Don’t Mess With My System

In the past, I’ve never had any arguments about clothes from my kids. I buy their clothes without any input from them and I lay out what they are going to wear each morning. They’ve never said a word.

My pediatrician once recommended that I begin giving my children choices when they turned 3 years old. For instance you should hold up two different shirts and let them pick one so they feel they have some control.

In theory, this sounds logical. However, I know my children. Their decision making process is long, drawn out, can take hours and they always regret their choice. This in turn has sometimes caused tears when they have picked plain M&M’s at the store and later wished they had chosen peanut.

I figure our system works so why mess with it.

My 5 year old son, Bency, has recently thrown a wrench into our fine working plan.

I also have a 7 year old daughter, Iris. You would think if it was anyone is causing me clothing stress it would be her. The closest moment of “clothing hysteria” she has caused me was when she was in Kindergarten.

I sent Iris to school in thick cotton tights striped with rainbow colors, a spaghetti strap undershirt and a purple corduroy dress that buttoned up the front. She looked absolutely adorable. Much to my surprise, Iris came home in the afternoon wearing only her tights and undershirt. She said she had got hot and taken off her dress mid school day. I was completely horrified that my daughter had been running around school sans purple dress. Since then, I have never bought a dress that buttons up the front, worried that she might mistake it for a cardigan again.

We need dresses that zip up the back!

We need dresses that zip up the back!

Like I said, it is my son who is messing with my system after receiving a Christmas gift of an Angry Bird shirt from a friend of ours. Everything has changed. It is all he wants to wear. He doesn’t even want to take it off. I finally got him out of it a few days ago after I showed him the snot on the sleeve where he wiped his nose and the ketchup blobs on the front. He agreed I could wash it but as soon as it was out of the dryer he needed it right back.

Bency's new Angry Bird shirt

Bency’s new Angry Bird shirt

I’m sure this is only the beginning. I’m sure all of my kids will rebel at some point. If my two year old begins requesting Blues Clues shirts tomorrow, I will throw up my hands and move us all to a nudist colony. They certainly couldn’t mess with that system and the thought of no laundry sounds blissful!

69 responses

  1. My 5 year old has recently decided that he’ll just dress himself. Sometimes we pick things out together, but more often than not he’s coming downstairs in fleece pants and a shirt that doesn’t match. It drove me crazy for a little while, then I realized it’s just who he is. It’s a reflection of his personality. Now I just go with it, unless it’s weather-inappropriate. 7year old – doesn’t care at all.

  2. Bency is so funny, but I understand him, my nephew is 5 and my brother got him Batman slippers ; he doesn’t want to remove them anymore and was crying at my parents house about it 🙂 ha!ha! I’m glad, I’m not there yet, now I just pick his clothes and put them on, we will see in a couple of years!!! 🙂

      • Oh, I’ve been meaning to get over to your site!!! It went down as another historic birthday cake fail for my husband!! LOL! The past eight years we have been together I have always “tried” to make him a homemade cake (not box mix)…every time has turned into an utter disaster. I thought I was improving my cooking and baking skills but alas it basically turned into soup and put it in individual bowls. We had 4 adults and 3 kids here. Only my 2 year old liked it! My husband just laughed…he really didn’t expect otherwise!! Oh well, just another funny memory for us!!! In my defense, my 2 year old was “helping” me and I had a really hard time focusing!!!

      • Oh No, I’m sorry to hear this 😦 I thought it would work out, I’m so sorry it didn’t 😦 but don’t worry about your baking skills, it has happened to me many times when I try something new; it doesn’t always work out 😉

  3. I let my son pick out his clothes, but I have the right to veto things. Like if he comes in wearing a red hoodie and green sweatpants! My daughter is currently in the stage where she wants me to pick out all of her clothes. Then she wants me to “watch” her get dressed. She’s a weird kid.

  4. Thankfully, my boys have not gone through such a phase. They don’t care what they wear, but do have issues with what’s on their feet. However, that is a sensory issue. ANyway, I have heard other parents tell a similar story to yours.

  5. My friend’s 2-year-old daughter decided that she would never take off her rubber duck rain boots and pretty much all summer she was true to her word. Sweaty feet and all. lol. It’s funny how kids get attached to things like that.

  6. I envy you. My barely 19-month-old daughter insists she pick out her shoes every day. They’re almost always sparkly and never match. She looks ridiculous, but it’s one less shriek I have to endure and my ear drums thank me. P.S. Your kids seriously are gorgeous.

  7. My three-year old son was like this about his Lightning McQueen PJs this past summer. He would make a huge fuss when you tried to take them off of him in the mornings. Each day I had to reassure him several times that he would get to wear them to bed again that night. Then I would put them somewhere “safe” for later. Sometimes, he just couldn’t part with them so I’d have to let him wear the shirt out. Washing them was challenge requiring a lot of negotiation.

    He was similar about his underwear, too. He would only wear undies with McQueen on them. He refused to wear his Batman and Toy Story undies. He was adamant about it. Fortunately, it didn’t have to be the same exact pair of McQueen underpants everyday.

    After a couple of months of this, he stopped and has not asked to wear his McQueen PJs again. He was going through a rough period at that time (he was in a new daycare pre-school that was not working out for him at all) so maybe it was because of that? Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.

    • haha!!! I’m so glad they didn’t have to be the exact pair of McQueen undies everyday!!! Now that would be rough! That is an interesting observation about him going through a rough period and wearing the same PJs everyday…makes you think.

  8. A nudist colony. Now why did I never think of that? Oh, I know. Because I like to be warm. LOL!

    That is one bitchin’ Angry Birds shirt. And he looks spiffy in it. Tell him I said so.

  9. That little Iris sure is photogenic – the camera loves her!

    I used to love dressing my son. When he was two he started going to day-care a few days a week just to socialize, and I used to dress him in little button-up shirts and khaki pants. Then when he was about four he started having his own notions about what is cool. That seemed to always include shirts with “cool” pictures on them and so forth, and has evolved to include the Super Mario crew and yes, Angry Birds.

    Don’t fight it, mom! My recommendation is to go out and buy him about six more Angry Birds shirts, so that you don’t have to do the wash every day.

  10. My little A is very clothes-aware. At 3, she loves wearing shirts that “show all of her back”. My husband is picking out a high tower for her soon, I think. ;). Anyhow, my little sweet pea asks every day if the yellow romper is clean. She has to wear shorts or pants over it because the romper shorts are way too skimpy by now. If the romper is dirty, she asks for a black and white striped shirt that also has spaghetti straps. Anything that has straps.

    The few truly chilly days we’ve had so far, she is always flabbergasted at the thought of no strappy shirts or flip flops. True Florida girl!

    I could definitely see my girl adjusting her outfit like Iris did. Once she starts school, there will be uniforms: jumper with zipper in back! Phew!

    • Oh, that is so funny! Yes, if she is that particular at 3 that tower is going to have to be built soon! You better hope she doesn’t get a hold of a pair of scissors at school and cut out the backs of her uniforms! LOL!

  11. I once bought Alexis a hankerchief dress,big mistake,after a while I wanted to blow my nose on it from crying I was so sick of it,but at least she wore clothes.Both of the twins want to be nakey all the time and it drives their mother nuts! They don’t care who is over or what you say.I told her to turn the heat down to about thirty five degrees and see if that helps.Loved this post.

  12. I let my 3 year old daughter pick out her clothes – except for special occassions. It does take longer, but I have enjoyed her creativity – mixing striped pants and floral print tops. It is cute. Good call about the zip up the back dresses!

  13. My daughter was like that with her first pair of cowgirl boots…until I started smelling something funky and it turned out to be the boots because she had secretly been taking off her socks when I wasn’t looking. She learned quickly that sometimes you need to give clothing a break (and follow the rules so you don’t smell like a dumpster) 🙂 Good luck with the shirt! 🙂

  14. Getting kids dressed can be SO frustrating. My four year old girl twins always want to pick out their own outfits which is fine with me except when they are being indecisive. They also love to wear brightly patterned socks pulled up to their knees OVER their leggings. It looks slightly ridiculous to me, but as long as they are wearing clean clothes I’m happy. 🙂

  15. Melissa, some children are like that, and it doesn’t last a lifetime. Let’s pray it won’t be for long. My granddaughter love shoes, and it is hard getting her to keep them off. She learned to put her shoes, and socks on the right foot so early. She also likes dressing herself, and that is why I have her practicing with buttons, and snaps fastening. Thank you for sharing, you’re not alone. Be BLESSED, Mtetar

      • You’re always welcome, Melissa. We all at times like to do things our way, be ourselves, be creative with our way of dressing, decorating, etc. The children feel that way at times also. Be BLESSED, Mtetar

  16. Haha, leave it to the ever popular Angry Birds to go and mess up a perfectly good system! My daughter started caring about clothes when she was 8 or so and my son was around 7. Weird that the stereotype has been proven wrong! Lol

    • yes, yes….it is all Angry Birds fault! Prior to this, I think I could have gotten away with dressing him in a shirt with teddy bears wearing pink tutus and he wouldn’t even have noticed! Today is Green Bay Packer day at school and they have to wear their football gear…I’m waiting to see how that goes!!

  17. You’ll move to a nudist colony. I like that. My 4 yr old daughter refuses any input from me whatsoever. Maybe she’ll be a fashion designer one day. What a sense of style my girl has. At 4! She’s a girly girl. I’m not! I have to let her do it. She will have it no other way. Though I miss the first 3 years when I could put her into whatever I wanted. Fond memories.

  18. My daughter did EXACTLY what Bency did when she was five. She practically lived in a turquoise Hannah Montana t-shirt. She even slept in it. Guess we have to pick and choose our battles. Some things just aren’t worth fighting over!

  19. I didn’t let mine pick out their clothes (yes I’m a horrible nasty mum) My girls were CONSTANTLY changing outfits, though one article of clothing I had wished that my 5 yr old daughter #2 remembered to put on (all by ‘mysself’ if you don’t hardly mind) were her knickers.
    Ah yes flying down the slide at her birthday party backwards – gust of wind…yep I see you nodding 🙂 So funny about the nudist colony! 🙂

  20. Too funny. Fear not – this too shall pass. The funny thing to me is that while my girls had favorite outfits that they liked to wear often it was my boys who became so attached to shirts that I feared they would have to rot off of them before I would get them to change. Guess guys are just simpler.. and don’t care how they smell. 😉

    • haha!!! Okay, the more I think about this, my husband is the same way! He has favorite t-shirts that have rips and tears in them and are all faded. I buy him new t-shirts and put them in his drawer and yet he continues to only wear the really crappy ones….I guess I’m just glad he lets me wash them on a regular basis!!!

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