Setting: It’s Sunday morning and I am heading towards her room to pick out a pretty dress for church and I hear her feet running behind me.
Daughter: “Mommy, can I pick out my clothes?”
Me: “What is it?” She then proceeds to pull out this short set that is not appropriate for church but actually to run around the neighborhood. I then pick out a pretty dress.
Daughter: “Mommy, I don’t like dresses anymore. They are just not my thing!”
Me: “What! What do you mean, they are not your thing? So do you want to dress like your brother now?” I know, I immediately overreacted!
Daughter: “What? Nooo Mommy! I just don’t like dresses anymore. I like shorts!”
This conversation went on for a few minutes and it ended up with her in tears about wearing a dress and me yelling, “You better put on this dress!” My husband eventually came in and told her how pretty she looked in dresses and she calmed down and put it on. Actually, she brought it up the following Sunday, but I let her pick out her outfit and it was a cute shirt/skirt set. She was very happy!
Honestly, when she said it wasn’t her thing anymore – my mind went different places. After I sat and thought about it, it has nothing to do with her not wanting to be feminine anymore. It had to do with freedom. My daughter has two brothers (one older & one younger). She likes to wrestle, ride her bike and just be a kid which means she is all over the place. When she has on a dress, I am always saying, “Close your legs, pull your dress down, sit down, be still, STOP, act like a little lady, we don’t do that in a dress!” These are things I never have to say when she is in pants or shorts or to her brother.
I think she finally gets that wearing a dress restricts her from being, “Free!” Right now she wants to be free to be wild and I get that. So, if it’s not her thing now, I understand and won’t press the issue to make it her thing. I will give her more creative freedom and also the option to take a change of clothes with us but honestly… she will not be wearing play clothes to church! Simple as that!
Has your child ever wanted to stop doing something that caught you off guard? How did you respond?