Tag Archives: seasons

She Says… Wardrobe Malfunctions

Thanks for your comments on yesterday’s post about Owen mirroring his friend. I have never heard of “mirror neurons” and the psych major in me finds the idea very interesting (especially as it relates to building empathy/self-awareness… two things I can clearly see Owen working on developmentally).

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Case in point… here is a picture from last weekend where Owen WOULD NOT pick his face paint design until another friend did. At least he copied something cute!

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Last weekend was our first real taste of spring. Ahhhhh, spring. After the long, cold, snowy winter. It was glorious.

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WAS. We got a taste of the warm breeze and the sunshine and then it was rudely replaced by frost and 30 degree temps. Nevertheless, we basked in it.

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Along with the warm weather came warm weather clothes! Shorts. Tee shirts. Even sandals. Owen was IN HEAVEN. Remember in the fall when we had such a hard time with layers and wrinkles? Apparently the cure for that is called WARM WEATHER.

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Or so I thought.

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Dude was all aflutter over getting to wear his shorts and sandals. He walked on air and acted like an angel for 2 days. And then it got cold again, and now even the thought of talking about clothes sends him into a rage-y tantrum, like I’ve never seen before.

Perhaps he’s not cut out for New England livin’.

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Let me just say that Owen has been completely dressing himself for about a year. We don’t tell him what he can and can’t wear… we just make sure that his clothes are weather-appropriate since he spends a lot of time outside. If he wants to wear a frog costume to the grocery store, he totally can. We never talk about matching and love to see what he picks. He usually jumps right out of bed, gets himself dressed right down to the socks, and we go downstairs to start our day with no problems.

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This week, however, every morning, getting Owen to get himself dressed has been a nightmare. All of a sudden, if we say he has to wear pants because it’s freezing outside, he will only wear ONE pair of fleece sweatpants. No others. And there’s only ONE acceptable long-sleeved shirt in his drawer (and he HAS to wear a long-sleeved shirt because his friend wears long-sleeved shirts, duh). ONE. I’m such a mean mom that I won’t let him wear shorts in 30 degree weather, and Benjamin and I decided to put our proverbial foot down about wearing dirty clothes, so every day except for the ONE DAY when both the shirt and pants happened to be clean, we have had an all-out, lay-on-the-floor-and-cry, scream-at-the-top-of-his-lungs tantrum on our hands.

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We’ve tried hugging it out, and helping him along. We’ve tried no tolerance, “we’re walking out the door even if you don’t have a shirt on at all”. We’ve tried negotiating and trying to get to the bottom of the new rules (what is this REALLY about?) and listening and explaining why we have to wash clothes. We’ve tried going shopping and finding new, acceptable clothes that Owen picks out himself (which worked really well, actually, except that all of the clothes that were available are summer clothes, except for one pair of pants, so he can’t wear most of what we bought until the darn sun comes out again). We’ve thought about picking the clothes out the night before, but that just shifts the tantrum to night time and then, knowing Owen, he would stress and be anxious all night and not even sleep.

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The good news is that, as soon as we get out the door, the tantrum, no matter how crazy, is totally forgotten. He even apologizes “for fussin'” and promises that it won’t happen again, totally unprompted. It’s like he can’t control it himself, even when he tries.

Whew, being 3 is hard, yo.

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On some days I think he just wants something to fuss about to see if he can. On other days I really, truly think that he feels emotionally connected to these clothes and cannot fathom wearing anything else. I get it, but I also can’t let him go to school in shorts when it’s freezing out (remember what happened when he refused to wear gloves and we went sledding anyway?).

The silver lining on this particular struggle is that the warm weather is on its way. And soon we will not even have to talk about fleece pants at all. And he can wear his shorts and sandals every. single. day.

Hallelujah.

Does your kid have favorite clothes? Do you let them wear the same ones day after day? What are your clothes “rules”?

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