largeWelcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!

Dear Eve, 

I always shop at the Children’s place but did you see this? (Editorial note: I embedded the link for easy clicking)

I don’t want to shop there anymore but school is coming and I need to buy my daughter clothes and do you know places that I maybe don’t know? I know places like Gymboree and Jc penny and stuff. I want new places thank you!!!! 

Ahhh, the usual suspects, Gymboree and The Children’s Place, how every parent knows thee. I’ll admit it, on occasion I get totally sucked into the entire Gymboree trap, because how freakin’ cute is it that they have these lines of clothing where every damn thing coordinates, including socks and hair accessories and teensy tiny purses and shoes and all of that? CUTE!

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 7.12.52 AM(Image: Gymboree)

And even though they have sales and coupons Gymboree can be a bit expensive, and for me I haven’t had the best luck with the longevity and wearability of clothing from there. The Gap is always good for basics like jeans and cardigans, and I’m a huge J Crew fan, I admit it, I worship at the altar of Jenna Lyons and pretty much love their kid’s stuff, especially because it lasts forever and the quality is great. And they have good sales. I also love the UK based Boden, and shipping can be a bit longer, but their prices are very Gap-comprable and I have shirts that my eldest wore seven years ago that my youngest still wears today.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 7.20.20 AM

(Image: Boden)  Zomg it’s a dress with teapots on it.

H&M is now offering online shopping, and since they recently signed the Bangladesh safety accord we can feel a bit better about shopping with them.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 7.24.19 AM

(Image: H&M) It’s a sweatshirt. With a bunny on it. For five dollars.

Other places I love? Ollypop, for the occasional fancy dress item or really unique stuff, and it’s expensive so keep in mind I said occasional. Olive Juice, because they sell amazingly cute sort of old-school looking prim clothing which I find amazingly adorable.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 7.27.50 AM(Photo: Olive Juice)

And Chasing Fireflies, which I’m sure every mom knows about, but it’s also a bit pricey. BUT, sometimes you wanna get your kid something super cute and  if you are careful and wash items on cold and line-dry them then buying a 50 dress can be rationalized by handing it down to another kid or wearing it for a long time.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 7.31.16 AM(Image: Chasing Fireflies)

I’m sure our readers have favorite places they shop too and will weigh in with suggestions. I still haven’t really started my back to school shopping yet so I’m sure I’ll be doing that this weekend. Ugh. One thing I always always do is a quick web search to see if there is a coupon code when I am shopping online because there usually is and when you can save 15 or 20 percent, why not?

Dear Bad Mom Advice,

It’s summertime.  School is out and this means family vacations requiring long drives in the family minivan.  The wife chooses to drive while I am tasked with providing in-car entertainment usually in the form of separate laptops with individual noise-cancelling headphones and episodes of “Regular Show”.
After thirty minutes, our youngest daughter chimes in and requests a pit-stop to use the bathroom.  My wife acknowledges her and continues driving, passing several strip-malls and restaurants in the process.  Five minutes later and the request becomes more-urgent and it’s at this point of the journey where the civilized world ends and there are absolutely NO restrooms to be seen for miles.
We did manage to find a bathroom, but the daughter wasn’t able to maintain total containment.  I questioned my wife later as to why we didn’t pull over when she first asked and she replied:
“Oh, you never honor the first request”
This short-circuited my logic center momentarily.  I tried to discern what advantage would be had by ignoring a plea to use the bathroom.  Is there some kind of power-struggle going on that I was unaware of?  Clearly, the outcome with her theory resulted in a pair of wet shorts.
My question is – do other moms ascribe to making kids wait when wanting to go?

No. We do not. Because no one wants pee in the car.

I suppose I can understand your wife’s logic because sometimes kids, especially kids bored on long road trips, will use any excuse to get out of the car and possibly stop at a gas station and buy delicious, delicious Pop Rocks. But I tend to believe kids who say they have to go, because the kid who cried urine-wolf is just not a game I’m interested in playing. Unless, of course, they just went within the hour and then I would probably third degree them on whether or not they actually had had to go or if they were just sick of being in the car.

In your daughter’s case, your wife was wrong because it resulted in your kid having an accident which sucks for any little kid and I’m sure it wasn’t fun for her. Now do you get to print this out and wave it in your wife’s face yelling “I Win! I Win!”

This also depends on the age of the kid too. Younger kids have smaller bladders and have a harder time waiting to go, but older kids can hold it a bit longer. I’m all about letting people urinate when they say they have to urinate though so don’t look at me. Peeing for everyone!

Need some Bad Mom Advice? Why the hell not! E-mail me, leave me a comment, or tweet at me. I enjoy getting all up in your biz.