Sunday, October 20, 2013

Choosing the Battles- Clothing edition

This post is going to be SO MUCH FUN!  But before you read it, don't forget to take a minute to check out the previous post about helping teenagers in our community.  Please consider giving THIS WEEK to make a real difference!  Countdown=6 days to 5K!!

Now- on to the adorable blonds:

I mentioned that I was cutting down on a few battles at our house by beginning "Wrestling Privileges".  What a great day that was at our house!

But there's another "battle" looming.

Kids have opinions about what they wear.
I get that.
But, I have opinions, too.
I put time, effort, energy into purchasing, washing, folding, hanging, ironing (ok, only sometimes) their clothing.  Because its true, I care how they look.  It honestly isn't about brand names or expensive clothing.  I just feel like there is something about a person's self-confidence and the impressions that they leave with others when they are neat and tidy.  I want it to be a habit they begin early- not that I'm placing value in their appearance alone, but there is some value to be placed in the impression they make on other people.

That said-
the very last way I want to start the day is arguing with them about what they are wearing.

For years, I cut down on that battle- in all humility I pretty much eliminated it- by a simple compromise.  Our compromise was this: I pick the clothes.  You pick the shoes.

Sometimes that meant rain boots with shorts

or dress clothes.

Sometimes that meant shoes that didn't match at all.

For most of the last year it meant the same multi-colored-polka-dot flats with EVERYTHING for Lou.

And then one day, that all changed.
Round about the first week of school this year, the big two boys (who I'm pretty sure conspire against me each night as they fall asleep together) declared, "WE WANT MORE! More choices, more opportunities for expression, more FREEEEEEEEDOMMMMMM!"
Well, really they just said "When are we going to get to pick out our own clothes for school".
Same thing.

So, in a brilliant parenting move that can only be described as "THANK YOU LORD!"
words came out of my mouth that simultaneously bought me a little longer of picking out their clothes and them the opportunity for self-expression.

Now, we all know- compromise always comes with a price.
Just like the missing tooth and black eye from "wrestling privileges", Free Dress Fridays have a downside, too.

Like this
"My col-uhs ah blush and bashful" -
Steel Magnolias, anyone?

OR This
where a little red is good, a lotta red is AWEOME
and why not tuck in?

And this
I match.  Thumbs up.

The deal is- They don't complain, not a word, about the clothes I lay out for them 5 days out of the week (sun-thurs) and Friday they get to wear absolutely whatever they want.  And I don't say a word.  Even when it was 123 degrees outside and KJ wanted to wear two shirts, I might have mentioned he'd get hot- but he glared the look that say "don't trample the rules of Free Dress Friday" and I let him go to school that way.
KJ's double shirt look and Lou's blue Cinderella socks.

I'll tell ya this- Fridays sure are simple.  I don't have to get anyone's clothes (except Tito's of course).  The others make their own choices pretty quickly (usually the night before).  KJ's choice  is simple.  Favorite.Red.Shirt.Always.  The other two are a toss up.  Lou usually wears a dress and Cbug wears whatever he touches in the closet first.  And I'm pretty sure there isn't a single doubt in any of their teachers' minds whether I dressed my children on Fridays.

So- here's to you and your battles on the home front.
Find a "free dress Friday" or maybe a "wrestling privilege" compromise and embrace it!
You can thank me later.
Unless its picture day!


1 comment:

Shan Gill said...

I used to put together outfits, shorts or pants, depending on the weather, shirts, underwear, & socks, when I did laundry on the weekend. There would be 6 or 7 to choose from. Then the kiddo could choose an outfit each day. Obviously, in Texas you may have to have summer and winter outfits the same week, but you work that out as it comes.