Choose Your Battles (When You Can’t Choose Your Kids Clothes)

29 Jan

My five year-old little girl does NOT want my help to dress herself anymore. I mean like, none. Any suggestions I tactfully make to her, trying to steer her in any coordinated combo decision are starkly refuted with an “I GOT it mahm!!!”

Fine! Choose your battles. Fucking fine.

Here is what my daughter was wearing today.

Red pants. Let me rephrase. Orangey, red pants that were actually in the Goodwill pile on top of her closet, which I didn’t think she could see, much less reach. Orangey, red pants that were gift from a relative somewhere from her last birthday, which apparently THEY thought, was her 3rd birthday because they were never her size, which was a blessing in disguise, because well, they are orangey red. But she’s found them and forced her body into them, where the zipper is only halfway up and they are tight to a point where they look painful. And they are way too short. Not short enough to pass as Capri pants, but, just short enough for her socks to show well, which are a light mint green. Her socks are the same color, but of different styles. One is an ankle sock, the other a mid-calf sock. Both are worn according to their styles. You feelin’ me?

Her shirt. Is purple. And a terry-cloth pool cover-up from summer. It actually wouldn’t be awful it was paired with super cute skinny jeans and a pair of flats, but that’s not what’s happening here. It’s an eyesore in contrast to the orangey red granny pants and mint green socks and when she raises her arms to the side a little to show off her ensemble to me, I see Stevie Nicks’ Bella Donna and I’m worried that a breeze will pass through our hallway and lift her away as a craving for a “special” cookie passes over her.

Her hair. It has a Halloween themed headband and a messy, knotted side pony cirque de Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical”, with a butterfly clip just sort of stuck into it. In all honesty, it could be glued in there. Could be there from yesterday. I don’t know, but it’s there and it’s rainbow painted.

Her shoes. Silver Mary Jane’s. They have a teeny tiny heel that I got for her to wear with her light pink and silver-sashed totally adorable Christmas dress, but that she never wore because they hurt her toes and “made her not walk”. (But her Hello Kitty rain boots, with a piece of the rubber boot part missing, really made the dress pop).

Her purse. Apparently she carries a purse now. It’s a Lala loopsy clutch. And at almost six, she has realized there are five basic needs of a woman that you cannot leave the house without.

1. Skittles Chapstick (flavor to be determined by mood of the day).

2. Money: fake and real. (She still thinks that five single dollars is more than one $20 and I’m going to let that one slide a bit longer).

3. A super ball (A girls gotta have some balls… I know, I know, sorry.)

4. Gum. (Totally)

5. A tampon (at first I was concerned because a while back she asked me what they were and at a loss, I quickly answered “vagina candy”, so when I see it in her purse, you can understand I was thrown for a minute, but then realized she was just mimicking my purse, sans the small home office and first-aid station I carry.

So, there she is. Standing proudly before me, arms a little out to the side, swaying her hips a bit and I take a breath and smile widely, beaming and like Elf say, “Look at You!!!”

It’s then I notice her make-up. For Christmas she got the 100-color shadow palette from CVS. And though her aim is better than a few months ago and her shadow choices are not horrible, it’s clear that she’s used 78 of the 100 shadows for not just her eyes, but her lips, cheeks and brows and as she stands before me, I get the full view from head to toe and she looks… okay, she looks like a cheap Vegas Dwarf hooker (in DRAG) jonesing for her next hit of meth as she walks home from the bachelor party, where she was hired to do quarter tricks the night before. I’m just sayin’.

And I don’t know what to do. She’s beaming with pride and I love her more at that moment than I have in a while because she’s got it Just. SO. Wrong.

And I have to go out with her like this. Shit.

Choose your battles. I look at her, hug her and then gently remind her that she’s not allowed to wear make-up out of the house until she’s 14 and before the pleading begins, I tell her she can wear some lip light pink lip gloss and promise that as soon as we get home she can go right back to Amsterdam Runaway.

I have to let the outfit go. I always knew I would be the mom with the kid at the grocery store in cowboy boots and a cape, shooting cobwebs from his wrist at strangers, but THIS, this was unexpected.

And wouldn’t last forever.

So, I took a deep breath, grabbed the keys and as we are walking to the car, I hear her brother ask with genuine interest, “Hey. What happened to your face?”

One Response to “Choose Your Battles (When You Can’t Choose Your Kids Clothes)”


  1. Felicity Huffman’s What The Flicka? | A Site For Moms & Women | What The Flicka? - October 11, 2013

    […] article was originally published on Jessica’s blog, GUEST BLOGGER: Jessica Garvin Jessica is a writer, comedian and single mom of two, living in Los […]

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