When Little Miss was five, I let her jump in mud, fully clothed and laughed at the joy on her face.
When Little Miss was six, I strolled through the grocery store with her wearing Giselle's wedding dress from Enchanted.
When she was seven, I giggled as she put on a purple and green polka dot shirt, with a pink and brown plaid skirt, and a rainbow zig zag tights. I wish now I would have taken a photo.
When she was eight, everything was pink and sparkly.
When she was nine, nothing was.
Now she is ten. All of the sudden, clothes are the biggest issue in our house.
I always considered myself a relaxed dresser. I prefer pants over dresses. I prefer big bulky sweatshirts over sweaters. I almost always wear flip-flops or tennis shoes. What I did not realize is that I have a lot of opinions about clothes. Opinions that do not coincide with the general public.
First, I do not consider leggings pants. Most people do, but I think of them as tights. Leggings look cute under a skirt, dress, or even a long sweater/shirt. Basically, if the bottom is covered, I'm okay. Unfortunately, my daughter just wants to fit in, and I make it nearly impossible, because of this rule. Almost every child in her class wears them everyday as pants.
Secondly, I do not think sweatpants nor yoga pants should be worn to do anything except lazing around the house, playing sports, or working out. We do not go to the store with them, we do not go to school wearing them, we do not go to church with them, although I am beginning to believe I am in the minority here as well.
Finally, I believe jogging shorts are intended for jogging, although completely appropriate for around the house, but not to go to the store/school/church/etc...
Now I will get my mail in my pajama pants, I don't mind what she wears while running around playing in our yard, or the neighbor's, or even to go to a friend's house. Most anything goes. But when we go to school, the store, church, etc. I expect a certain level of dress. Basically, I don't want her to look like she just got out of bed. Is that really that unreasonable?
As I do with many parenting situations, I ask myself, is this really an important issue? When it comes to respect, I always answer yes. When it comes to television, I am wishy washy. Years ago, when it came to clothes, I decided it was not. Back then, the biggest issues were whether she actually matched, whether a dress was appropriate play clothes, or whether it was okay to go through a store as her favorite movie character. With all three, I enjoyed watching the childish charm, and decided no matter how much attention she brought to herself, or how annoyed I was, it wasn't a big deal.
Unfortunately, the moment her clothing choices went from childish charm to sloppy mess, I began to care. I know the problem stems from me being different than the general public. Her choices coincide with nearly every other girl at her school. I understand why she wants to wear certain outfits.
I know I have unique opinions and views. Then I ask myself, at what point do you conform, and at what point, do you stand your ground? This has been a question I have struggled with my entire life. I am usually just on the outside of normal, where I comfortably sit. I wore Little Mermaid, years after it was socially acceptable to do so. I chose braces that fit my personality, but not physical appearance. I also chose to wear my overalls, long after they went out of style. So as I sit on the outside of normal, am I making my daughter do that too?
After six years of infertility, she was blessed with the adoption of her oldest daughter who now is a teenager. Six years later, she finally became a mother a second time, this time with a baby through a donated egg and ivf. Throughout that time, she fostered nine babies and toddlers, met wonderful women who helped her grow, and learned to rely on Jesus. She started this blog with the hope that she could share her joy, experience, and willingness to grow with others, whether they battle infertility, toddlers, or teens.