By Kristin C.
I should have known it would come around to bite me in the butt. But I still did it anyway. It was funny. You know, laughing at the kids wearing a backwards shirt, mismatched socks, and shoes on the wrong feet. I used to wonder why the mom just let them go without trying to fix it. I mean, at least switch the darn shoes around.
And then I woke up with a near-2-year-old. Let’s just say I get it now.
It started with clothing choices. I’d set out a nice shirt/Capri combo and she’d refuse to put it on. And remembering the helpful motherly advice I was given by those experienced mom types (yes, the kind you actually want to get), I decided to pick my battles. How bad do I really want her to wear that outfit? So, into her drawers she would dive and pull out whatever suited her mood – yellow pooh shirt with pink flowered shorts and a red hat. Lovely combo.
Those outfits were an easy fix. All I needed to do was change her diaper and I could switch something else on her. She’d never know the difference and I’d save myself a few public chuckles.
But then she figured out how to actually put on her own clothes. So, not only does she now have to pick out her own clothes, but she must put them on, all by herself, no matter how long it takes. Take today, for instance. She had on a pink shirt, a yellow dress, socks, and sandals. It took her almost 30 minutes, but by gum, she was dressed. So what if the shoes were on the wrong feet and the shirt wasn’t intended to worn with that particular dress (or any dress, for that matter)? She did it herself. And I didn’t dare go near her.
The other day we went out to the grocery store. She was wearing her dress on backwards (circa 1990’s Kriss Kross) and her sandals on the wrong feet. And while she sat in the cart quite proudly, I attempted to zip through the store as fast as possible so not to endure the laughs and giggles I was sure to get.
But then, as we turned passed the tomatoes and towards bananas, I saw a sight for sore eyes. A little boy, just my daughter’s age, sat in his cart with his shirt on backwards and his shoes on the wrong feet. And instead of laughing, I smiled and him, and then at his mother. And then we both laughed – with, not at, each other.
Kristen is a former college music professor turned stay-at-home-mother/rock star to her 20-month-old daughter, Quinlan.