Went clothes shopping with Charlie this week. This is a totally new experience for us. I've never taken the boys clothes shopping in this way. We've always relied on the second hand stores, and there you take what you can get (or Christmas! :). But with school starting, and Charlie at the age where the second hand stuff is slim pickings, and with his unique body shape and clothing needs, well, we actually did "Back-to-School" shopping. It was a fun experience.
We have some, well, special needs when it comes to clothing for Charlie. First, he has "short limbs" which is common in Down Syndrome, and also a delay in fine motor skills and low muscle tone. In a nut shell, we look for pants that look like normal pants but have elastic waists and can be easily hemmed. He is 6 1/2 years old now and wears a size 5T that we hem to about a 3-4T length. Shirts are easier, but still the short limbs. He wears size 5T shirts with his little hands just poking out the ends and cuffs always dirty. I haven't found a way to successfully hem knit shirts on the sewing machine I have. Also, we avoid collars... having fabric brush his neck or cheeks like shirt collars just makes his skin crawl. You'd never know he could get undressed so efficiently until you put him in a shirt collar.
We must have sounded funny in the dressing room trying on pants and then me instructing Charlie... "push them down... good! Now pull them up... good job! Guess we'll get these ones." We are working on zippers and buttons, but when he is at school we like for him to be as independent as possible. Anyway, we were very successful and found a lot of pants that will work well, but lots of hemming needs to happen before August 28. For shirts, well we've noticed that Charlie feels like a million bucks and just has a better day when he is wearing a shirt he likes, so I let him have his pick of the shirts... lots of music instrument graphics for this kid. Shopping with him is pretty easy and goes something like this:
Mommy: How 'bout this one, Chars?
Charlie: No. I-don-wike-it.
Mommy: This one?
Mommy: This one?
Charlie: Oh! I WUV it!
He is so cute. And he is excited about his back to school clothes!