Apple Watch: THE Review

First Born and Cooking Child bought me an Apple Watch. They decided to buy it themselves, chose the style and colour (correctly) themselves, purchased it themselves and, most importantly, PAID for it THEMSELVES. Extraordinarily thoughtful and generous for a 15 and 13 year old. So it’s not exactly my shopping but it was shopped for, so well within the blog’s coverage.

I could not have been more excited to receive the watch. It is one of the best presents I have ever received that was not chosen (and purchased) by me.

Rose gold and blush pink. How very me.

A couple of posts ago I spoke about purchases that make you feel good or bad about yourself….or both, as in the case of the watch.

The watch has many useful aspects. I no longer have to walk around clutching my phone in my hand. My wrist receives all important messages and calls. Useful.

Reagan doesn’t like us checking our phone during gym class. Like all mothers, I don’t like NOT being able to check my phone in case a metaphorical fire that only I am capable of extinguishing befalls my children in the 45 minutes I am separated from my phone. Now I can just surreptitiously check my wrist. Again, useful.

The watch also tells the time.

However, my watch has a nasty habit of bullying me into productivity. The more I do, and specifically the longer I stand, the happier the watch is with me. I don’t need to be pressured into being more productive – I am excellent at pressuring myself all by myself.

At the end of the first day I wore the watch, it tapped me to tell me the following:

The watch was pleased with me. I had been standing for 12 of 12 hours. This was when I first suspected that the watch did not necessarily have my best interests at heart. I want a watch that sees I have been on my feet for even 6 hours, and tells me to sit down with a cup of coffee and have a relaxing scroll on Instagram.

The next day things declined. It was one of those days. You know the ones. School holidays. You think you’re winning because the house is silent and then…..

your 5 year old discovers the joy of stamping, his bare skin the tempting canvas. No inch can be left unstamped.

The kids start fighting and don’t stop. You have to be in 5 different places at once. The kids whinge. The washing piles up as it rains incessantly. The dryer slows down on purpose.

You run around all day and the second you cross the threshold of your home, just as the kids start telling you that they are starving and what is for dinner (even though they KNOW you have been out with them all day and have not cooked a thing yet), your watch taps you and says:

If the kids were not around, you would actually tell the watch to fuck off. Breathe??? BREATHE???? Seriously the least it could do is use its calling capabilities to summon Jimmy Brings for an urgent Shiraz delivery. And Deliveroo Katzys for the kids. The technology is there. Clearly the programmer does not have kids.

Later on that night, after another congratulatory tap & wrist party for standing up the whole bloody day again, it suggests I go for a brisk walk. At 11pm. Because I am SO close to closing my forward motion ring. G-d forbid I go to bed with my rings unclosed. Watch does not care about the safety risk of going for a solo walk late at night. Watch does not care that I have been STANDING THE WHOLE day. NO! All watch cares about is closing its walking ring. If the watch were really clever it would be telling me to breathe again right now because I am close to hyperventilating in outrage.

On the upside, now that I know how long I stand for every day, I feel not a drop guilty for indulging in the occasional foot massage. In the same way that a manicure used to be a spa only indulgence and then were brought to the masses by fast, cheap, US style nail bars, massages have followed suit. A group of girlfriends introduced me to Siam Cabana last year and it remains my favourite (and it’s open til 10pm) but massage bars are everywhere. I now have a foot massage and cocktails tradition with my sister in law…we take each other on our birthdays but we’re thinking of expanding our reasons for celebration beyond two nights a year.

A half hour foot massage allows me to soothe my floor weary feet and write a blog at the same time. Productive. My watch would approve.

XOXO Shopping Girl

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The Black Hole

First Born is growing. Like a fertilised weed. A very well fertilised weed. Working Boy and I cannot help but notice that every few weeks he has crept a few millimetres closer to that moment where he will be taller than his mother. It could be months away, it could be weeks away, it could be days away, but the moment is coming. They say a watched pot never boils but when your child starts encroaching on your superior height, you can practically see your power slipping away before your eyes. 

With such obvious growth, it somehow still always takes me by surprise when his clothes don’t fit from one year to the next. Or sometimes from one month to the next. As the weather cooled over the last school holidays, it became painfully obvious that First Born needed some new tops. And jumpers. And shirts. And pants. Even undies (Sorry First Born. There was a reason I never told you about my blog). 

First Born’s feet are now a 40. He is a size 16 in clothes. Let me tell you something about these sizes. They are literally the black hole of clothing. They do not exist. Most of the kids shoes finish around a 36. The men’s shoes start at a 41. I am not joking. We have had a good few years now of floating around blindly in shoe no man’s land. Cooking Child is just entering this unenviable phase, as First Born will finally make his entree into men’s shoes. Last year an excellent friend in the same predicament tipped me off that Windsor Smith has some styles starting in a 39. There’s a reason that these days my kids ONLY wear sneakers outside of school and it’s not their sporting prowess. Sneakers seem to be the only shoe form that bridges the gap. Until we emerge firmly in men’s shoes, my kids will live in Nikes. There are worse predicaments in life. 

As for the clothes, some of the brands have TRIED to target the situation, and for a while the gap was bridged – there’s FREE by Cotton On (for 9-14s), Seed Teen, and Pavement. These are my first points of call. But this season…..nothing. There are just so many boringly plain things, or stupidly sloganed. And only Pavement goes to a 16 which means that First Born has grown out of teen sizes but is still not quite ready for men’s.

I have ransacked DJs, where I can generally dress my entire family with ease……nothing fits the bill. Or the boy. I am not stingy when it comes to First Born’s clothing. There are 3 smaller bodies waiting to wear it, so I am more than happy to pay more for something that will last. But I can’t pay for something which does not exist.

I have been to Country Road and the gap between where the boys clothes finish and then Men’s clothes begin is Grand Canyon-esque. 

See that space in between man and child? That space is where all the clothes I need for First Born are hiding. Somewhere between child……and man. I can just see their teen range when it finally emerges (and I’m sure it will)…..County Road: Manchild

So what do I do and where do I go? How do I fill the black hole of shopping?

First, Zara. They opened their kids’ section in WBJ with so little fanfare that even I only realised it was there about 3 months after it opened. Shocking confession, I know. Last year, First Born wanted a white shirt. They had a size 14 shirt which was plain white enough to keep Working Boy happy, with a small twist to keep me happy. Their 13-14 is generously sized so this will keep Cooking Child clothed for a while, at least, though First Born is still in the wasteland. 

I went to Myer. I don’t love shopping at Myer, but their teen boys’ section is reasonably well stocked. I’ve had luck with Mossimo (ha! My autocorrect turned Mossimo into Missoni – who knew the phone had the complexity to make Freudian slips?) and Bauhaus, one of Myer’s in house brands. 

I’ve been trying the smallest size of menswear with mixed results. XXS t-shirt from TopMan? Success. Size 28 chinos from Cotton On? Success. I have bought t-shirts and shirts from Cotton On in size S which First Born tries on and says “It’s a dress”. Interestingly there appear to be size XS and XXS but these options are always blocked out online. I’m not sure if this is because they are not available or whether the more experienced gap mothers snap up all the XXS and XS the second they become available. I’m sure by the time Master T reaches “the gap” I’ll have worked it out. 

The other problem, apart from actual size, with trying to bridge “the gap” by shopping small sizes of menswear is that the styles are often too adult for a twelve year old. And the prices are also too adult (this is why Cotton On’s regular 30% off deals come in handy). 

Speaking of gaps, it occurs to be that one place I have not searched to fill the gap, is, in fact, The GAP. Wouldn’t it be ironic if The GAP actually filled the gap? 

In the meantime, the gap is alive and well, and living in my house. I’m open to suggestions.

XOXO Shopping Girl