Thursday, November 4, 2010

Messing with my plans

Below is the post I originally wrote for Thursday, November 4th.

In an effort to preserve simplicity, create calmness, and cut down on the number of freak-outs (or a great big noisy fuss as the real Ramona Quimby calls a tantrum) we base several things on the days of the week.

Of course, you already know about the grid (our fall grid will definitely be making an appearance for NaBloPoMo). But there are other things woven into the fabric of our lives that are so ingrained they don’t even have to go on the grid.

On days when both girls go to school (M, T, R, F) we have oatmeal. Other days we have cold cereal. On TUESday, they can choose two toppings for their oatmeal. (Get it ? Two toppings for twosday ?) Other days they can only choose 1 (out of 3 choices) for their topping.

When Beezus went through a dress phase when she was 3 or 4, I also made up rules about the clothes. M,W,F are pants days; T,R are dress days. Each girl has one drawer of all school/play clothes that they can choose from. There is rarely, if ever, any argument to this.

So imagine my surprise this morning when I reminded Beezus that it was a dress day and instead of responding “I already know that” which is a favored response, she started freaking out, saying that she couldn’t wear a dress, that nobody in her class wore a dress. I said, “Everybody in your class wears dresses. P and M almost always wear dresses. Lots of people wear dresses.” So she responded, “Not the BOYS !!! All my friends will think I’m weird if I wear dresses.”

I was shocked. Other than a time period of a few months when she was in the 4s class where she would complain that Jimmy was pushing her on the playground (which I later found out she was making up AT LEAST half of those incidents) I’ve never heard her have any complaints or issues with friends at school. She’s never reported being excluded or having anyone be mean to her or having kids express surprise that she doesn’t own a particular toy or watch a particular tv show. So, the fact that she said kids would say she was weird for wearing a dress caught me by surprise. I’m not certain if she really thought that, just got all caught up in the moment of injustice, or was just using it as a ploy to get her own way.

The larger issue here is that she is messing with my clothing arrangements. See, as much as I like my kids to dress nicely (and even coordinate with each other on occasion) when they are not at school or outside playing I know that it really doesn’t matter. I know that. Really I do. But I also like to have simplicity in my life, and Beezus’ reluctance to wear dresses messes with that since we a ratio of pants to dresses that is 3:2 (see how that nicely corresponds with the days above).

I think I will remind Beezus that she CAN make choices within a limited set of options and hopefully that will keep our morning routine simple.


{sue} said...

This system would never work for me because it pre-supposes that you know what day it is.

Also? I am ever so slightly worried about you. :-)

Elaine said...

So they're naked on the weekend? You could try Connor's system of "all sweat pants, all the time", or Helen's system of "grab whatever doesn't match". It takes a little mellowing, but it's really, really easy.

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