It is a daily struggle. I lament the fact that I had to give birth to not one, but two children who fight me on what they'll wear. I blame my husband. I literally kick and scream. I use words I normally only mutter under my breath. And then. Then I give in.
I pull the army man pants and the army man shirt, and yes the army man socks out of the dirty clothes hamper and let him wear them yet again. He wore them Monday. I washed them. He wore them Tuesday. I hid them in my laundry basket. Wednesday I talked him into wearing his Miles from Tomorrowland shirt because he was taking pictures from Disney World to share with his preschool friends and I recommended he show off the shirt we bought him in Hollywood Studios when it was 80 degrees in the shade and he had insisted on wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt. But today, he wasn't having it. And I forgot to wash his army man clothes because I was busy washing baseball uniforms and hockey socks. Heaven forbid I remember Camden's "uniform" was dirty. Afterall, I am the one who hid it.
Do we, as Camden's parents place too much importance on how we dress, therefore modeling that he should place emphasis on dressing a certain way? Are we not firm enough? Do we give in too easily? I believe in my heart that the answer is no, no, and no. What I am also coming to realize is that it's just not worth it to fight him. Who cares if he wears those army man clothes to school 3 out of 4 days? His friends who are 3 and 4 years old certainly don't. His teachers, who play along with our game of not being able to find Camden at drop-off because he's so good at camoflauging don't. Why do I? Because I bought him cute, coordinating outfits that are collecting dust in the closet? Because I've carefully folded, packed up, and labeled container after container of Jonah and Carson's clothes in the hopes that Camden will wear them too? Why, why, why??? Camden is his own person, with his own style and his own opinion. So, I choose to honor that.
When I gave in and let him wear his army man shirt and his army man pants and his army man socks this morning, something shifted. I let go. There is so little my four year boy has control over. He goes to preschool four days a week, and tags along to countless hockey, basketball, and baseball events. He eats the lunch I pack and the dinner I prepare. Why not let him wear what he choses to wear?
Something shifted in Camden, too. As I got dressed, I heard him singing, and I looked over to see him putting on his own army man socks. A song that went something like I put my toes in there, but they don't go there because that would be silly... was coming out of his mouth in the cutest little way that four year olds will sing when they are making up the words to their very own song. He's a creator. An inventor. An entrepreneur. An actor. A pretender. A fun haver. A kid growing up in a world where most of his day is dictated by the people around him. It is my job to nurture that pretender. And to do that is to let him dress how he wants to dress.
I've gotta go...I'm off to order another pair of army man pants.