There weren’t always rules. (Please excuse me while I ponder that… there weren’t always rules?!! ) Kirsten was 5 years old when they came into our lives. The rules, that is. And boy, did they arrive with a vengeance!
I’m not sure how it happened. It was likely a combination of sleep deprivation and new-rules-naivety. Seemingly without any advance warning, Kirsten’s favorite pair of pants became Kirsten’s only pair of pants. She insisted on wearing the same ones every single day. They were cute. A soft navy blue corduroy with delicate flowers. I liked them too. But EVERY day? Not so much!
The mere suggestion that she wear something else brought on a tantrum-to-end-all-tantrums. Do not, under any circumstances, point to a pair of pants in the mall and say, “these look cute.” Especially when you are parked on the other side. L-O-N-G-E-S-T exit ever. Yeah, not a pretty picture…
Now, the problem with a favorite pair of pants when you are 5 years old is that you will, eventually, outgrow them. When this day came I worked up a plan. We went shopping and found another pair of soft, comfortable pants. Bought them – in two colors. We = Kirsten and I. Yes, I brought her with me. Wanted to give her a sense of ownership over the decision. Dumbest idea eeeever…
Let’s just say I’m sure many of my fellow-shoppers went home saying, “My child will NEVER do that!” To top it off, she eventually chose one of the two colors and insisted on wearing ONLY that pair. Huge fail.
After a growth spurt, it was time for another go-around. Having learned from my mistakes, I purchased one pair of very durable, go-with-everything Levi’s. ALONE. I presented them to Kirsten at home with the windows closed and shades drawn. Told you I learned. Kirsten had her meltdown, accepted her fate and donned the new pants. Couldn’t ask for more than that. The old pants? She immediately threw them away – in the OUTSIDE trash! Funny girl.
Eventually this single-pair obsession was gone. I don’t remember the circumstance, but I’m sure it was some brilliant intervention on my part. Don’t be fooled. The girl hasn’t completely let go of the reigns. There ARE still rules.
1) Long pants are to be worn in the cold months and skirts are to be worn in the warm months. Never the two shall cross. The dates of transition are June 1st and October 1st. Hot day in May? Cold day in September? Don’t care!
2) Short-sleeved tops are to be worn with skirts. Long-sleeved tops are to be worn with pants. These items are not interchangeable. Don’t bring it up.
3) At the end of the season, it is highly preferred that all previously-worn items be given away. They will NOT be stored and brought out again next year. Don’t try. She will remember them, and YOU will be held accountable for your poor judgment.
4) Skirts have some sort of reprieve and don’t fall under this give-away rule. In fact, skirts don’t even need to be stored away. They can hang in the closet and be admired throughout the year. Discussed even. But never worn in the “off” season. Don’t be fooled. The answer to the statement, “No, you can’t wear the yellow-and-white skirt on Saturday” is “No.” Do not suggest it is acceptable to wear this skirt “off-season.” She will test you. Keep your guard.
These are our rules. Okay… these are our abbreviated CLOTHES rules. We will cover the others another day. Go rest. I know you’re tired.
Your turn! Tell me about the rules in YOUR house…