Monday, 24 March 2014

The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You

I've been keeping my eyes out for some great accessories for spring, so when I heard that the Vintage Clothing Show was coming to Toronto I drooled over the thought of retro jewelry, scarves and trinkets. While I love planning kid oriented activities with Molly and Jack, I think it's important for the minions to recognize that they are not the centre of the universe and not everything is play time.  When they tag along for things that are practical like errands, meals in non-kid focused establishments or something that is for mom or dad it teaches them appropriate ways to behave in public and everybody wins.  That being said, we've had some outings that have been huge failures, fortunately that didn't happen this weekend.

vintage clothing show finds
Jack sporting mom's new necklace

Here are my 8 tips for surviving a Market Fair with toddlers:

  1.  Choose your time of day wisely.  We usually pick mid-to-late morning for these adventures as the kids have eaten their breakfast, had their morning "constitutionals" so we can avoid gross potty training mishaps and this is generally when they are in the best moods.  
  2. Bring multiple options for toddler transportation.  We let them walk with us at first (secured by their harness backpacks - Molly has a pink poodle one and Jack has a bat one)*.  When they got tired we used our hiking toddler carriers to keep our arms free and our backs in tact.  Not only did this keep everyone happy, it also prevented us from blocking narrow lane ways with bulbous strollers and kept "sticky" fingers away from delicate vintage wares.  Several people stopped us, mostly vendors, to tell us how clever our carriers were, who were happy that our kids were keeping their hands off of the merchandise and not blocking other people who were trying to solicit their booths.
  3. Move quickly and deliberately.  Go with a plan of how you're going to navigate the floor plan and don't dawdle, a meltdown could be imminent.  
  4. Let your kids hold (and wear) some of the items that you buy.  After we let Molly and Jack each wear a necklace I had bought, we were rewarded with an extra half hour of good behaviour. This also resulted in me having to clean chunks of minestrone soup off of a necklace later that afternoon, but these are sacrifices I'm willing to make. 
  5. Bring snacks.  We all get a little hangry when our blood sugar gets low, plus it's harder to complain when your mouth is full of granola bar.     
  6. Use clothes shopping short-cuts, I suggest the following time saving tricks:
    1. Have at least one more adult than children present to run point while you try on that amazing shirt.
    2. Dress the part....slip on shoes make foot ware easy to try on.  Wear clothes you can try things on over top of:  Ladies - leggings and tank tops are a great way to make any space an impromptu change room and avoid line-ups.
    3. If you want to know if a pair of pants or skirt is going to fit your waist without trying it on: wrap the waist band of the item in question around your neck, if the pants fit around your neck, they'll fit your waist.
  7. Know when to fold em....Kids are like parking meters, don't wait until they expire before you leave or you'll get a ticket.  Quit while you're ahead.  An hour to an hour and a half seems to be the maximum time that we can push adult focused trips with the kids.  If you know you'll need more time than your kids can handle, get a sitter.
  8. Praise them when they're good, everyone likes to be told how awesome they are, kids aren't an exception to this rule.  

 There are a lot of great shows and exhibitions like the Vintage Clothing Show Coming to Toronto this Spring, in case you want to check them out here are a few listed below:

One of a Kind Spring Show  - March 26-30th 
The Spring Cottage Life Show - March 28th -30th
Creativ Festival - April 25th-26th 
Junction Flea Market - Monthly starting May 18th.

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*I ordered Jack's bat harness/backpack online because he has a tendency to just run with the reckless abandon of a squirrel that becomes road kill.  I can't get him into a plain harness without an epic battle, but once we showed him his"Batman Backpack" he couldn't wait to wear it.  Unfortunately he looks more like a Flying Monkey circa The Wizard of Oz, than the Dark Knight, but he's never seen either movie, so I'm not concerned.

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