|Hannah's first pigtails.
In addition to requesting specific hairstyles, she has been wanting to choose her outfits as well. I try to do what my mom did with me when I was little and offer her two choices, that way she feels some sense of control but the choices are still reasonable, but she tends to refuse both of my choices and is none too quiet or polite in her refusal. This morning I had laid out jeans and the striped shirt she's wearing in the pic above and asked Eric to dress her while I cleaned up breakfast. I came upstairs a few moments later and she was wearing the flannel top to a pair of pajamas that she occasionally naps in (I always put her in footed pajamas for night time sleeping though). She was refusing the outfit I'd laid out for her. I went into the bathroom to pee and had a bit of an aha moment. Not a eureka because it wasn't some great idea, but more like an awakening, a moment of enlightened self-awareness if you will. I stopped to consider why I was opposed to her leaving the house in flannel pajamas. Since they're flannel and it was near 60 degrees even first this morning, her freezing off her little bum was off the table. The only reason I could come up with was that it looked silly and was embarrassing. But for who? She obviously wasn't concerned with embarrassment....Oh how difficult to admit my vanity!
I never thought I'd be one to play dress up with my daughter since I certainly don't like doing it for myself, but as it turns out, I've developed quite an obsession with making her look as cute as humanely possible with the random assortment of hand-me-downs and impulse Target buys she has. And the problem with that obsession is that I get some sort of parenting validation/security boost every time someone says "awww! She's so cute!" I know, sick and twisted. I was ashamed of myself as soon as I realized that that has been happening in my subconscious.
The weird thing is that I don't do that with myself. I mean, generally speaking, I don't care what I look like. I wear the same pair of black yoga pants every day of the week and one of two long sleeve shirts with my favorite black sports bra. If the weather is cold, I wear Uggs; if it's warm, I wear my Vibrams. I wash my uniform once a week. I am form over function. I do not read fashion magazines. I don't like to shop. I rarely buy new clothes because even when I do, I end up not knowing how to incorporate them into a reasonably cute outfit, and I don't like trying. I hate staring at my closet, and frankly, I don't like staring at Hannah's either, trying to piece together cuteness with what we have.
Anyway, the aha moment was that vanity is not a good reason to do anything and since I couldn't come up with a better reason for not wanting her to wear her pajamas to the farmer's market this morning, I helped her put on the matching pajama pants and her shoes and socks, and decided that today was a good day to celebrate a spontaneous pajama day.
I don't want to stifle her ability to express herself and if pajamas are her vehicle for expression, fine. I'm sure that as she gets older, her choices in clothing will probably get more and more embarrassing for me so I might as well just learn to appreciate her sense of individuality and expression and practice walking proudly beside her pajama-clad self in anticipation of the day when she asks me if she can shave her head into a mohawk. I mean, it's just hair, right? It'll grow back. Honestly though, I think I'd probably be more embarrassed if she wanted to wear popped colors and those pastel-colored floral print dresses...But either way, as long as she isn't wearing anything slanderous or slutty, I'll try really hard to leave my vanity at the door and let her dress herself however she sees fit.
|Hannah celebrating a spontaneous pajama day.