White-Collar Mystery

We have a mystery around here causing our family lots of headaches.
Elisabeth’s white shirt (pictured above at pick-up last week) is at the center of this WhoDoneIt.
She once had seven of these shirts. Suddenly, they’ve all disappeared.
Let me back up a bit. My relationship with these white shirts has been long and bitter.
Three years ago, when Elisabeth started Westlake, I was relieved for uniforms. Catie had been in school for a few years, and I knew all about inappropriate clothing choices. Left to her own creativity, Catie would wear snowflake flannel pj bottoms with a yellow sundress.
But then Westlake and…Uniforms! Cute polos and matching skorts! Plaid jumpers and khaki shorts! Uniforms would spare Elisabeth from the creative outfits little girls love and mommies know make them look like they got dressed in the dark.
Here’s what we quickly discovered about uniforms: red and navy polos…good!
Little girls still mastering their motor skills wearing button-down WHITE shirts for days filled with painting and recess-playing? NOT GOOD.
No matter how many of these ($50!) white shirts I bought, they always looked dingy. Stained. Wrinkled. Because, again, REALLY with the little kid wearing the button-down white shirt?
So, like any manipulative mommy who didn’t want her child to be mistaken for Annie, I tried to convince her the nice red polo was her best look. Elisabeth can be opinionated…but when it comes to clothes?
Wow. Not giving an inch. She’d set her mind to the white shirt, and there was no talking her out of it.
But when I noticed her classmates’ mommies had won the struggle and none of them wore the white shirt any more, I suggested several times a red polo might be easier to keep clean…it was like talking to the proverbial wall.
(BTW, I just noticed this picture again and saw that Sam is wearing a white polo, another uniform choice. And I just remembered I bought that shirt at the start of the year as a compromise for Elisabeth. “Look! It’s a white shirt! But not an annoying linen-material one!” But, no, she’s not having the easy-to-care-for polos.)
ANYWAY…a couple weeks ago the housekeepers were here. Part of what they do is our laundry, a huge help since we manage to generate three basket fulls of laundry each day. The only problem is they sometimes put it away in strange places, underwear in the sock drawer and stuff like that. This week they’d put the horrid white shirts someplace, and I could not find them anywhere. Luckily, she still had three more, and she wore those.
The next week, the housekeepers did the laundry and put the white shirts away–again in the spot where I couldn’t find them. And, as counterintuitive as it was, I searched the entire house. Elisabeth searched–even though I’m pretty sure she was convinced I had hid the shirts once and for all.
The mystery was never solved, and come Monday, there were no white shirts for Elisabeth to wear.
How did she handle it? Embracing the other white shirt I had bought? Wearing the red shirt her friends love?
Nope. Elisabeth freaked out.
Only the grayish-white polyester blend white shirt.
So, today I have a dilemma. We can be rid of these impractical shirts once for all and I can try to convince Elisabeth it’s only red shirts for this family.
Or I can drive down to the uniform store and spend more money on those shirts so Elisabeth can be back to them tomorrow.
Or I can wait until Thursday, when the housekeepers will be back, and I can ask them where they’ve hid the white shirts.
Of course, this might be the answer of the mystery. Perhaps these smart women have noticed the ridiculousness of white shirts for a Kindergartener and burned them.
And, of course, I’d be okay with that.

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