Thursday, July 31, 2008

The ballerina and the monochrome one

Lately, I have been allowing my children much more freedom in terms of their daily attire. Actually, it isn't so much that they haven't had any freedom, just that they really didn't care all that much. And I ran with that one, baby. I know my days of dressing them in sickeningly adorable matching outfits are not going to last forever. And if they're cool with that, why not?
Recently, however, they have been exerting more independence in the "dress yourself" category. I still stand my ground when we are going somewhere nice, or when I am being particularly queer and making them do things like wear their matching strawberry capri pants and shirts to the strawberry patch. Because if I didn't, how would we ever laugh at their photos in another 15 years? Well, judging from the outfits I've seen lately, we'll have plenty to laugh at.
Ruthie is in the midst of a hard core ballerina/fairy stage. Today was the first day this week that she has not worn a tutu over her shorts/skirt/pants/whatever else it is she has chosen to wear that day. In the house, she wears ballet slippers constantly, and only removes them to leave the house, at which point she is instructed to put on real shoes. This tutu ensemble is frequently accompanied by fairy wings, which she has in both pink and purple, depending, I suppose, on her mood. Also this week, she added a paper tiara, which she made at a Fancy Nancy party at the library on Monday. The tiara is a little big and is frequently resting on the top of her glasses. It's a fabulous look and elicits all sorts of comments from the cashiers at the grocery store, the post office clerk, and anyone we encounter in a parking lot. And I am impressed with her ability to engage in such unladylike tasks as helping Daddy cut down tree limbs, while wearing said tutu.
Helen has been trying to dress herself for a while now, but we hadn't gotten past the ability to recognize that three shirts and no pants do not an outfit make. Lately, she's gotten better. While she declares that pink is her favorite color, and her dresser drawers are filled with all manner of cute girly clothing, she would likely wear her green M & M t-shirt, or her NY Giants SuperBowl shirt, every day if I allowed it. (Though today she was crying desperately to wear her down parka outdoors in the billion percent humidity...strange child indeed.) Last week, when I instructed her to get herself a shirt (she is quite independent and I do try to encourage that) she went upstairs and proceeded to take each and every shirt out of her dresser drawer and pile them up on the floor. She rifled through the pile, throwing them around and declaring "Not this one! Not this one!" Yesterday, she finally got that she needs to have both a top and a bottom to complete an outfit that can be worn out of the house, and she proceeded to find both on her own. Helen proudly emerged from her room with a pair of tan shorts and a brown shirt. No amount of prodding could convince her that a bright shirt might be fun to wear, or those cute madras shorts. It had to be the brown one and the tan one. So all day yesterday, I carted around a four year old who looked like a Tinkerbell understudy, and a two year old who looked as if she existed in sepia, or perhaps was waiting to have her picture taken at one of those "old tyme" photo places. Other than that, it was a perfectly normal day.


Beth said...

There is nothing wrong with tones of fact that may be my attire tomorrow. I'd prefer the tiara and tutu though ;)

emmay said...

I often wear monochromatic neutrals myself. I just don't often see them on toddler girls. And I say go for the tiara and tutu tomorrow. Whatever makes you feel good..and it would make Ay smile!

karen said...

You know what your girls' outfits are? They are CLEAN. Given their heads, my boys will ordinarily head for the hamper to pick out favorites!