When Maya was little I used to have so much fun getting her dressed in the morning. I loved picking out the perfect little outfit. My favorite was always a cute pair of jeans (I love baby jeans!) and one of her many adorable shirts. I loved shopping for new clothes for her, finding more adorable little pieces to add to her wardrobe. As I shopped for those new pieces and as I put together cute little outfits for her, I would daydream about how much fun it would be to shop for outfits when she was a bit bigger. I’d look at the clothes in the kid section and imagine what she might wear.
I knew early on that she was going to be opinionated about clothing. She was probably 2 the first time she voiced her opinion at the store as I was picking something out. I had fun with it once she started to show her inner fashionista. I’d let her choose what color shirt we would buy, or which pants. It was fun. Eventually it led to her wanting to pick out her outfits too. And, I was okay with that, it was fun to see what she would pair together. If the outfit was beginning to look a little too crazy I would steer her carefully towards something a little less fashion forward. For a while we went on, peacefully, this way. Me buying new things, with her input of course, and her pretty much picking what she wore each day.
As time went on her opinions grew stronger and I lost all hope of getting to pick out those cute big kid outfits I had dreamed about. I was okay with that. I missed those cute little jeans that I used to love to dress her in, but the dresses she just HAD to wear were pretty darn cute too.
I never would have imagined this happening, but somewhere along the line Maya developed this weird disdain for wearing clothing. She still loves clothing, especially frilly dresses and skirts, but she hates wearing clothing for any length of time and Lord help us if she has to wear pants (which is a good portion of the time since she has to wear them for school). If we are home she is in nothing but her underwear. There is always a pile of clothing at my front door because the second to steps over the threshold she begins stripping down. This has been going on for 2 years now. For a little while, last winter, I got her back into the swing of wearing clothing all the time again, but she has reverted back to her old ways again.
Lately, it has become a big problem, this disdain for clothing. Every time she has to get dressed a battle of epic proportions ensues. I mean, serious epic battles complete with hysterics, yelling screaming (on both our parts) and lots of crying. And, since she insists on stripping down to her underwear every time we come home we can end up having these battles several times a day.
The other day we hit a breaking point. We were trying to get ready for a quick trip over to the park to play for a little bit before dinner. I was working on getting Anna ready so Lorne was helping Maya. I heard the freak out begin when he told her she had to pick out pants and a long sleeve shirt (her two least favorite items). It escalated when he tried to help her get dressed, she only wanted mommy to help so down the stairs she came. At this point Anna was all ready to go complete with coat, hat and mitts. I helped Maya get her clothing on and she had a complete meltdown over the way her pants felt. She was in complete hysterics, screaming right in my face. It ended with her being sent to her room and our trip to the park being canceled.
It was one of her worst meltdowns over clothing, which is saying a lot given how crazy her daily freak outs over clothing can be. Lorne and I talked about it and decided enough was enough, and we started the clothing challenge. Now, she has to wear clothing all day, every day, even when we are home. The hope is that by having to wear clothing every day she will again get used to the way clothing feels on her body and her freak outs will begin to stop. Fingers crossed.
I don’t even care anymore that all she wants to wear are sundresses, even in the middle of winter. I don’t care anymore about the cute jeans and adorable shirts that she absolutely won’t wear. At this point I just want my mornings to not involve any more epic battles over clothing. I just want her to pick out something she will wear and wear it, all day, with no fussing.
So, one week into the clothing challenge and things are…going ok. She will wear her clothes all day, although if she has been wearing pants out she changes into a dress the second we walk in the door. But, every morning is still a huge battle to get her dressed, especially if she has to wear pants. Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere where she could get away with wearing sundresses every single day because then maybe she wouldn’t fight with me every morning.