Sunday, April 10, 2011

Giving in to a spontaneous pajama day celebration: A lesson in vanity

I picked up some little hair bands and gave Hannah her first set of pigtails yesterday.  She has the same cowlick in the front that I do which makes it unwise to part her hair anywhere except the opposite side of the cowlick so I gave her some cutely crooked pigtails.  Well, I thought they were cute anyway, but we all know that my sense of fashion is pretty limited.

Hannah's first pigtails.
I guess she liked her pigtails because she brought them to me this morning, pointed at her hair, and waited patiently while I tied up her hair.  She hasn't pulled one out yet which surprises me since she often pulls out her barrettes.

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.


  1. Ohhh, now your scaring me. :) But, Hannah's pig tails are so cute (screams!!).

  2. Grammy loves to have pajama day every weekend - though I don't go out in them. If I had a pair as cute as Hannah's, I might. :-)

  3. So cute. I love what you are saying here. Anna has started to have some say in what she wears too. I have this tutu skirt I keep trying to put on her and I laid it out on Saturday - she ok'd the shirt and pants but said "not this one" to the skirt. I told her it would be cute but she refused. Oh well. We're raising strong girls with their own identities - hooray!

  4. I need to claify..cute idea and Hannah prolly got "Oh she's cute!" remarks, cause she is and her pj's are cute. I got stuck on the part of your writing about the mohawk. That is what I was referring to.

  5. hehe! I think there are worst things she could do than have a mohawk--though my fingers are crossed that she doesn't opt for that look too :)


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