While raising Taylor I wanted to try my hardest to raise her in a home where style isn’t mandatory. I wanted her to have confidence in herself and her choices. Since she could walk I began having her choose her own outfits. As long as it fit and was weather appropriate; it is considered fair game. With having this as our system she definitely had some interesting outfits. Yes, Santa socks in May, pumpkin shirts in February – didn’t bother me any, although I have occasionally chuckled or shook my head and smiled.
We went through many phases of outfit themes. Solid colored, whatever is closest, holiday themed, patterned , mismatched and fancy dresses with sweats underneath. I loved seeing her creativity and thought process with each phase she went through. The only times I really asserted an opinion or authority with outfits is when it was a wedding or special event, but this was only if she did not follow the guidance I gently suggested ahead of time. Picture days at school have also been fair game because I want to remember her choice or favorite shirt at that moment in the future.
Well, apparently after all this hard work I have put into having her not worry about matching or lookig cool, she may still been tarnished by societies judgmental bug. Please enjoy this little anecdote.
Last week while we were getting ready for work and school I peeked into her room to make sure she did not get distracted. Since she was off-task I stayed a moment to get her back on track. Before I turned to leave the room I looked at my outfit in the mirror.
Taylor gently questioned “What are you doing?”
So I replied, “Checking out my outfit.”
She paused and then quizzically stated “And what did you think?”
“Looks good.” Honestly I just wanted to make sure that no rolls were hanging over more than anything.
Taylor used all sorts of inflection with her response along with raised eyebrows “Okay.”
Since my loving daughter is usually very chill with clothes I inquired “Don’t you think my outfit looks good?”
She slowly replies in a slow, drawn out, low voice, “Sure…”
As I proceeded to head back to my room to finish getting ready I notice that I have a child as my shadow. Since Tay is still in her pajamas I turned and ask her, “Whatcha doing?”
She immediately replied, “Coming to see what you are changing into.”
After I let her know that I was not changing and to go get dressed I was left standing in my room curious about how and where she picked up on questioning my outfit. I am by no means a super stylish person. I also live by the standards in which I raised Taylor. If it is weather appropriate and fits then you are good to go.
Later that morning in the kitchen when I asked her why she did not approve of my outfit she informed me that my top was “too beachy” for the shorts. Thankfully that was her reason, albeit flawed. Now we just need to work on the execution of feedback and making it more constructive.