I once read somewhere that becoming a mother is an alienating experience. The article went on to offer tips on how to "pick up" other moms at the park, at the pediatrician's office, at Target, etc. It was satirical. And spot on.
I was in a situation recently where my son began a new class and so the other moms and I were waiting for class to end. This was a first for all of us and I thought I would try to make new friends just like our kids were doing in the classroom. I joined a conversation two moms were having about their daughters and where they bought their daughter's coats. I piped in a bit here and there about coat buying in general but sooner or later found myself just listening dumbly as they talked about how frustrating it is when their daughter's hat doesn't match her coat or, worse yet, neither do her mittens. One mom lamented that her mother-in-law bought her daughter Little Miss Matched socks. I've never heard of these before but the mom explained that it is a set of three socks which don't match. Just as I was thinking, "That's terrific" the other mom beat me to it with a, "Oh my gosh, that would drive me insane." I closed my mouth. When the first mom said that it drives her nuts when little girls dress themselves, I discreetly got up and left under the pretense that I needed to use the restroom.
I snapped this picture of my children the night of Wolfie's school singing concert. He was supposed to get "dressed up". I realized that he owns two pairs of jeans. That's it. So we went to Once Upon a Child and bought corduroy pants and a button up shirt (his first) and just for fun I asked him to try on a clip on tie. He loves that tie. He thinks he looks like a principal. Or the mayor.
Tulip and Luna caught the dress up vibe and picked out their outfits. Gasp! Yes, we let them pick out their clothes. Luna is wearing her stripey dress; one of three she wears in constant rotation. And by constant rotation I mean she wears either her stripey dress, her flower dress or her red dress during the day or to bed. Yes, we let her wear dresses to bed. It was a bit of a battle at first because we had gotten her two adorable fleece footed zip up pajamas. I'm sorry, toddlers look adorable in those jammies! But then she started protesting and only wanted to wear her dressies. I figured it out after a few days. Tulip had gotten a Tinkerbell nightgown and Luna's dressies are her most similar looking garments. So dressie it is, 24/7.
Then there is Tulip. Only a pair of those Little Miss Matched socks could have completed this look better. She loves color. And as I listened to the moms, I began thinking about Tulip's wardrobe and realized that I rarely buy her an "outfit". I will find a pair of funky leggings, or a skirt, and buy them separately. She will find them in her drawer together and, well, put them together. She gets some hand-me-downs from a daughter of a co-worker who met Tulip once and for some reason has decided that she should get all her hand-me-downs. So we get to pick through quarterly deliveries of socks, shirts, pants, special occasion dresses, etc. For a while her favorite frock to wear to pre-school was a black velvet and gold tulle number clearly meant as a holiday special occasion dress. Well, going to school is a special occasion, is it not.
I love Tulip's style. What's more, I love that at such an early age she expresses herself freely and loves the way she looks. (She wore her silver sequence boots to the concert - okay, I admit, that was at my suggestion.)