Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tiny Fashionisto

I don't fight with my kids about clothes, or least not often.  Big Pants does have a pair of shorts from Africa that are white and yellow and black in a traditional African pattern that occasionally cause me to intercede in his fashion decisions.  They were handmade in Tanzania and purchased by my cousin who lived there, so I don't object to their inclusion in his wardrobe.  I just think African print shorts on a white kid should be paired with a tie dye t-shirt.  I'm no fashionista and I may be wrong about this, but as long as I can encourage him that way I will. The other discussion the shorts provoke is one on panty lines, as they have a predominantly white background. There are few things I know for sure, but that fact that white shorts can't be worn over superman underpants is one of them.

Left to his own devices, Big Pants would only wear sports-themed t-shirts with comfy shorts all summer.  He would only require one t-shirt for each season: one for baseball, one for hockey, one for football.  He would be happy to wear it all day and sleep in it at night. He only feels things need washing if yogurt spills on them, otherwise he's good to go. The changing of socks and underwear seems to be a waste of time as well.

Tiny Pants is evolving into a 13 year old girl.  No, that's not sexist.  OK, maybe it's sexist.  It's not mean, though. It's accurate.  I was a 13 year old girl, and at age 5 he is just like I was at age 13, except cuter.  

Tiny Pants wakes up and gets himself dressed.  He comes downstairs and has breakfast.  When I announce we are leaving to go somewhere, he goes upstairs to change his clothes, a process that can take upwards of 20 minutes.  When  I say he changes his clothes, by the way, I don't mean he gets a different shirt.  He strips down to his skin and starts all over.  Underpants, socks, shorts, shirt, all of which require deep contemplation, and God help you if what he wants is in the laundry.

If that was the extent of his clothing changes, I could probably learn to live with it, but it's not.  When we get home there will be yet another outfit, as well as a meditation on pajamas.

Now, all of this is probably my fault.  Tiny Pants' wardrobe, being the younger same sex child, has primarily consisted of hand-me-downs. A well-meaning friend expressed concern that Tiny never has his own new clothes, and insinuated that perhaps I should buy him some new stuff, too.  I was planning on it, by the way,once he reached Jr. High, but he's five. 

However, I am totally susceptible to guilt, so I bought him some shirts the next time I went online shopping for his brother. He was ecstatic to have new clothes. I almost felt like a good mother.  Almost.

The problem is he won't wear them.  I folded them wrong, he didn't get to pick them out, and he doesn't want them to get dirty. He loves having them, but won't wear them, and I have somehow failed in pleasing him and I'm out the cold hard cash.

I took him to a consignment store and let him go wild, not because he needed any garments, but just so he could feel some autonomy in his life.  Let's face it, five year olds have very little control over their lives, and if he wants to chose his clothes, so be it.  He went hog wild, and those are the clothes that he loves so much that he needs to wear three outfits a day.

See?  My fault.  If he still hated his clothes, he wouldn't care what he wore.  The upside is that he also likes folding his clothes and putting them away in his new (third-hand, but don't tell him) dresser. If he finds out that isn't new, he'll refuse to put his clothes in it.

Yet, that still isn't the end of it.  He also has a thing for shoes.  I came downstairs one day in a pair of pink pumps and he went nuts for them. 

"Where did you get those shoes, Mama? Do they come in my size?" His inflection was exactly like one of my girlfriends, or a drag queen.

No, he's not a cross-dresser, he just doesn't really understand what girls wear and what boys wear.  Although if he turns out to be a cross-dresser, that's cool too. I just hope he winds up close to my size if that's the case, so I can borrow clothes from him.

We spent the last 6 weeks going around and around about a pair of "high shoes" he wanted me to buy him. Six weeks, and he never forgot or lost interest once.  Every time we went to the store, he brought them up.

At Target:

TINY PANTS: Mama, if we see any high shoes in my size can we buy them for me?

MAMA: High heels?

TINY PANTS: No, high shoes.  Boys wear them too. They go all the way up.

MAMA: High heel boots? Like Mama's?

TINY PANTS: NO, Mama. High SHOES. Not boots. BOYS WEAR THEM, TOO. They are not just for girls.

MAMA: Cowboy boots?

TINY PANTS: No, but can I have cowboy boots too if they have 'em in my size?

MAMA: No. (changes subject)

Six weeks we had variations of this conversation every single time we went to Target. I had no earthly idea what he meant.  FInally, we walked past a display of Converse high tops and he went nuts.  The light dawned. High shoes = high tops, like he saw the kids wear in the movie  The  Sandlot. 

TINY PANTS:  High shoes! Are they in my size? Can we get them? See? I told you boys could wear them, too!

Yes, I bought the shoes.  Not because he needed them - he has sneakers, sandals, crocs and water shoes - but because we had both been so frustrated for so long about the damn things.  And besides, they were for boys after all. And yes, I know I am creating a monster.

Winning. With High Shoes.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing better than having a drag queen you can share clothes with!!!


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