Sometimes you can infer a lot about a parent by looking at the way their child dresses. At least in our family you can. The Nerd and I are both pretty laid back, and that is reflected in the fact that Punkin never matches. At all. We decided years ago that we didn’t really care about the rules of fashion. We wanted our girls to focus on being dressed modestly and appropriately, but that they are free to let their personalities shine through their wardrobe. Looking at Punkin, and more recently Goo, you can tell that we’re parents who don’t put a lot of emphasis on the rules of fashion or designer labels. Lots of people do, it’s just not us. Plus, we can’t afford it. So there’s that.
Clothing choices send a message, no doubt. If you wear a dress that’s 18 inches long top to bottom and has less material than my 20 month old’s t-shirt, you’re sending a message. If you wear sweatpants and your husband’s sweatshirt to the grocery store, you’re sending a message: I ran out of coffee. Don’t judge me.
Keeping this in mind, we let our girls pick whatever they want, as long as we deem it acceptable. No belly shirts, no hoochie outfits, absolutely nothing written across your butt, and nothing from Abercrombie and Fitch.
A few weeks ago, a family member brought over a bag of old jewelry for my girls to play with. I stopped buying that stuff a while ago. Have you ever stepped on a plastic butterfly ring at 3 AM? It feels sort of like having a fireplace poker driven through your flesh. Not unlike stepping on a Lego.
Last week we had to go to
the lower circles of Dante’s Inferno the grocery store. Goo asked if she could wear her new beads, I flippantly said, “Sure,” without even glancing, and we packed up and headed out the door. I generally have to give myself a pep talk beforehand, so I really couldn’t care less what accessories she chooses as long as she doesn’t have a meltdown in the cookie aisle.
When we arrived home, she showed me the beads she had chosen for our outing:
That would be a shot glass. Attached to a string of beads.
I let Goo ride around the store, waving happily at passersby, while sporting this advertisement for underage drinking. Because I won’t let my girls wear bikinis, but a little hard liquor can’t hurt.
Mediocre Mom: NOT a supporter of underage drinking. Just to clarify.
I can imagine what people were inferring about me from her outfit that day. “There’s a laid back mom. Kicking it old school. Using whiskey for the cranky kids and teething babies.” Or more likely, “If I call child protective services, will they make it here before she leaves?”
I shared this story with J-Money, and she said, “Eh, it could be worse. You didn’t send her in with a fifth of vodka.”
She always makes me feel better about my parenting.