Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marin Mama Contemplates Clothing...Is it All That Important?

I've been told by that upon receiving my first pair of black patent leather shoes I insisted in wearing them everywhere, even to bed. Apparently I would have my mother sit them right alongside the bathtub so as soon as I was toweling off, those shoes could go right back on my feet. My youngest sister was on the opposite spectrum, not wanting to wear clothes at all, in fact, the less of them the better. My husband is very particular about his shoes and the way they fit. So, should it even be a surprise to me in the last couple of weeks I've been battling the battle which has no end? The Clothing Battle. Yes parents you know exactly what I'm referring to here, don't try to deny it. The struggle that sounds something like "do you really want to wear fur lined boots in July? Don't you think you'll be cold running errands in a swim suit today, considering that it's December? Do you realize that you've got two different shoes on darling?" It can go on for hours, months or even years. 

My kid just started getting weird about clothing and I chalk it up to a week in Dallas, where everyone is practically naked during the summer anyways, and to my family living in a moderate climate where a winter coat is almost never necessary. I tried reasoning with her to put on socks and shoes and a shirt the other day but then I realized two things; 1. Why am I reasoning with a 22 month old toddler who says NO to everything I ask anyways? and 2. Does it really matter if she runs errands with no shirt on? Isn't that considered the norm in Europe? 

To answer my own questions, I don't know why I would try to reason with someone who doesn't really understand the concept, unless of course, she was headed out in a snow storm with her bathrobe on. And second, No, it doesn't matter if she runs errands with no shirt on, in fact, it might make my trip more pleasurable. She's happy, I'm happy she's happy, no one is in danger, we have success!! It's these small battles we as parents ought to let the kids win. Their choices are so limited and really boil down to what they are allowed to do and not to do. To quote one woman who commented on my daughter with a smile "Might as well let her do it while she can" which is very wise because sooner than later she'll be worried about the latest styles and what her friends and idols are wearing. I should be thrilled that this means nothing to her as of yet, that she couldn't care less how she looks to others. I can only hope that some aspect of that carries through her life, creating a confident woman who looks great but doesn't need to worry about looking perfect. It's definitely not worth losing 30 minutes of our day over. In fact, she practically ran out the door in joy the day she wore nothing but a pair of leggings. To her, she was dressed exactly as she wanted and was happy the way she was. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Marin Mama Follows the Crumbs on the Quest for Clean

I've always been somewhat tidy, in fact, I'd call myself an organized, clean person. I thought this to be a great asset until my first born (and only so far) became a hungry, busy toddler. Now that I'm a parent, I've realized being a clean person sort of morphs into one of two things after the birth of children. A parent either gives up the quest for clean as a lost cause and no longer follows the crumbs or a parent takes on the quest for clean wholeheartedly, as if following the crumbs will prevent more crumbs from falling. Well I am of the latter group and just can't seem to give up on the quest completely. A clean house is something of an achievement, especially to those parents who work full time AND parent. I work part-time and am the CEO of my household. I like my lists made and my laundry folded. I like a shiny clean sink and it's a little sick how excited I get upon seeing how much dirt I manage to vacuum out of the three tiny rooms over which I reside as Queen of Clean.

This used to be a lot easier. The kiddo was messy but it was a moderate mess. Totally manageable and not without reason. Alas, this is no longer. I follow the crumbs on the quest for clean because my 22 month old daughter seems to have taken a liking to throwing almost any type of food on the ground. Carpet, linoleum, tile, no matter, she'll throw food on any surface available. The trail of cheerios can be found from the kitchen to the living room and into her tiny bedroom. The goldfish crackers can be found under the kitchen island, near the TV and even in the bathtub, where my precocious young thing has been testing out her theory of whether or not those things can actually swim. It’s like she’s Sir Isaac Newton having just discovered the law of gravity and can’t stop throwing things down. “Oh Wow! Those peas and tomatoes really DO drop to the ground and roll away under the refrigerator....Hmmmm, avocado and cheese sticks don’t really bounce, in fact, they stick to the ground nicely.” It’s amazing that she’s discovering the laws of science but it messes with my quest for clean!

I can only imagine what a second child does to mamas following the crumbs. Could be that the mess just gets bigger and still gets cleaned up. Could be that the mess overtakes the quest and it’s forced to take a back seat to the quest for sanity. I’ll have to get back to you on that one...maybe you can tell me!?