1. Quite frankly I have a lot to do in the morning, seeing as my husband is basically never home in the morning (we are talking maybe a total of 4-6 mornings a month that he is actually around when the kids and I are getting ready). Being concerned with the fashion of a 4 year old is low on my list of things to do. I'm concerned that everyone is fed, lunch is packed when necessary, and that their hygiene needs are met (hair brushed, teeth brushed, etc.). If she wants to wear a striped shirt with polka dot pants, who is it really hurting?
2. I'm not all that fashion forward myself. I am most comfortable in a t-shirt with either jeans, yoga pants, or a maxi skirt. Yes, I usually do make sure that my clothes at least match and are clean, but it kind of ends there. I'm not saying appearances never matter, but on a day to day basis, I just don't see the need to put a major fuss into what we are wearing.
3. She has a completely different sense of hot and cold than I do. My baby was born during a snowstorm in Upstate NY and I think it set the tone for her sense of hot and cold. So many times, I've forced her to dress the way I was dressing for the temperature and she ended up miserable (usually too hot, I'm not sure she's ever been too cold). If I do think she's going to be cold, I will have her pack some warmer clothes, but I don't think she should have to wear a sweater just because I am.
4. This last one is really the most important one of all. To be honest, I always think she looks amazing and I love that she isn't afraid to be different. Seriously. She has an amazingly beautiful face. And she has muscular little legs from dance class and from all the running and playing she does each day. She is proud of her appearance, she "loves her own fashion" and I know it might very well not always be that way. I don't want her to believe that her value comes from her clothes, or that her clothes need to be perfect in order for her to be "cute". Plenty of other people will start telling her that in a few years. Why shouldn't she express her individuality now?
I did recently put down my foot about a clothing choice, against my own line of thinking from above, and now I'm regretting it. A few months ago, M decided she didn't like "over the head dresses", and would only wear "stepping in, stepping out dresses". After MANY, MANY arguments about the dresses, I said, "you are NOT wearing any more stepping in, stepping out dresses until you wear an over the head dress." Seeing that she loved her dresses, I thought this would be a quick and easy victory for me. She would ask immediately to wear an over the head dress so that her full wardrobe would be hers again. Not so much. She hasn't worn a dress in about 2 months now. I certainly didn't see this coming. I'm left shaking my head at myself - WHY did I even feel the need to lay down this absurd clothing ruling when usually I let anything go. (For those of you wondering that as well, the reason why I put my foot down was that I was sick of her only wearing the same 5 or 6 dresses when she had a closet and a dresser full of clothes). The upside to "Dress-ageddon 2014" has been that she's worn so many of the t-shirts and shorts that had been neglected in her closet and dresser. So.... go me?
In a few short weeks, M will start attending a private Pre-K program 3 days a week and will have to wear a modified uniform - a specific t-shirt and pants/shorts/skirt in a choice of 3 colors (none of which are pink or purple, her favorites). I have mixed feelings, as I enjoy seeing what she puts together some days, since I see the joy she gets from her fashion. For the sake of my overall sanity on the other 4 days of the week, I'll be sticking with letting her choose (and hoping that this dress situation clears up soon). There are too many things in this world more important than what she is wearing at this point. I will save that battle for another time, hopefully in the distant future.
How about everyone else out there? What kinds of insanity do your kids wear? Do you let them out of the house in mis-matched clothes? Not trying to start a debate, just wondering how some others out there feel about the fashion choices of the Pre-K world.