Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Clothes Horse

I remember being so excited the day Elizabeth figured out how to get herself dressed.  We had coached her up for months:  This arm in this hole, this arm in that one. See how the tag goes in the backGood job, honey!!

Now, no one warned me about the consequences of this momentous occasion.  Therefore, my fellow mothers / fathers / people who might one day be around small children, consider yourself warned.  You're in for a doozy of a ride here.  

Consequence 1: Once she figured out how to get herself dressed, she suddenly began caring about what she was wearing.  

Now, I am all about creativity, but the fact that my child went to church on Sunday in a purple dress and green tights and pink socks was totally her idea.  She didn't like the black pants...or the ruffle socks...and don't even get me started on the precious Christmas shirt I had bought her to wear.

I swear, she has cute and matching clothes.  The problem is, she refuses to wear any of them.  She won't touch jeans or sweaters or turtle necks.  She'll wear jumpers, but not the shirts that need to go under jumpers.  She likes leggings and dresses and shirts that have a ruffle at the bottom.  Oh, and if they have a character on them, that's a bonus.  And they have to be a pretty color.  

Which brings me to...

Consequence 2: She wants to wear clothing that is totally inappropriate for leaving the house.  

Right now, her obsession is shorts and t-shirts.  That's what she picks out.  The problem with that lies in the fact that it is currently the dead of winter.  This morning, she came down for breakfast dressed in her pink My Little Pony t-shirt and a tie-dyed skirt that she called her tu-tu.  She had purple and brown striped knee socks and was set for the day, in her brain.  

The fight that ensued when I forced her to change into long sleeves and long pants was catastrophic.  We had tears, thrown clothes and shoes and eventually, I ended up pinning her between my knees and her little brother (the 26-week pregnant kind) to force the clothes on her.

Eventually, she calmed down and we went downstairs and proceeded with the getting ready to leave the house process.  I had the bags packed, sippies poured, jackets out and suddenly, I didn't see her.  


"Upstairs, Mom...I'm just getting dressed..."

(Which leads into...)

Consequence 3: She changes her clothes 50 million times a day.  

I ran upstairs to try to catch her before the damage was done, but it was too late.  There stood my 3-year-old with no shirt on, pulling back on her "tu-tu."  World War 26 erupted and we finally got our long sleeves and long pants back on and was out the door in 20 minutes.  

Picking her up from the Y, she was happy and in a good mood.  I asked her about her time there and she told me about the crafts she made and the picture she colored and the new little girl she played with.  Then she let me know that as soon as we got home, she was going to change.

But of course she was.

As I write this, I can see our entrance way.  Scattered not five feet from the door are her shoes, socks, pants and long sleeve shirt.  Within seconds of stripping, she had reappeared in the My Little Pony shirt and tie-dyed tu-tu.

The girls had asked for Dora soup for lunch (similar to Princess soup but with Dora noodles...thank you Campbells), which is not a clean-eating process (literally) and after the first drip landed on her shirt, Elizabeth jumped down and stripped naked to finish the rest of the bowl.  

Upon completion, she ran upstairs and came back down in a pink leotard and two mismatched striped socks - one pink and one purple.   Scott surprised us all by coming home for lunch and picked her up, spun her around, and asked why her socks didn't match.  "Because I couldn't find the other ones,"  she answered in her mater-of-fact voice.

Consequence 4:  Your child will now have a tornado of a room as she hunts for what exactly she wants to wear. 

Yesterday, Scott asked me why there were three leotards in our bedroom upstairs when he got home from work.  They were haphazardly thrown around as if someone was looking for something.  I told him that it was probably because his oldest was hunting for her swimsuit.

Which I had hidden...

Up high...

In her closet...

Here was a normal breakfast in Vegas with her swimsuit, tiara, and Hello Kitty necklace on. 
For our Vegas trip, I had stupidly packed the swimsuits - you know, just in case it was warm enough to get in the hot tub or go for a swim in the indoor pool.  The first morning, Elizabeth was overjoyed to find it, as she flung the rest of her clothes out of the suitcase, and claimed it as her dress up outfit of choice for the 5 days we were there.  (I didn't let her bring any princess dresses with her - packing room was tight!)

Now, three things about this swimsuit...it is a little one-piece with a ruffle skirt that qualifies it as a "ballerina,"  it has Tinkerbell on it, and it's just a tiny bit too small for my daughter.

So after wearing it for a couple hours, she would begin tugging at the bottom...which is something you never want to see your little girl doing...so I had to confiscate it about a million times and then deal with my crying child.  As soon as we got home, it was put far far away in the depths of the closet.

Consequence 5:  You become made to do laundry.

This really doesn't tie into the rest of the story except that I have a huge pile staring at me right beside the desk and I can see that over half of it is Elizabeth's.  I swear, we just had everything in the house clean on Sunday...  Isn't this such a mom statement?  "Do you think I was made to do laundry??"

Thankfully, Rachel hasn't joined the ranks of her older sister just yet, although she's starting to.  She already lets me know when she hates an outfit that I pick out - although she's a little easier to pin down and force into something.  I'm sure these aren't the consequences in every house and maybe your little angels get dressed willingly in matching outfits and keep them on all day and look perfect...but somehow (especially if you've been following my madness on purpose), I doubt it.  

Got any tales to tell?

I better go check on my child now.  Currently, she is watching the Cat in the Hat in my bedroom...naked...


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