My 2 year old daughter seemed to become very picky about what clothes she wanted to wear a few months ago. We couldn’t quite figure out why she was picking certain clothes over others. She hasn’t worn leggings or jeans for a long time, as we know she prefers to wear dresses. But then she started to become fussy about the dresses she wanted to wear too. We were flummoxed to be honest, as we couldn’t quite work out what it was she was drawn to about the ones she wanted to wear over the ones she was discarding.
At first we thought it was the colour. She seemed to only wear dresses that were pink or yellow, but she still liked dressing up clothes. Then one day it dawned on us when the first thing she did after getting dressed was twirl. The dresses she was happy to wear had to have a twirl. In a few minutes most of her wardrobe was considered obsolete, and I hit the shops to find every dress I could that twirled. When I say hit the shops, I mean the charity shops as when I tried the high street there were actually very few dresses that my daughter would wear.
I know what your thinking, why on earth have I given into her twirly dress obsession. Well firstly, have you tried to dress a 2 year old in something she doesn’t want to wear? No sooner have you got the outfit on, if you even get that far, than they have removed it in the blink of an eye. There are some days when I actually think she would leave the house naked rather than wear an outfit that didn’t twirl. We have been that close for leaving for the school run without an outfit on her, if she is having a particularly fussy dress day.
Not only does the dress have to twirl, but she wouldn’t be seen dead in an accessory that doesn’t compliment the swish of her frock. This means the winter coat is well and truly out. I get quite a few looks in the school playground when she is turns up in little more than a Tinkerbell dress, but I have come to learn it’s about choosing your battles.
We were headed to gymnastics this week, and I received a text saying that the boiler was broken so wrap up warm. My daughter doesn’t understand why you would want to dress up warm over having a dress that swirled. For gymnastics, she would rather wear her sparkly leotard, so today was going to be a challenge. When we arrived I managed to convince her to leave the dress on over the leotard. I’m definitely calling that a win! Ten minutes into the lesson she conceded she needed to wear her cardigan, which in itself was a pretty monuments occasion. Five minutes before the end she declared she wanted to leave, she would rather forgo playing the parachute game than add any more layers to her outfit, so home we went.
Most days result in at least one wardrobe change, and at least one princess dress. I’m often seen in Morrisons with a mini Ana from Frozen, and we rarely leave the house without a tiara. If her sister is there, she will join in as well, and she takes on the part of Elsa seeing is she is the blonder of the two.
It isn’t always practical negotiating a full length dress and a toddler, but while she wants to dress as a princess I’m inclined to let her. It seems to make her happy, and perhaps I should take a leaf out of her book. Perhaps there is something to be said for wearing a dress that twirls, as it certainly seems to come with a lot of confidence , even at 2 years old! She receives a lot of attention when she is out and about in her princess clothes, and perhaps on a level she is aware of that. I like to see the people smile at her, and we always exchange a knowing nod, or even a few words about it.
I’m sure there are a few people who criticise our approach to how she dresses, but I’m happy for her to explore her identity in this way. It’s a phase, as most things in childhood are. Childhood is precious, and should be filled with happy memories of dressing up and having fun. Fortunately for us, school is a year or so away, so I hope she gets this out of her system before we are forced to dress her more formally.
Does your child like to dress up regularly?