The Coat of Many Colors

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A few years ago my daughter really wanted a specific camouflaged coat. Please with sugar on top, oh please mom, I’ll do anything wanted that coat. And I really wanted to get it for her. The only problem was that it cost $140 and I had 3 kids that needed new coats that year. We live in the country and the kids are pretty hard on coats, so passing them down is seldom an option. To make a long blog post short, I gave in and bought her the coat she was willing to sell a kidney for.

Fast forward a month. My kid came home one day from school without her coat. She “left it at school.” I had already figured out that “left it at school” is kidspeak for “lost it” so I immediately went into search and rescue mode. After a week of endless phone calls the coat still was “left at school.” Or maybe it was “stolen.” More kidspeak for “lost it.” Now what? Making her go without isn’t an option because it is really frigid outside. My piggy bank didn’t even have a squeal left in it so buying another was out. What to do? I had a whole $20 to figure out another coat and a lesson.

Ebay to the rescue! All I had to do was search for ugliest coat on the planet, and low and behold, there it was. My kid’s next coat! It was the oddest looking green color (think smashed peas) with a very proper looking black velvet collar. It was floor length, so she would stay warm on the coldest of days! It was a little big, but she would grow into it. Green IS her favorite color! And the best thing of all: no one would steal her coat. I was excited for her to see what I had found.

Oh my. Even though her reaction was expected, the storm still hit full force. It reached a whole new level when I explained that her new coat was going to be tied into her ipod use. No coat? No ipod. After a few hours of endless tears and complaining, she decided to man the phones herself. Little did I realize that instead of looking for the already paid for left at school maybe stolen coat, she was looking for a big-hearted family member to bail her out.

Enter my grandmother, our family’s self appointed fashion guru. “I will not have you dressing that child like that” was the most used sentence in our conversation. “Hideous!” was the second most used. I didn’t sway. I didn’t bend. I held my ground. I was buying that coat!  I didn’t care who she had on her side, I was the parent of this relationship and it was my decision. I placed my bid. In 3 short days and hopefully no other bidders later that coat would be hers.

Then 2 of the most unexpected events occurred. First, somebody outbid my highest bid of $2.00. The only thing that I could figure was that somebody else had a daughter that left her coat of gold at school. I decided to wait a few hours before I upped my bid to the required $3. Then, before I had a chance to up my bid, the second most unexpected event occurred. My kid came home wearing her missing coat of many colors! It seems that with the right motivation my mini was able to navigate the long halls of the school to the lost and found box to retrieve her left at school maybe stolen coat. It’s funny how that works, huh?


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