I've noticed the other girls in her preschool class wearing dresses pretty often. It must be the age. I vaguely remember my niece going through a "dresses only" phase when she was little (which morphed into an "anything but dresses" phase).
So I'm pretty sure this too shall pass. And it's not like it's a big deal. It's only clothes, after all. Except that there are times when a fancy frock isn't exactly practical. Take the other day for instance. It was a rare day when we had nothing to do, so my little lady and I decided to hit DD first, then visit a local playground. Here is what she opted to wear:
What would you call that dress? It's like a pinafore, right? She chose a pinafore and strappy, pink, jelly sandals with zero cushioning or traction. Not at all suited for playing in the
I, however, enviously eyed the other little girls wearing sensible leggings, cargo pants, and sneakers. They looked so comfortable and didn't have to worry about stepping on the front of their dresses while climbing or getting wood chips stuck in their open-toed sandals.
I also don't like it that my sweetie-pie seems to measure her self-worth by how pretty her dress is. I remember one day not too long ago, I somehow managed to convince her to wear leggings. I think it was cold and rainy out and a dress just didn't make sense. The outfit was plenty pink and girly so I thought it would pass muster, but about halfway through the day, my daughter started crying for seemingly no reason.
"What's the matter, baby?" I asked.
"I don't look pretty," she whimpered.
"What? You always look pretty. There's no way you can't look pretty--you are a beautiful girl."
"But my clothes don't look pretty!" she wailed.
So up we went to her room and changed into an appropriately frou-frou dress, and the day was salvaged.
Another time, there was a birthday party at a kids gym. Again, it was coldish outside and because much climbing and tumbling would be occurring, I convinced my darling to wear leggings. Well, we got to the party only to discover that all the other little girls were wearing dresses. I watched her watching them. Her eyes darkened and she looked down at her outfit. I could see her little brain working to process it all.
|My daughter at 18 mo. She's wearing leggings, T-shirt, |
a brown sweatshirt. She let me dress her until age
two. This outfit would be unacceptable now.
I get that my daughter wants to look pretty--that's normal enough. But I do worry that she's taking it a bit too seriously. I don't want her confidence and self-worth to come from how she perceives herself to look.
I'm really hoping this is just a phase, too, and that as she matures, she'll understand that beauty is so much more. Of course we tell her all the time that she's smart, kind, and funny. We make sure to explain that a person can only be truly beautiful if he or she is kind-hearted and good. (Yes, Snow White is pretty, I explain, but what truly makes her beautiful is how nice, caring, and gentle she is to all those she meets.)
I just hope it's sinking in.