I'm relatively laid back about most of mothering. There are some things I'm pretty adamant on, I don't let them watch certain television shows (SpongeBob, I'm talking about you), I insist on teeth brushing and that you at least wave the brush in the general direction of your hair. But I don't insist on ponytails every day for the girls, and I pretty much let them pick out what they want to wear. Which is why you'll see my toddler constantly wearing her straw sun hat. In November.
It's easy to fall into stereotypes about girls and boys sometimes, especially when I'm just coming off of a long, involved debate over what to wear with my oldest daughter, and I just tossed some clothes at my son and he put them on happily. But the truth is that it's more age oriented for him. When he was a toddler, he had a rainbow sun hat her wore everywhere, and frequently would insist on double underwear or double shirts. But now, he's my easiest kid, as long as it's comfy, he doesn't much care what it looks like. My daughters have always been super picky about clothes. And I'll never forget when, at four, my precious angel girl looked at me and said coldly "Just because you like jeans and ponytails, Mama, doesn't mean that I do."
So today, Jessie went to school in a pair of jeans and sneakers (she wore them because she's got a field trip involving a lot of outside walking today - she wears sneakers only reluctantly on gym days and flat out hates jeans) and two shirts layered. The shirt dilemma was a battle this morning, turtlenecks didn't look right and wouldn't fold down on her neck, and she doesn't have anything to wear (in her eyes, I think she's got far too many outfits). She was near tears trying to get dressed, and I was doing my best to bite my tongue and point out the sixteen different perfectly viable tops she could have chosen. Sam didn't blink at the clothes I threw his way, other than to be thrilled that they were warm from the dryer. And my Julianna got up late and staggered out the bedroom in her cute little footie jammies from last night. With her outfit from yesterday put on top of it, because she was so distraught at taking it off before bed. It was just easier to convince her to put on warm jammies underneath and then put back on her leggings and pink tshirt for bed. And of course, the hat. Because no outfit, even purple fleece jammies with red and pink leggings and tshirt over it, is complete without the straw hat. With the fuchsia flower.
Pick your battles - that's my theory. So if you see my daughter, know that a lot of thought and effort went into her outfit, on her part, and know that my son is probably not wearing matching socks. And yeah, I know that the straw hat isn't that warm, and that it's getting a little bedraggled from constant wear, but it's better than the batman skull hat all summer, so I'm not complaining :-)