By Leslie Lindsay
I have a thing with dressing my kids. It started slowly and innocently enough when my first daughter was just a baby. Yo see, I wanted to tame the red mohawk she seemed to be sporting most days of the week. In fact, we lovingly referred to her as “rooster.”
Arriving the baby section at Target back in those early days of parenthood in search of “baby clips” [for hair], is likely what started my “thing” with dressing my kids. You see, I carefully would sort through the pile of hair clips in search for the perfect color in which to match her romper, sleeper, or whatever newborn “outfit” I had her in that day.
Fast forward a year or so. I started shopping at Baby Gap in earnest, collecting reciepts in which I could save an additional 20% from the “regularly marked price.” I made my way to Carter’s, too. Gap Kids Outlet and now…well, now I have settled mostly on Gymboree. Now that my daughters are almost 7 (going on 25) and 5 years, I would have to agree that they definitely have a say in what goes onto their tiny, perfect, lithe bodies.
But so do I. After all, I am the one doing the majority of the shopping and footing the bill (well, daddy technically is). And so, are their teachers in a strange, indirect way. You see, it is not uncommon for to coordinate their clothing with their curicculum. Yep, I admit that they go to school sporting outfits (mostly head-to-toe mathing ones) that coordinate with what they are studying at school.
For example, yesterday my preschooler’s calendar read, “Winter animal study: penguins.” I just happened to take a peek at the upcoming unit that night before tucking her into dreamland. “Oh! I know we have a penguin sweatsuit around here somewhere! And matching penquin hair clips!,” I sang as we hustled about getting ready for bed. I layed them out on her dresser. Satisfied, I smiled and told her she would be the “cutest little penguin at school.” She grinned from under the covers, out of pleasure or “Oh, my mom is such a dork,” I couldn’t be for sure.
Then my oldest daughter (“rooster”) reminded me, “Hey, we are studying penguins in my class, too.”
“Oh really?” I scratched my head. I had already donated her penguin sweatsuit to Good Will; it’s little penquin head was a little torn. Feeling guilty, I said, “You sure about that?”
She nodded. “We just started the new unit today.”
I sighed, “Well, let me think about that.” (Wondering if she was indeed telling me the truth, or perhaps she just wanted an new outfit).
Alas, I found it–the penguin outfit I knew I had purchased awhile back (why are retailers constantly putting clothing out a season or so ahead of time?). I think I bought the penguin outfit when there were leaves still on the trees, not the frozen tundra habitat in which they are accustomed to living. The tags were still on them, the outfit in pristine condition ready for a lesson on the ways of of tuxedo-looking birds who don’t fly.
She proudly wore the outfit today, complete with sparkly shoes. “Now I am all ready to learn about penguins!”
Wonder what I will dress her in when they are studying polynomials or the transformation from liquid to gas?
And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday January 19, 2012.