Family is a complex structure. For the longest time, I stayed at home and took care of our children. I made them outfits for events and made sure they were prim and proper for school.
It was an important part of who I was. I took pride in my children’s appearance.
Maybe too much. When Miss M was in First Grade, we attended an after-school event and as we roamed the halls of her school and everyone, teachers, students, parents, knew our daughter by name, she replied, “I’m famous here.”
Then our dynamics changed and my husband was now on children patrol.
We covered the basics of dressing…no skirts above the end of her middle finger when her arm was extended down her sides, no straps less than three fingers side, no tee-shirts with leggings.
It seemed simple.
Trust me, our daughter pushes the clothing buttons. I have scolded my husband more times than either of us care to recount about her appearance when I have come home from work.
Then, one morning, while at work, I got a call from our daughter. She was exasperated.
“Mom! Will you tell Dad I can wear my red dress?”
Abruptly, my husband was on the phone, “She wants to wear a cocktail dress to school!”
“Um, we don’t own any cocktail dresses?”
“She has it on right now and is telling me you let her wear it to school.” He replied.
He snapped a picture and a few minutes later, I was looking at our daughter.
“That’s her dress from her Reflections Award Night. She also wore it for Christmas. She can wear it to school. It’s just a red dress with sparkly sequins.” I told him.
He took it well.
A few months later, another phone call from our daughter while I was at work.
“Mom! Remember the cocktail dress? Well, now Dad says I can’t wear evening gowns to school.”
I was a bit taken by this, considering I KNEW we didn’t own a single evening gown.
“What dress are you wanting to wear?” I asked.
“My striped maxi dress. Dad keeps telling me it’s an evening gown.”
“Put your dad on on the phone, please?”
“Hi. We don’t own any evening gowns. That dress she has on is a maxi dress and she is allowed to wear it to school.”
We still have discussions about clothing and I, from time to time, get photos with text messages from my husband asking if our daughter is permitted to wear an outfit to school. There have been times when the answer has been, “Um, no!” but most of the time, the outfit is mom-approved.
From time to time, our dress code is mentioned and our daughter will say, “I know! No cocktail dresses or evening gowns!”
I know there are battles between this girl becoming a young lady we call our daughter and my husband with wardrobe, as our daughter wants to express herself.
I also know my husband is doing his best and trying to hang on to his little girl as long as he possibly can.