Most people have heard about crabby pants, and they’ve heard about big girl pants. Many have even heard about traveling pants, as in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but did you now there is such a thing as naughty pants? Yep. Mmhmm. They are a thing.
I know because my daughter, Alice, has a pair. I bought them off of the clearance rack at Old Navy last spring. I didn’t even like them all that much at the time because they were skinny jeans overalls (just plain old awkward) and they had thin shoulder straps that formed a weird “Y” shape in middle of her the back instead of the traditional set of parallel straps.
In spite of my better judgment, I purchased them. I guess I thought that, like the homely-at-first-glance Little Mermaid jumper someone gave her for her baby shower, they might transform into something completely adorable the moment I slipped them onto her. Plus, they had a delicate white flower print all over them. Who can resist a pretty flower print? And especially at the low, low price of five measly smackeroos?
Well, I’d sure love to “smackeroo” the person that sold them to me. Not really, but I now know why they were on the clearance rack, reduced in price for quick sale—it’s because Old Navy wanted to get rid of them. They knew what those pants were capable of and they wanted them off their dirty, no-good, hustlin’ hands. I guess I can’t blame them. (On a positive note, I did find a very cute, very harmless-looking thermal shirt for Alice at Old Navy yesterday that only cost a dollar.)
I’m starting to suspect that the “Y” in the back was designed to stand for “naughty,” as in “naughtY.” OK, so that’s probably a stretch, but seriously, as soon as Alice puts those pants on, it’s like this unruly aura overtakes her and she’s completely defenseless against the pants’ corrupting powers.
It starts with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, and then it spreads to her mouth, forming “The Grin.” Maybe you’ve seen other kids do it. With her, it looks like this: she juts her chin out, squints her eyes, crinkles her nose, and grits her tiny, white corn kernel teeth together. The fact that she has fairly wide spaces between her pearly whites makes her look like a shark, giving “The Grin” an even freakier effect.
Here’s an example: she was sitting on the potty a couple of days ago, with the overalls pushed down to her ankles. After she’d done her business and I’d wiped her, she suddenly pulled up her underwear and sprinted out of the bathroom with a wild shriek, the buckles clanging against the linoleum like shackles and chains.
“Alice!” I whisper-yelled as I pushed myself up off the ground. I took off after her into the living room, trying to decide which behavior to address first. “Rowen’s sleeping! Be quiet and get over here!” (Rowen’s bedroom, the bathroom, and the living room are all very close in proximity.)
I got a hold of her and started pulling the overalls back up over her pale little legs, but then she purposely began buckling her knees, slumping down onto the ground like a wet noodle, and laughing wickedly all the while. “Alice!” I hissed, still whispering. “Knock it off!” I wish I could say that we succeeded in getting the overalls fastened without discipline being administered, but we did not.
After I dumped my wild little pill off in her room for a much-needed nap (much-needed for both of us), I heard her chirp, “No! I not goin-a-bee good!” Her happily-defiant declaration was followed by a sinister horror movie giggle. I shook my head and staggered over to the living room, where I plopped down onto the couch and waited for her to fall asleep, which she eventually did. Thankfully, after giving me a good kick in the pants, the overalls took it pretty easy on me for the rest of the day.
Now, if you can believe this, I had her wear them again today, but it was only because I knew I’d be writing this post and I wanted some pictures of the infamous Naughty Pants in action.
The ironic thing was that Alice was actually behaving quite sweetly until I directed her to start jumping on the cushions and climbing over the arms of the couch to stage misbehavior for a picture. She’s normally not allowed to do those things, so you’d think she’d jump (literally!) at the chance to engage in the forbidden with my permission, but nope! She gave me a few half-hearted bunny hops and then refused to climb up the side. She was misbehaving by not misbehaving, if you can believe that.
“Alice! Please!” I begged, pulling the camera away from my face and turning up the enthusiasm. “Jump right over here! C’mon! It’ll be fun!”
It was then that the power of The Pants officially kicked in. “No!” she giggled, dashing into the kitchen, the ugly denim “Y” bobbing in full view.
“Alice!” I scolded. “Get back here!” I couldn’t believe I was getting after her for not jumping on the couch.
The charade continued for a few more frustrating minutes until I finally realized how ridiculous (and undoubtedly confusing for her) the whole thing actually was.
A little bit later on, Alice, Rowen, and I were sitting together in the living room. Because her birthday’s in a few days, I asked her, “What do you think you’ll get for your birthday, honey?”
“Kee-oh!” she replied, flashing me The Grin.
“Kill?” I repeated, trying not to sound too shocked.
“Yeah!” she answered, bounding off the couch. “Kee-oh!”
I chose to ignore this random act of rebellion and changed the subject. After all, only The Pants could’ve inspired such an off-the-wall and inappropriate response as that.
…So why don’t I just get rid of those wicked pants, you may ask, by giving them away? (C’mon, that would be cruel!) And why don’t I just toss them? The answer is simple: Because I paid five dollars for them. I realize I said earlier that they were cheap, but on the same token, five dollars is five dollars.