My daughter will be 3 in February. Regardless of her young age, she knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want. We noticed it early on when she started making choices about food. One day we loved broccoli, and then, not so much. Let me say that I firmly believe in allowing children (no matter how young) to exercise their opinions and make their own choices. Now, let me also say that I’m not an idiot. I don’t ask Pickle, “What do you want to eat?” that would be insane. We’d be in the kitchen all night. Instead, I may give her two or three things to choose from. Makes us all happy, right?
What I have come to realize is that food is the easy one. It’s fashion that makes me crazy. Yes, already, she is very aware of what she wants and doesn’t want in terms of her wardrobe. I will pick something out only to be told, “No, Mommy, I want something pecial (“special”).” While I may have some progressive mothering about me, I’m also pretty traditional when it comes to dressing up. Some days the littlest people in the house have to wear what Mommy says, like it or not. That’s the way it goes.
Oh how I remember those days…growing up I lived in a bit of conflict…the life I wanted versus the life I was living. Growing up in the eighties as a “tween” was hard. We didn’t have the trendy cool stores specifically for that age back then. No, we had Maison Blanche. So the life I wanted to live was one with feathered hair, a pit for a boyfriend who drove a TransAm, and tight Jordache Jeans. This was quite the contrast to the life I was actually living; a chin length bob, Izod shorts, and the country club. Not a bad life, not bad at all, just not as I fantasized. Anyway, like it or not there was no way I would be allowed to wear an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt to the annual swimming banquet. I had to wear what Mom said like it or not. “There is a time and a place for everything.” I can hear her say. And, yes, as I’ve blogged before, I’ve basically become the brunette version of her and I hear myself saying the same thing to my 2-year-old. “You can’t wear the car t-shirt to the family bar-b-que.”
It’s a little different negotiating with a toddler than a tween, I assume. So, I’ve come up with a pretty good strategy. When it counts, for events that we have to dress appropriately, Mommy decides on the top half and Pickle can decide on the bottom half – meaning socks and shoes. She can pick out whatever she wants for her feet. And it works! Everyone is happy. And truly, despite some of her questionable combinations, I’m really proud her confidence and ability to make choices. In the long run, isn’t that what really counts?
Below are some pictures of our best combos yet…