I was at a birthday party recently where a little girl showed up wearing something reserved for sleeping, paired with her favorite rain boots. I tried my best not to do a double take and blurt out, “What is that child wearing?” as it was clearly the middle of the day, no rain was in sight, and it was not a slumber party. I wasn’t about to judge her mother outright (but inside my head was a different story).
Only babies and elderly people can get away with wearing their pajamas out of the house. Anyone in between should know better, or at least their mothers should know better. But this mom was not of the same mindset. She wasn’t even the slightest bit embarrassed that her kid wasn’t wearing actual clothes. She acknowledged it, saying it wasn’t a big deal because this was her second kid. She confessed it would’ve bothered her with her first though. But now she’s much more laid back.
Laid back or overwhelmed, I wondered.
I don’t want to be the kind of mom who stifles creativity or smother’s my daughter’s wishes, but if I let her do whatever she wants whenever she wants, aren’t I setting myself up for a spoiled brat who can’t handle authority? Shouldn’t she know there are certain rules she needs to follow? Like getting dressed…I mean, hel-lo.
I’m well aware that a fussy baby usually gets whatever will make her happy and quiet, but at some point, a mummy has to put her foot down, right? Or is it all about choosing your battles? Someday I might have to let her wear a superhero cape 24/7 because it’ll be the only way to get her to clean her room? Or listen to her iPod while we eat dinner for fear of a hunger strike?
I’m sure my time is coming. And when it does, I will resort to the classic line every mother through time has used — “Because I said so!”