11 January 2008

Clothing Wars

Okay, she dresses herself. Often, this takes mismatched to epic proportions, or veers into inappropriateness (like the tank top on Christmas Eve that prompted my brother to say that she looked like she was off to a poker game in a trailer park). But, it's a battle I'm usually not interested in fighting. Her spunk shows in her wardrobe. And hell, why not wear stripes and plaid when you're FOUR?

Occasionally, though, there are battles.

On Wednesday, she dressed in a pair of white tights with multi-colored hearts, and a black shirt with three ballerinas along the bottom edge. And nothing else. "I don't want to wear a skirt - the ballerinas won't show." "I don't want to wear a skirt - the hearts on my tights will be hidden." Finally, I strong-armed her into an elastic waist skirt, man-handled her into the car seat, and strapped her in so she couldn't remove the skirt. She howled all the way to daycare. She wailed all the way across the parking lot. She cried all the way up the stairs. When we got to the classroom, she stripped off the skirt, threw it across the room and curled up on the floor to sob into her cubby. I left, wishing the school kitchen were stocked with a pitcher of martinis instead of a vat of oatmeal. A teacher talked her into her skirt and all was well.

At day's end, the black shirt was filthy - covered with dabs of paint and big white smears of something. Of course, she announced that she wanted to wear the black shirt again. Of course, I told her it needed to be washed. It went in the laundry basket.

Thursday, the first words out of her mouth were "I want to wear my ballerina shirt". "But it's dirty - you can't wear it." Another clothing battle ensued. However, this time she won, because she totally got my soft spot. "Mommy, I want to wear a black shirt and blue jeans, just like you." Yup. It's my uniform. Black top. Blue jeans. Nearly every day. How could I resist? So off she went to school in her blue jeans and her filthy black ballerina shirt.

And today? Jeans and a pink shirt, no squabbles. Go figure.

21 comments:

Julie Pippert said...

The title of this post ALONE made me break out in stress hives.

Persistence and that dadgum princess obsession and the crazy insistence that NO FABRIC MUST EVER TOUCH HER ARMS. TG we live in the subtropics but there are some chilly mornings.

I'm all wrung out.

Now what were you saying?

Ah yes. I agree completely with your approach (para 1).

And the rest (barring the uniform, mine is navy shirt and tan khaki pants)...I live that same life, too.

However WOO HOO that today contained no squabbles.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh NO...I just saw your counter. 374 left...really?

Dude.

I guess what with all the election stuff I had him in my mind already packing his bags. (As illogical as it was...I didn't bother to deconstruct my happy image, my happy place.)

Dude.

Sober Briquette said...

Julie - the local newspaper ran an article titled "Peace in the Middle East" expounding how W was going to bring this about (based, I believe, solely on the fact that he's in his last year in office). It's nauseating.

Anyway...

While I sometimes worry about Fiona's seemingly desperate need to conform, I have to say I'm glad I have been spared these clothing battles (so far. I'm sure the future holds many). The kid has better taste and sense of style than I ever have, and as long as she doesn't have to wear pants, there's no trouble. Tuesday is gym day, requiring a uniform including blue shorts or sweatpants. She changes the minute she gets home. So much for emulating Mom's wardrobe.

Eva said...

I'm so glad my kid still has no opinion about clothes. And I guess they can really throw their weight around the more they have!

Gina said...

Oh yes - that is my every day. But add in opinions on shoes, hair styles and accessories, coats, hats, and the process of getting strapped in the car seat.

Waiting Amy said...

Isn't crazy how they get that bee in their bonnet? The Snake has been on a kick to wear orange and yellow together, begs for it. But he really doesn't even have any yellow (whew!).

There are days I give in and others I cajole, others I coerce. Like all of parenthood, ya gotta pick and choose your battles, right?

flutter said...

funny how that works!

Janet said...

The clothing wars rage on at our house. Sometimes I give in, sometimes she does. It's a delicate dance. I take solace in dressing the toddler in whatever I please, knowing full well that we will likely dance in the near future, too.

niobe said...

I have clothing wars at my house, but only with myself. Why don't I have the kind of job where I can wear a black shirt and blue jeans every day?

peppermint t said...

Oh do we have this too. I try not to fight it unless my girl's going to freeze to death in what she's wearing (and she does have several shirts that she insists are dresses). Lately, she's actually come up with a couple of pretty cool looking outfits -- I've felt very not cool next to her.

Suz said...

That's pretty much my outfit as well. Jeans. T-shirt.

Don Mills Diva said...

I guess she won the battle so laid down her arms the next day...

the mama bird diaries said...

Funny.

I once let my daughter wear a very wet diaper to the playground because I was so EXHAUSTED from doing battle over every changing, every piece of clothing.

She's potty trained now. But still such a pain in the arse about getting dressed. This past summer she wore the same tank top and same chino shorts every day of the week. But as long as she's dressed...

Denguy said...

I have a six-year-old daughter and she does dress herself, but she will also take suggestions. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying....

wheelsonthebus said...

Oh, boy, have I ever been there. And he's a boy, too. It's been like this since before he could talk. And, yes, he wants to dress like me, too. Good thing I am not very girly.

SOmetimes, you do need to strongarm them into decency. Fortunately for me, mine tends to OVERDRESS, not underdress. Do you really need socks in bed in 90 degree heat?

Thanks for letting me laugh at someone else's little-person-clothing issues.

S. said...

I remember those tights!

Our clothing rule is simple: she doesn't get to choose anything. And then we fight about that.

But she's not 3 yet.

Julia said...

yup, we have those. i think I have succeeded in instituting the no same clothes two days in a row rule. And I have to admit that some times I don't do laundry for so long that the favorite item can't be worn again for weeks. The horror! I blame my mother for buying her too many clothes.

Jenn said...

oh, forgive me! I giggled. I know it'll come back and bite me in the ass soon when the clothing wars start here...

Melanie said...

Good for you for giving her so much fashion independence in the first place, and for enduring trailer-park jokes at Christmas.

You rock.

Victoria said...

Oh - those are the minor battles that just about put me over the edge. Funny when it's happening to you. Not funny when it's happening to me. =)

I almost choked when my Girl asked for "high heeled black big girl boots with the zipper up the side. Jut like **yours**, Mommy". Eek. Little copycat.

Thanks for your kind note over my way about my Hubs. Scary stuff. But all good tonight.

kristabella said...

Wow, girls never change, do we? Although, I wish I could get away with a ballerina shirt and tights with pink hearts on them. I’d probably get sent home from work and asked to wear more appropriate clothing.