Girls and their clothes. My girls are still little, so I am sure the best is yet to come. But oh my.
I have one daughter who wants me to shop for her when she’s not home and will wear whatever I buy her.
But I have another daughter who will say she likes it but then never wear it, who will shop for hours, and who will try on fourteen outfits before she’s satisfied with something. She sneaks into the boxes of her sister’s outgrown clothes to try things on to see if they fit her yet. She’ll change her dress if her sleeves are “too bunchy” under the sweater she has to have on. She’ll wear three pairs of socks to make her shoes fit. And she’d wear jewelry to bed if I let her.
So the night before Farm Camp at school, I thought it would be a good idea to choose her outfit. If we were going to spend an hour trying on clothes, we might as well get it over with the day before, so we wouldn’t be late. After all, there was going to be a parade and a costume contest.
I had an outfit, along with several back-ups, laid out on her bed. Nope, she didn’t like any of them and started rifling through her dresser. She had to have a button up, long sleeve “cowboy” shirt and jeans.
“It’s too hot,” I insisted.
“Where’s my vest?” she asked, referring to a wool-lined, suede vest with horses burned into the leather on the pockets.
Are you kidding me? I thought. This is not happening. I flopped onto the living room couch, resigning myself to my fate. She came out in her plaid, long sleeve shirt with the vest, jeans, a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, holding a stick horse. I had to admit, she was adorable. I wanted to scoop her up and give her the prize for best costume right then. But I put on my serious mom face.
“It’s going to be 92 degrees tomorrow.”
“So?” she said, galloping around the living room on her stick horse.
“So, you can’t wear that. It’s too hot.”
“This is how cowboys dress.”
“Not in the summer they don’t.”
“It’s not summer. It’s spring.” She smiled happily.
“Well, it’s late spring, and it’s Bakersfield. It’s too hot.” Reluctantly, she went back into her room.
When she came back out, she had on a flannel long sleeve shirt and the same vest, jeans, and boots. “That’s going to be even hotter!” I said, feeling a little hot under the collar myself, but not wanting to show it.
“No, it’s not. I can roll up the sleeves,” she explained calmly. “See?”
“But it’s still the same amount of fabric. On your body.” I felt like I was reasoning with a five year old. But then, I was. “Come on,” I said at last, “Let’s go see what a cowgirl could wear on a hot day in Bakersfield.”
She paused. I had her attention. I finally got her to put on a white sparkly tee shirt under the vest, knowing that she could take the vest off when she got hot later. And we replaced the jeans with a red plaid skirt. She kept the hat, boots, and horse.
Immediately after the parade the next day, she handed me the horse, the hat, and the vest.
All this trouble for one day. For one event. I’m not sure what I’ll do when she goes to History Camp in a few years.
Or gets married.