This morning, in an effort to attempt to get Sweetpea to get dressed without argument and without whining, I tried to suggest an outfit for her to wear. Ok, so maybe that was my first mistake. It seems lately, attempts to make any suggestions to Sweetpea regarding what she might wear, what she might eat, what she might play with, or what she might watch result in either an argument, or her selecting the exact opposite choice. It seems to make no never mind to her that she generally ends up unhappy with the choice she makes, and decides later that she would have preferred the suggested item. I realize that Sweetpea is simply "asserting her independence." But, frankly, sometimes that "assertion" makes me want to just slap the independence right out of her!
As I was saying, on this particular day, I was attempting to avoid argument, and speed our progress along, by suggesting something I thought she'd like to wear. When I held up the skirt, a very cute patchwork skirt, with ruffles and flowers, in various shades of pink and white, and made of that sort of flowing, gauzy, polyester material that fairly flounces when she walks, Sweetpea immediately turned up her nose. She said she didn't think she wanted to wear it. I pointed out that the cute white top that goes with it has "sparklies" on it (iridescent sequins lining the neckline and in a row down across the bodice, so it looks like a wrap-around shirt). This did not improve her opinion of the outfit. I reminded her that she had a skirt last summer made of the same material, and she absolutely LOVED it, and wore it so much that it was dirty and worn out to the point of being nearly not salvageable. She still said she didn't think it would be good for today. I then swung the hanger back and forth and said, "but look honey, it's swishy!" She had used this term to describe skirts and dresses before, so I assumed she would understand it now. She just looked at me with her brows furrowed in an expression that all parents know to mean "I think you are a complete idiot and it doesn't matter what you say, I'm not wearing/doing/saying that!"
SOOO, I gave up. I hung the outfit back in the closet and told her to pick out what she wanted, I was going to go refill my coffee cup and I would be right back. I have found sometimes that things may work out easier if I leave Sweetpea alone with herself, and with her own choices, for a few minutes. Granted, sometimes this does backfire, and I will return to her bedroom to find she has buried herself back under the blankets and has gone back to sleep. But usually it gives me a chance to regroup and gather my patience before tackling the task at hand, usually some stage of preparing Sweetpea for school. Thankfully, this morning it worked out perfectly. Imagine my surprise when I returned to Sweetpea's room, full, steaming cup of coffee in hand, and found that she had indeed chosen an outfit for the day, and was even in the process of changing out of her pajamas and into the clothes. I was not surprised, however, to find that the outfit she had chosen was the aforementioned Swishy skirt and Sparkly shirt.
After putting down my coffee, and helping Sweetpea pull the shirt over her head, we headed for the bathroom to finish getting ready with Sweetpea leading the way. On the way down the hall, however, she stopped short, looking down at her clothing and nearly causing me to fall over the top of her and spill my coffee on the way. I asked her what was the matter. She looked up at me with once again furrowed brows and said "Mom!" The tone in her voice was one that clearly conveyed she was about to tell me I was wrong about something. "This is NOT a swishy skirt!"
"It's not?" I asked, wondering what little observation she had made on the movement of the skirt.
"No", she said, and proceeded to spin quickly around in a circle, causing the skirt to flare out all around her legs. "See? It's a twirly skirt!"