the official supplier but I figured a blazer is a completely impractical thing to wear in Scotland and he’d end up not wearing it anyway, so he got one I found in a charity shop. It’s actually holding up pretty well but I was right…it is completely impractical. The boy comes home blue with cold most days, however I cannot separate him from his blazer, which is getting snug, so I’m now scouring the charity shops for the next size up because I’m too tight to pay the full price!

The boy is right though, shopping with kids is boring. I wouldn’t take them but if ever I think I know what size they are, they grow! I guess that’s the parenting thing in general, the moment you think you’ve cracked one phase of development (for one child, let’s not pretend they’re all the same), they grow and you have to learn it all over again. Now we’re moving on to smells and hairs and other people’s mothers telling my daughter to shave her oxters (oh my goodness, what larks) and all the tears and moods – and I know fine well that

I was much worse – and then Woman’s Hour starts discussing perimenopause… DOOMED, I tell you! We’re all doomed! At least we’re doomed in comfy trousers.

Cara works in her local library, loves to write poetry and will have poems appearing soon in the Dove Tails anthology (Scottish Artists for Peace) and in Dawntreader and Reach Poetry magazines. Find her at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *