I tend to be a nose to the ground type of mom. I’m still fun and sweet, but I also really like to get things done. There is always so much to do isn’t, there? I continually walk the line, as most of us do, between living in the moment and making things happen.
A few weeks ago, I went into M’s closet and realized we needed to sort through some things and get it updated for spring and summer. Plus, this child had a million dresses that for some reason, known only to a 5 year old, she refused to wear. I wanted to get her excited about what she had as well as encourage her to try wearing some new things. It may sound easy enough, but that was actually a tall order. I wore the same purple skirt to school almost every day when I was her age. I’m living that dream now. History really does have a funny way of repeating itself.
My tendency typically would have been to tell her we needed to sort through her closet and try on dresses to see which ones still fit. So fun. Instead I chose to think a little bit outside my own box and invited her to star in a fashion show. I told her that during her quiet time we would take all her dresses down to my bathroom and try them on in front of the big mirrors. We would play music, show Daddy our favorites, and then read together with whatever time we had left. She was in! Another way to this little girl’s heart is getting out of quiet time, so that helped too.
We had the. best. time. We played Disney princess music and tried on dress after dress. She twirled in front of the mirror in each one squealing with delight in the ones that twirled the most. I told her she was beautiful. She felt it. It was exactly what you are supposed to do with your five year old girl and I loved every minute of it. She even fell back in love with dresses that have hung in her closet for months untouched. So in the midst of the joy, we also accomplished something!
The fashion show experience taught me that sometimes the long way really is the best way. The whole process took way longer than it would have had we just quickly tried on dresses, and I sacrificed what little alone time I had that day to spend with her, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter because there was joy and there was laughter. And for a moment the whole world stopped as she twirled around. My precious little girl. What a gift. I can’t wait until we need to go through clothes again.
Find the joy~
**Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule a consultation.