My Life as a Mom

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With 6 happy kids, life can be really fun around here! This blog is dedicated to the joys and sometimes chaos of having a large family. Okay, so it's always chaos around here, but fortunately, it's almost always fun, too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Here's a handy tip for large families:

When going out for the day, particularly to the park or a museum, or someplace where the kids tend to move about a bit, and you want to keep a close eye on them, it helps to wear matching shirts.

It's so much easier to spot your own 5 or 6 or 10 children (yes, there are families who have 10 children still around!), if they are wearing the same color. The eye can spot the colors really quickly. It's an amazing help to me when we're out.

Some points and advantages to the matching t-shirts.

1. Cost.
In the Los Angeles area, we have a number of shops around that sell "5 t-shirts for $10". When you've got 6 kids, that's really helpful! We always buy more than the number of kids, so we have some spares. We'll buy 10 shirts (for 6 kids), or 15 shirts, in a single color.

2. Convenience.
We just keep a stack of them - no worrying if the 3 year old's shirt is dirty, or has gotten torn or stained. We just have a stack of them in a few sizes, and the kids grab one and put it on.

3. Laundry is Easy.
Just wash them all together. It's really simple!

4. Colors
You can choose colors that will help you locate your children in different settings.

We wear yellow if we'll be out at dusk. Yellow stands out, even during twilight. And, it's a rare shirt color, so it's not like looking for white t-shirts in a crowd of people wearing white.

Blue is nice because it goes so well with lots of things. It's a more common color, though - sometimes there will be a handful of other kids at the park in blue shirts. It's still easier than not wearing the matching t-shirts, though.

Red stands out really well during the day, and it's not as common as blue or white.

More rare colors make it easier to spot kids, however they can be harder to replace. If you've got 8 kids and only 7 t-shirts left, because the rest have been stained or outgrown, you may find it impossible to locate replacements in the same shade of orange or purple, or whatever.

5. Acceptance.
When the kids are in matching shirts, the reactions we get from people when we are out are kinder. This isn't much of an issue now that my kids are older, but when we had a pile of really young kids, it was a big thing for me. I found that people were just more appreciative of our large family when the kids' shirts matched! Don't ask me why this is -- I have never figured it out, except that perhaps it looks less confusing when they are all wearing the same solid color shirt.

Go figure!