When I was small, my favorite toys were my dolls and all their accessories. I could sit and dress my dolls for hours. I would fix their hair and design their clothing. I even put my mom’s makeup on them from time to time. I always thought that when I had children, I would dress them like little dolls, but now I know that isn’t the case. My kids dress themselves, each in their own unique style. I’ve talked to so many parents about this, and almost everyone agrees that letting your child be themselves is best.
My oldest will be a teenager sooner than I’d like, and his style is casual, slightly grunge at times, skater at others. He refuses to wear a real coat, instead insisting that he’s not cold. I’ve offered to buy him any style coat he wants, but he simply refuses to wear anything thicker than a hoodie. In fact, even buying him a hoodie caused a bit of drama. Apparently, anything that has a brand name is out, anything with a design or logo, or any tiny bit of deviation from the most basic hoodie is cause for a huff. Finally, I let my husband take him out to find the perfectly simplistic black hoodie that he wanted, and everyone was happy. He wants to be a stylish kid and is just as picky about everything else in his wardrobe. He prefers to wear shorts with long socks pulled up when it’s cool outside than to put on an actual pair of pants. I’ve actually been confronted by other parents about his wardrobe choices. Once, on a particularly cold morning, another mom at the dentist’s office asked me if my son didn’t have a coat. I’m sure she felt bad for my son, assuming that I was a horrible mom who wore a coat myself, but either didn’t or couldn’t buy one for my child. When I explained that he just refuses to wear coats, and after my son had confirmed his strange idiosyncrasy, she smiled and said her now older son was the same way. Since he’s almost a teenager, I pick my battles. I used to fight with him every morning about wearing a coat, or real pants, or combing his hair. On the days that I would win, he would conveniently forget his coat in his locker, sometimes for days at a time, or until I would drive up to the school myself to retrieve it. After years of wrestling over clothing choices and worrying incessantly what the other moms must think of me, I’m over it. I’m even over fighting with him about walking around barefoot outside. This is just part of his personality, and I love him wholly, real pants or not.
My middle child’s style is basically the antithesis of that of my oldest child. He prefers to dress like a prepster every day of the week. Where my oldest child likes to keep his hair very short and maintenance-free, my middle child likes to have enough length to comb and style to his liking. His hair right now is reminiscent of a young Kennedy (or Scott Disick, as one of my friends pointed out to me!) and he has no problem getting up earlier and needing to use hair products. His clothing choices are always his own, much to my peers’ astonishment. He’s almost always wearing a button-up, collared shirt and nice slacks with a belt. He does wear jeans and tees some days as well, but they’re never grungy or over-sized. He would never shy away from rocking a v-neck, colors like pink or purple, vests or argyle sweaters. All of these would send my oldest into a tailspin of emotions, as he claims these are all “nerd bait,” and that he might as well scream into a bullhorn that he’s in need of a wedgie, or whatever it is these days that bullies do to their prey. My middle child disagrees, and I have reason to suspect he’s right. He has no problem making or keeping friends, and is never bullied. He says that he doesn’t worry about what the cool kids think of his style, because he IS a cool kid. God love him. I wish, in my own childhood, I would have had one ounce of his self esteem, as I was exactly like my oldest. I wanted to fly under the radar, trying hard to look like I didn’t try at all, and constantly worried if I looked cool or not. My middle child doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, and his style rarely flies below the radar.
I also have a little girl, who rounds out our family perfectly. She also has her own style, which I’ll have to talk about in another post. Right now, I have to get ready to go out for a family outing. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!
Xx, Chelle Rae