It’s just like brushing teeth each night --- at bedtime, we lay out our clothes for the next day. Top. Check. Pants. Check. Belt. Check. The right shoes. Check.
I’ll admit, this routine began with me a few years ago. Each morning I’d struggle, and struggle, and struggle with what to wear. Sheer vanity, I know. Too short. Too tight. Too heavy. Too light. Wrong hemline. So, instead of waking up early to accommodate this madness, I resorted to an evening fashion show instead. I admit all this to you through clenched teeth. Embarrassingly enough, sometimes it would take forty minutes to try on a combination of shirts, skirts, and pants, visit the full-length mirror with each revision, and change out a pair or two of shoes until a winning ensemble was created. Yet I’d do it. Over and over again. All to save a little time each morning and to make my life a little less stressful. It also prevented any “Oh, that needs to be ironed” set-backs.
My husband, well, he wasn’t initially as hip to the whole organizational system I’d set up. But I’ve noticed as days turn to months, and months turn to years in our marriage, he sees the value in what my little obsessive-compulsive manifestation can offer him. (See also: a little extra time; less headache). Now before bed, he irons, lays out his clothes, searches high and low for a belt (which is always the elusive wardrobing element it seems), and then in the morning is able to focus more on preparing Reid for his day with the sitter and less on chasing down accoutrements.
The system works for Reid too. Each night, there is complete outfit which magically appears to meet his needs the next day. For a long time, there’s been a thought tumbling around in my mind. It’s a thought I know will one day come to fruition. It has to, developmentally speaking, but I think it’s going to be a hard one for me…I like knowing exactly what will go on and when. I know, I know --- I’m going to have to give that one up.
What happens when Reid doesn’t want to put on what I’ve chosen?
This week: fruition. Like apples ripening to picking perfection. Sunday night, as I worked on Monday’s stack, Reid set to his own organizational system --- taking shirts out of his closet and hanging them from nearby dresser knobs. Four, in total.
“What are you doing?” I inquired.
“I’m getting my clothes ready for this week,” Reid proudly declared.
“OK, Kiddo. We’ll keep them there. Now it’s time for night-nights…” I gently prompted.
And, wouldn’t you know, the next morning he remembered. Gone was the prepicked outfit. Present was his first-ever toddler outfit under my husband’s watchful (and non-confrontational) eye. It wasn’t a doozy…but maybe just a preview of coming attractions. An email served as a status update, “This morning, Reid refused to wear the plaid shirt you set out for him. He had to wear the surfing polo shirt he picked out instead.”
And, so it begins --- my little darling will discover ways to make his own life work, which from this day forward will include any necessary fashion decisions.