While I am no fashionista, I do like to leave the house with my girls looking just so. That is not to say they are wearing designer clothing or outfits that are to be worn once and then discarded. No, I just like the pieces of their clothing to be clean and coordinated, their hair to be combed - preferably with a matching accessory and for their faces and noses to be relatively free of their past meal.
To make this happen, every Sunday since Devi started attending daycare, I have planned out a weeks worth of clothing - including the hair bobble and socks - and laid them in 5 neat piles, one for each day for each girl. I enjoy this task, envisioning my precious girls in each outfit, knowing they are ready and prepared for the weather and activities planned for each day. Daddy appreciates that there is one less decision to be made each morning, as he is navigates the three of them from waking up to out the door on time.
For a while now, Devi has been choosing one outfit from the 5, deciding which one she would like to wear on any given day, satisfied with the variety I have selected. Suddenly, that is no longer acceptable to her, as she wants to wear something that is completely of her own choosing. After several morning tantrums over something as ridiculous as clothing, Pat and I decided it was time for the evolution of the morning routine.
To begin with, I rid her closet of all clothing that was not appropriate for preschool, or the weather we are currently having. This left only the things I would have chosen from anyway. The responsibility of what to wear and when to where it has become hers. There are four house rules.
1. You can not wear pajamas to school unless it is pajama day. (That amendment added by Dev, of course)
2. You can not wear the same thing two days in a row.
3. You can not take something out of the dirty clothes bin to wear.
4. You must wear clean underwear everyday.
I, in turn, have begun to grit my teeth and try to not be bothered by mis-matched tops and bottoms, or uncoordinated socks and tights or even, heaven forbid, open toed shoes on a rainy day. I am trying my best to only say things like, “It looks like you dressed yourself today. Good job, sweetie!”, knowing the battle over clothing is not worth the fight.
This week we put the new and improved routine into action and hope it has satisfied the pumpkin pie’s need for more control in her 4 and a HALF year old world, and rids poor daddy’s morning of the kicking and screaming. (And if I have not mentioned it, Treya also kicks and screams, copying Devi’s every move and utterance as she learns how to appropriately respond to new situations). Wish us all luck!
UPDATE: The first day she chose a dress and tights, but they presented a bit of a snag. Pat found her laying in a ball on the floor with no clothes on. Evidently, Devi had a hard time getting dressed because she was playing butterfly and she was in the chrysalis stage...no legs for tights!
Treya’s routine has gone through an evolution too, as she no longer has a cast, but now wears corrective shoes at night, connected at the heels with a metal bar that snaps into place. We thought confinement of her legs and feet would be a hard transition, but she has taken it all in stride - pardon the pun. Treya is quite proud of her blue suede “special shoes” and shouts “bar, bar” at night to make sure we don’t forget to snap it into place.
Our Houdini continues to work her magic in the night, so wears her pajamas backward - zipping and snapping up the back. As for her shoes, she manages to loosen the straps, but has not mastered the buckles....YET!