WardRObed, Day 1: There will be patterns
My 5-year old daughter is dressing me for one week. Today was Day 1.
Rosie will be 6 in seven days, but sometimes I swear she’s 16. Or 26. Or some indeterminable grownup age where she just knows herself and what she’s about in a way that it’s taken me 36 years and counting to figure out. She goes through most days with a healthy dose of Kindergarten (or younger) behavior, so it’s not like I forget she’s 5, but there are moments when an older edge shows and she settles into herself all comfortable and confident-like.
Consistently, this comfortable place of Rosie confidence shows up when clothes are involved.
It’s not that she hasn’t had problems with clothing, because we’ve waged many a Mighty Battle over the ill-fit of a sleeve or the scratchiness of a seam, but for the most part, when it’s time to get dressed, she takes .5 seconds to decide what she wants—often because she’s thought about it already, or because she just knows what will work. She makes an outfit pop in a way I haven’t seen in many other kids. I think it’s (one of) her things: expression through outfitting.
And true to form, on this first day of dressing me, she does not hesitate when we throw open my closet and drawers. It honestly only took her about 2 minutes from shirt to shoes to pick out this:
According to Rosie:
“I really like shapes. I wanted you to have lots of shapes, and you do! You have dots and stripes and cheetah. That makes it good.”
(This is what she wore to school today, by the way):
All that outfit choosing for today took place after school yesterday, because getting three kids and two adults out the door every morning leaves negative 15 minutes for shenanigans like letting your 5-year old pick your clothes out, so doing it the day before makes way more sense. This is a great system for two other reasons, too. One, it totally saves me 5 to 10 (or 20, depending on how much an outfit-choosing crisis I’m in) minutes in the morning, because my clothes are decided and ready for me. (Yes, I know I could have already been doing this for myself every night, but you hush now.) And two, because this morning, Rosie, who must have forgotten all about our new project, lit up like a Christmas tree when I walked into the room wearing “her” outfit. That’ll sure start a day off in the plus column, right there.
As for people’s reactions to what I was wearing, not one person commented on my outfit. I think it was “normal” enough (though not something I ever would have assembled myself) that it just looked like a more colorful/patterned version of outfits I already wear. I felt put together—differently put together, but put together. I commented to L just the other day that my drawers seemed to be full of black, grey, and navy, but Rosie showed me that there’s plenty of color, too, if I look hard enough. So … maybe my 5-year old has a great fashion sense, or maybe I have the fashion sense of a 5-year old. It’s too early in the week to tell.
But so far, with one day down, I’m totally digging this project. And Rosie and I are really having fun talking about my clothes and what she thinks looks good, and why. Seeing into the mind of any 5-year old is pretty spectacular, but getting a glimpse of the magic that makes Rosie Mae tick? Well, maybe I have found a point to this just-for-fun-no-point project, after all.