A Purple Striped Dress and Green Converse


Addison and I have a fairly easy morning routine. She’s in the bed early each night so she often wakes herself before I come in her room. Once out of the bed she calmly puts on the outfit that I’ve chosen and we handle a few of the necessities, you know brush teeth, comb hair etc.

Well, one day last week she decided to flip the script on me.   I put her dress on and instructed her to get her white tennis shoes that she wears to school EVERY DAY.

Not that day.

She was not in the mood to entertain my clothing decisions and apparently overnight gave her self permission to override my shoe picking authority. With a close eye on the clock I went around and around with her on why her beloved Converse had no business being worn with the purple dress I picked out.

She  kept saying my dress is blue and my shoes are blue.

Uh no…your dress is purple and those shoes are turquoise and coral…but whatever

Then my adult mind goes into the parental place that minds go and starts to question whether she is color blind or not, never giving thought to the idea that she was just pleading her case to wear the shoes that she wanted to wear and not what I wanted her to wear.

Five minutes into the struggle I gave in, snapped a photo to Instagram and Facebook and we were on our way.

Chiiiiiiilllllllleeeeee, let me tell you. I was properly checked on both Instagram and Facebook that morning. The majority of the comments all stated something to the extent that I should let her be and that she is just developing her own style and instead of discouraging it I should nurture it.

child creativity

I should?

All day the whole purple dress and green shoe business was on my mind heavy. I started thinking about a quote that I read that parents are the top killers of their children’s creativity and if they make it to 4th grade with it intact it’s a miracle.

Oh, but I don’t want to put out my children’s creativity. I started to fall down that rabbit hole that is feelings of being a bad parent and realizing how really and truly hard and complex parenting is.

I mean I journeyed back in time Delorean style to when I told my mother as a Senior in high school that I wanted to go to fashion school and she told me that was no way to make a living and that if I was to be on her dime there was a spot waiting for me at FAMU.

Proud Rattler here.

That day it was merely a dress and shoes but what about those times when I said my son shouldn’t make that loom bracelet with certain colors because they didn’t match. Or that time I refused to buy him a sleeveless shirt because I don’t like them. If you care I eventually broke down and bought him one .

Ugh.

I said all of this to say, moving forward I am going to be a lot more open and mindful of the things I say to my children when it becomes a struggle between what I want and what they want….within reason of course. I mean I am the Mama after all. However, when it comes to nurturing certain creative aspects of their being, I think I may fall back a little and see where they go.

So if you see me in the street and Addison has on one pink rain boot and one of those Converse. I lost that day.

Parenting is hard.

Am I doing the most on this of many epiphanies I have on my parenting style? Do you let your children wear what they want? Is it your way or the highway when it comes to things of this nature?

 

About the author
Mom, wife and friend. I moonlight as a cooker, baker, laundry folder and organizer. I like to think I do it in style. Unlikely Martha is my contribution to the internet in helping women "Keep House and Stay Fly!"

11 Comments

  1. So I have the same struggle with Addison’s bestie. She swears she knows better than I do when it comes to get closet. So now a couple of days a week she gets to pick the entire outfit.

  2. Most of the time I let my two wear what they want. My daughter usually hates what I pick out and loves to dress for the opposite season. I have had to make sure what is in her drawers is season appropriate. After that…I let them be creative. My son usually just pulls out the first thing he sees and could care less about if it matches.

  3. Most of the time I let my two wear what they want. My daughter usually hates what I pick out and loves to dress for the opposite season. I have had to make sure what is in her drawers is season appropriate. After that…I let them be creative. My son usually just pulls out the first thing he sees and could care less about if it matches.

  4. ohh yes, I know that struggle well. My daughter was all about expressing herself through fashion and for awhile it was hard since I’m the mom and in charge!! But then it got kind of cute to see what/how she put stuff together. I’m not real “matchy matchy” so I let her get free with fun socks and the like and as she’s gotten older that’s sort of her signature thing. she will rock red plaid and have lime green and black ankle socks on. whatever. I’d rather she did her homework when I asked then sweat her about her socks.
    Now – we have to compromise on what works (too short/small / weather appropriate etc.) but I had to learn to just let her do her thing and it’s been really fun to see how she’s learned what she likes and kind of has no fear about what she wears. I just want her to be confident in all aspects and if she feels good while wearing two different socks so be it.

  5. I so love this! I’m a creative spirit but my self-diagnosed OCD says I have “order” in my home and I put that on my children. My son is getting older so I’m allowing him to learn to get his own clothes out but I make sure they match and are appropriate for where we’re going. I lay my daughters clothes out and expect her to go with the flow. She like your daughter might randomly change he shoe and sometimes I go with it.
    I don’t just go with the flow often enough when it comes to the kids creativity. You would think I’d do better since I don’t want anyone messing with my creative space but no. I do recall allowing my son to wear rain boots for 3 days when there was no ran in the forecast for days. I even indulged him and wore a pair too. lol

    Thanks for the reminder, it was right on time.

    P.s. Converse go with EVERYTHING!
    Michellette “Mimi” Green recently posted..Dirty Little Secrets for the end of Summer

  6. This is so hard. I know I want to support my kids’ creativity. And I also want them to respect me and not question my authority/decisions. It’s a tightrope we’re walking, mama. Everyday it’s a struggle to just trust God with the little people He’s given me!
    Sarah recently posted..100 wishes | v. 05

  7. When my son was younger (he’s eleven now) I picked out all his clothing for the week and ironed them. I noticed that he would switch up on me. This at first bothered me because the clothing he picked out and putting on was not ironed. For the last couple of years, I have allowed him to pick out his own clothing to wear for outside & school. He actually does a really good job. If we have to go somewhere special, I may make a suggestion. Often he will ask his stylist for assistance (BKA: mommy)
    Mrs. Delightful recently posted..Menu Plan: Week of 9/1/14

  8. I think we all have these moments. I know I have more than a few with my son. One day he cried and cried and cried to wear a tshirt with a tie clipped on, a blazer, a batman mask and church shoes and I just wasn’t having it. But in between his sobs I heard him say, “But I really am batman” and I compromised. He wore the mask and the clip on tie. LOL! I’m learning to really allow my children to be themselves. My parents did it with me and I’m quite grateful for that.
    Carla recently posted..It’s Monday Again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge