days of dressing my 5-year-old son are over. Actually, they came to an end a
few years ago, when speaking in full and clear sentences was no longer a
mountain he needed to climb. He was there, at the summit, expressing how he
really felt about the clothing choices I’d been making for him. No more cute,
fly-guy fashions and themed outfits, like super-mini skater kid, tiny Harvard
preppy, or the "Mad Men" Casual Beach
thing I was getting away with for a stretch. Once this kid was able to express
his likes and — as was often the case — staunch dislikes, the couture was cut
down to a set of very basic rules. Rules that may not be bent or broken, for
the retribution would be steep ... and bloody annoying.
learned the hard way and endured the battle of the morning get-dressed scene, and
have come out on the other side. So, in the interest of each one teach one, I
present to you the 7 Rules of Little Kid Fashion, as told to me by my son — who, for this exercise, we’ll call Maester ICanDoItMyself.
Take Priority. If there is ever
a bandage covering a bump, scrape or cut [Parent edit: real or imagined ones],
be sure that socks and sleeves do not cover this important plaster. Unless, of
course, these things bring added protection to this most necessary tourniquet.
In that case, pull the socks up all the way to the knee, making doubly sure
they stay up, and drag those sleeves or pant legs carefully over the important bandage. Failure to comply will result
in certain grumpiness and more than a few Band-Aids wasted in the
You’re Not It! No matter how
much I claim to like a shirt, if the tag scrapes or tickles the back of my
neck, even just a little, we will have a problem. I will not think twice to
demand that the offending tag be completely removed. It’s lay flat or go home.
(Home being the garbage bin here.) And, Parent, it’s probably a safer bet that
you memorize the wash and care instructions of all my shirts, as I have a
zero-tolerance policy about tags that don’t follow the clear rules.
Honestly? I don’t think grown-ups really understand what The Weather is.
Are the Best, But Only Today. When it comes to designs, patterns, colors or animated characters that may
adorn my shirt, I reserve the right to change my leanings at will. This week — for the entire week — I may desire
all robot everything, but come Sunday that can change without any advance
notice. Yes, from robots to stripes-only on a dime, and you will deal. [Parent
edit: Don’t let a favorite shirt-of-the-week be found in the hamper — like, ever. #staywoke]
NO! Snaps, Yes. I’ve decided
that I don’t like buttons, and all your cajoling isn’t changing matters. Maybe
it’s because they still kind of trip me up, making my little fingers do extra
work, or maybe I just don’t like the looks of them, with their four holes that
resemble judging eyes. Either way, not a fan. Keep them out of my sight. Note
well: This rule can sometimes extend to cover your clothing as well. It’s arbitrary, yes, but it’s not a game.
Weather Is a Myth. Honestly? I
don’t think grown-ups really understand what The Weather is. As much as you
talk about it in elevators and in line at the grocery store, I’m not at all convinced
that you have a firm grasp on this ephemeral concept. So no-thanks on any words
of “wisdom” you may care offer on why I can’t wear my GAP hoodie — zipped up
all the way — in the middle of July’s heat wave. Or, conversely, why a tank
top with a rad surfboard motif isn’t "appropriate"
attire for a Thanksgiving afternoon. Let me know when you work out the whole
climate thing (and climate change, frankly). I’ll be over here … in my hoodie and tank top.
6.I Choose the Shoes. Sometimes I want
to wear my light-up sneakers. Other times, I might fancy my funky, brown half
boots with the faux-laces-and-velcro finery. Or today could be a Crocs and
socks day. It really all depends on my mood at the given moment. But the point
here is: I’ll decide what footwear I’ll flex. Please don’t question my choices,
you’ll only get your feelings hurt.
Always Winning. Whoever
invented pajamas needs a grand award, posthaste. These things are comfy, cozy and
completely charming. There’s also that undeniably compelling quality about
them: Once you’ve nestled into a fine set of PJs, it’s a real struggle to find
your way out of them. That’s why my mates and I are thinking about launching a
Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a global parade to celebrate all the
prudent teachers who have instituted a Pajama Day at their schools. It’s
genius, plus I have a sneaking suspicion that most adults (teachers included)
are happy to rock their jammies for the better part of the day, too.