My girls have their own idea of style. They know what they like, what they want to wear, and how they want to wear it. For the most part, I let them have it unless they choose something that is not appropriate for the weather. Since we live in California, that’s not very often. It’s just not worth the fight.
I figure, if they think they look good in with six shirts on, a pair of jeans under a skirt, and mismatched socks. So be it. Sometimes I think I could take a lesson from them and have a little more fun with my wardrobe and not worry so much about what other people might think.
Then there are times when I do worry what other people might think. That they might be dressing in a way they don’t realize is embarrassing and then get to school and be teased. I was teased a lot as a child. It’s no fun. And it’s one of those things I worry about, probably more than I should.
A couple weeks ago it was pajama day at school. I knew about and amazingly remembered. When I told Sammy, she was so excited to get to wear pajamas to school. She happily put on her Minnie Mouse nightgown and some slippers and danced around the house waiting to go. And I fretted like I was in junior high. What if no one remembered? What if no one else did it? Would she be embarrassed? I brought an outfit for her to change into, just in case.
We got to school and the popular girls (yes, they exist even in preschool) had remembered. They fawned over Samantha’s nightgown. She clung to my leg and smiled they way shy girls do when they’re pleased. And I was pleased too. Happy that she was being included and that the popular girls had acknowledged her. (Serioulsy, I have issues.)
As I turned to leave, another classmate of Samantha’s arrived and she was not in her pajamas. She is one of Samantha’s friends, about the same level socially, but not as shy. The popular girls immediately jumped on her.
“It’s pajama day! You’re supposed to wear pajamas!” they shouted.
“My daddy wouldn’t let me!” she shouted back.
Her father looked at her with that oh-crap-I-forgot face. He told her he was sorry, he didn’t know about it.
They shouted at her some more and she shouted back at them as I left, breathing a sigh of relief that I had remembered. Samantha, my sensitive girl, would have been in tears if they had done that to her.
So you can imagine my concern when Samantha announced she was doing her own hair from now on. Doing her hair consists of putting every barrette and clip we have in her hair in rows so they click together when she shakes her head. It looks ridiculous. She thinks it looks A-MA-ZING!
So I held my breath the first day we went to school with the new ‘do. As we went into the school every adult we passed commented. Every. Single. One. Something to the effect of, “Oh! My. Did you do your own hair today?”
To which Samantha proudly smiled and nodded.
I braced myself as we entered her classroom. Immediately the popular girls descended in a flurry of hands touching the clips.
“Did you do that yourself?” “How did you do that?” “Let me see what you have!” “Your mom lets you do your own hair?”
Samantha smiled shyly, again pleased with the response. And I was pleased to get some credit.
And so it has been every day. She puts on some bizarre combination of long sleeved shirt with a strappy dress over the top and pants or a skirt underneath. Socks with flip flops that she insists is comfortable. And every clip she can fit in her hair. They come to look at her clips and discuss if she has any different ones from the day before. And she says nothing, just smiles at all the attention. The style maven of her preschool.