Until I grew stronger in my convictions, I was often embarrassed by polka-dotted tops and checked pants as my kids ran for the school bus . To soothe my ego, I really was tempted to phone the kindergarten teacher , declaring that my children’s independence was more important to me than dressing a fashion plate. Basically I wanted to yell, ” I did not pick out her clothes today!”
Tiny, adorable, clever and independent Claire was strong-willed, high maintenance and high-strung. My fifth child was a beautiful little package of contradictions who gave me strife and hilarious joy, sometimes at the very same time. Most arguments were about clothes. Although her fashion sense has developed into a wonderful gift now that she is in her mid twenties, at three and four-years old this “gift” was a pain.
Claire changed her clothes often throughout the day, from the age of two. Watching one of the few videos of our family, one of my older daughters pointed at the screen and laughed,
“Look at Claire. That is the third time she has changed clothes during this video!”
Sure enough, the pip squeak had another outfit on.
Claire was always aware of what she was wearing as well as those around her, which often led to disagreements about what she could and could not wear.
Although she was a mature, articulate, fashion conscious three-year old, I was still concerned that Claire was too young to start four-year old kindergarten. When she stomped into the house after the first morning, ranting about a little girl who had worn a “jean skirt with a matching jean jacket”, I realized that it was the school which was not quite ready for Claire!
The Joy of Mothering
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