Already I see myself in her, not just in her appearance, but in her individuality and stubborness. While we’re at home together, I try not to hinder her wild creativity in any respect.
She wears six barrettes in her hair, clomps around in high heels wearing nothing but her underwear and one sock. She mixes her paint colors until her pictures are mostly brown. Sparkles cover her body head to toe instead of her artwork. She writes stories about Spiderman saving Princess Brianna from a pirate ship in Madagascar where Zaboomafoo lives. It’s all good.
Now that she’s in school, I worry her rather unusual fashion sense will see her ostracized from her group of friends.
So, how do I walk the fine line of protecting her feelings against cruel kids without hindering her individuality? How do I explain that green leggings, a pink and black leopard print skirt and a red paisley shirt don’t match in most people’s eyes?
Or should I?
Part of me says yes, and part of me says no.
I want her to be the bright, creative, unique individual she is, but I also know what it’s like to go to school in clothes that didn’t fit in with the others in my group. I grew up on a farm and didn’t know anything about fashion until I was an adult, as those sorts of things weren’t important in my life back then. It still hurt when those little jabs came. “Nice pants. Did you get dressed in the dark? Did your grandmother lend you her clothes?”
At least it helped me sort out who my true friends were. I can look at it that way now, but as a kid it devestated me.
The thought of my daughter coming home from school in tears because someone made fun of her outfit makes my heart hurt. She’s confident enough she might be okay and stand up to anyone who made fun of her, but then again, she might not. This morning we made a compromise after some ranting and raving about the red flowered tights and pink t-shirt she was determined to wear to school.
I asked her to pick out the one piece of clothing she absolutely had to wear – which happened to be a shirt. Then I offered her some options that matched: a pair of jeans, a white skirt and leggings and a pair of yoga pants, all of which she poo-pooed. Eventually she chose the jeans and went off to school satisfied with her outfit – mismatched socks and all, but it took some serious negotiating before she would agree to something reasonable.
Did I do the right thing? Who knows.
I know it will only get worse as she gets older. Yeah, not looking forward to that. Here’s hoping her unusual style begins a new trend.
What would you do?