Baby clothes might just be the best thing about becoming a parent. The styles we love, only way, way tinier. Nothing is cuter than a toddler in skinny jeans, I mean come on. Or hammer pants. Or the teensiest little high tops, like months before he will ever walk. A pair of baby wayfarers or teeny suede loafers can incite a Kardashian-level frenzy from strangers, photo ops and all. I love everything about dressing my kids. I’ve even been known to iron a size 2T dress or two in my day, and my laundry skills should be highlighted in my LinkedIn profile. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been a few early morning latté runs in full pajamas (them, not me – though my mom uniform of tip-to-toe Lululemon is still on repeat, four years in – but we’ll save that for another blog). But for the most part, I take pride in leaving the house with well-dressed, well-pressed little munchkins.
So it was a bit of a shock for me when my son started insisting on picking his outfits, ultimatum-style. It started innocently enough when he insisted on a t-shirt over the sweater I’d laid out one Canadian winter day, but quickly devolved into his entire look, jacket and accessories included. Accessories!? You’re two! I realize that kids want to assert their independence and that it can manifest in all sorts of ways… I know that it’s important to give them the freedom to express themselves. And I gotta say, I love that we’re raising strong-willed, creative and opinionated little beings. I know this will serve them well later in life, but sometimes I just want them to go out into the world in shoes that match the outfit – or at least the weather (bubble gum pink Hunter boots in August, I’m looking at you). It’s like they have radar for the most inappropriate, mismatched pieces. I literally dove across the room one December morning to conceal a rogue sundress and keep it out of my daughter’s peripheral vision. I left the house that day in a sling. She left in a sundress.
Yet as bad as their self-styled #ootds can be, I know it could be a zillion times worse. There’s a girl in my son’s preschool who shows up every single day in full Elsa (or is it Anna?) kit – long blonde braided wig, plastic high heels and all. Her mom has chosen not to pick that particular battle and I don’t blame her. But my goodness, that dress could use a Tide Pod and a new zipper. I’ll take the brown “penny loapers” with the black skinny jeans over that any day.