Lisa says: The clothing battles have begun

Lisa didn't realize she'd be arguing with Addy over outfits this early on.

By Lisa van de Geyn
Lisa says: The clothing battles have begun

We all know that Little Miss Addyson is four going on 17. So why am I surprised that she constantly argues with me over the clothes I pull out for her every morning? Whether she's going to school, going to my parents', etc., etc., all Addy wants to wear these days are dresses — more specifically, all she wants to wear is one dress. It's grey, has tiered layers and a few hot-pinks stars at the top. It's ALL SHE EVER WANTS TO WEAR!

This morning, for example, I pulled out a lovely pink fleece top with a little flared bottom and a pair of jeggings. (a.k.a. an outfit I would've killed for when I was four.)

"Mommy, I don't want to wear that," she said, whiny and grumpy.

Me: "But it's so pretty, and it's your favourite colour."

Addy: "I want to wear a dress."

Me: "It's freezing today, Ad. You can wear this nice warm outfit I bought for you. It's super pretty."


Addy: "I want my dress."

Me: "You wore it Tuesday to school. It's in the laundry room. You can't pull it out of the hamper and wear it today. It's stinky. You can wear this."

Addy: "No, I really am not going to wear that, Mommy."

Me (irritated): "OK. You have a choice. This pink top or this colourful sweater dress."

Addy (irritated): "I want my other dress now, please, Mommy."


She ended up putting on the colourful dress after a good 10 minutes of prompting her to put something on.

Is this what I have to look forward to over the next decade?

Addy has gorgeous clothes. She has a closetful (and then some) of adorable, inexpensive pieces from The Children's Place, Old Navy and Joe Fresh, mainly — clothes I would've killed for when I was a kid. (There isn't a butter-yellow multi-coloured-teddy-bear-covered sweatsuit in this place.) I hit the sales, buy seasons ahead of time, and probably never spend more than $10 on a shirt and $15 on a pair of pants. And everything I buy, I divide the price by two — Peyton very rarely gets new clothes because she wears everything her sister passes down to her. (And Addy's clothes are always in perfect shape — except for some PJs that have holes in the toes — because she has so much that she never wears anything out.) The kid loves getting new outfits, and loves accessorizing — she's a mini-me.

I don't remember fighting with my mom over outfits when I was a kid (the teddy-bear sweatsuits are proof). I don't want her standing in front of her closet every morning taking an hour to choose an outfit (like, ahem, her mother), and I don't want to go out and buy the kid dozens of dresses (or maybe I should?).

Does your preschooler argue with about what he/she wears? What's your clothes-selection process? Do you pick an outfit and make your little one wear it — whether they like it or not — do you offer choice? What works in your home? I'd like to push these clothing fights back several years — when she tries walking out of the house wearing mini skirts paired with crop tops. (Like her Auntie Shayna.)

This article was originally published on Feb 22, 2013

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