The struggle is real. Every morning, I listen to my oldest say she has nothing to wear. Keep in mind she is only in the second grade — not high school. Her closet is bursting with clothes, really cute clothes. Meanwhile, my poor neglected closet is circa 2006. What kills me is how opinionated they are about what they wear at ages 4 and 7. It seems a bit early in my motherhood journey for this battle of wills. This isn’t the Oscars — it is flipping preschool.
I know what you are thinking. Why don’t you just lay out their clothes the night before to avoid the drama? We already do that — every single night. Our evening ritual involves taking baths, getting in our jammies and picking out our clothes for the next day. The chosen outfits are hung on the dresser every night.
By the time they wake up in the morning, they have completely changed their minds and we start all over. While I applaud their creativity, this is not the time for last-minute changes. We have a schedule to keep.
“Mom, I have nothing to wear.” “Mom, I want to wear a belt today.” “Mom, where is my shaggy sweater?” I emerge from my bathroom after getting myself ready to find the Minnie Mouse step stool next to the closet door and about 25 pieces of clothing on the bed and the floor as they try to mix and match new outfits. We do not have time for a fashion show at 7:30 in the morning.
I say things like, “Ella, it is 95 degrees outside. You cannot wear a wool sweater, especially when you have P.E. today." Or, "Adriana, that gold sparkling belt is too big for you and it doesn’t match your Nike soccer shorts that don’t have belt loops.”
After going multiple rounds and trying on at least ten outfits, I sometimes get them to concede. Other days, I am punching an extra hole in the belt so we can move on with our day.
For girls who are so into looking nice, you would think brushing their hair and teeth would be the easiest part of getting ready, but no. The little one acts like I am chasing her around the house with a chainsaw when I whip out the toothbrush. I don’t get it.
By far, the most frustrating part of the morning is when it comes to putting on Adriana’s shoes. She has this thing with her pinky toe. Every day for the last three years she yells, “My pinky! My pinky!” as I put on her socks. “I know!” I yell back. She hates the seam of her sock touching her pinky toe and she reminds me daily.
I pretend for like a minute that I am doing something magical to make the seam disappear so I can get her shoe on. On the days that my magic is lost I send her to school in flip flops knowing she cannot participate in recess. Has that worked? Nope. Please, check on your friends with strong-willed daughters — we are not okay.
I cannot tell you how many mornings I have threatened to take them to school in their jammies or worse — naked. Of course, they know I am bluffing so I have decided the aggravation is not worth it. Let them wear what the want. In the end, I am right. And eventually they will see that. Whether it is that evening when Ella comes home dripping in sweat or when they are teens and see pictures of their fashion flops. In the end, I will be there like every loving mother laughing and telling them, “I told you so.”
Lynn Cristina is a mother of two who works full time as a marketing manager. Contact her at email@example.com or on Instagram @lynncristinablogs.