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Parenting style

Before your blood pressure starts to elevate, I’m not talking attachment versus detachment here (though let the record state, b.), but rather, how do you present your kids to the world? Are you a head-to-toe Baby Gap aficionado (I wish. Someday, Dave Ramsey) or do you let your littles troll in Heathtex primary-colored fleecy separates from the big W?

Me, I’m kind of a hybrid mother dresser. I like a good pair of Striderite sandals as much as the next yuppie child of the 80’s, and I’m not above letting my kids sport a little seersucker in dressier settings, but for our daily toil, I tend towards simple denim + knit tops, preferably collared but lamentably often crew necked (boys, they have opinions!) and sensible, weather appropriate footwear. Or no footwear. Because barefooted children learn better, haven’t you heard?

Earthing. It’s a movement.

Part of the reason I can somewhat control how my children look (and the fact that they sometimes look almost presentable) is that I control the inflow of textiles into this abode. If it’s in their closet, I approved it…a sometimes humbling admission when I think of the multiple super hero’d t-shirts and one very embarrassing Chewbacca long sleeve that have snuck their way into the rotation. And believe me, these particular numbers get played frequently.

But wookies aside, my kids usually look pretty good. Thanks to my love affair with thrifting and the seemingly endless supply of Children’s Place, Crew Cuts and Baby Gap castoffs at my local Saver’s, their closets are preppy wonderlands filled with suitable choices for daily wear. They’ll never look as fly as the Patton Clan, but then, we can’t all be so fabulous.

All of which leads me to a very troubling and weirdly feminine confession:

Oops, not my confession. Just an adorable baby.
True confession: girl’s jeans on my 3.5 year old boy. Hearts on pockets and everything.

Oops. I really need to check labels more closely.

Worse from the front.

15 Comments

  • Rosie

    HAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That’s hilarious. My little brother tried to leave the house in a pair of my skin-tight flares once… But he was like, 12 so he can’t pretend he didn’t know better!

  • Kris

    My boys can choose their own attire in the mornings, with some guidance on what we’re doing or where we’re going. Like you, everything in their closets and drawers is purchased and pre-approved by Mom. They tend towards athletic shorts and t-shirts most days (or jeans/sweats and t-shirts in the winter). For church, your basic khaki pants and a collared shirt or khaki shorts and same shirt in the spring/summer. I’m all about less expensive and sturdy than pricey and stylish. We do a LOT of passing down so I like to get 2 or 3 kids out of most stuff!

  • Alzbeta

    Haha! We’re a little bit hybrid here as well, I guess :). A sweetly dressed little does help this mama’s ever-wavering sanity, a little, but it all depends on what’s hanging out on sales, hand-me-downs and thrift-stores at the time. (I laugh at myself sometimes that I enjoy dressing them so much… and have so little luck dressing myself!)

  • Tamara

    How many times have I said on your blog, “I miss Denver thrift stores!!!!” 🙁 Boo hoo. The closest I get to thrifting is the clearance rack at Kohls with a coupon on top. So sad.

  • mary

    our style is “ragamuffin”. my boys are the urchins that wear snow boots with shorts because i just don’t care to fight that battle and for the most part, it’s amusing to me. most of their clothes are hand-me-downs because i can’t justify spending money on clothes when they are given more than enough, even if it’s not my preferred style. i’ve just had to learn to make sure they’re not around when i sort the hand-me-downs, other wise I have to tolerate my oldest’s choice of a mesh v neck shirt as his new favorite : / so hard to tolerate that one! thank goodness for school uniforms!

  • Kayla @ Number One Petersons

    We’re big fans of naked babies here. Most days I don’t even bother getting Lucy dressed since we stay inside. Cloth diapers are fashionable now, so I feel like that should count for something, right?

    I am loving your little girl’s hair!

  • Trish

    My kids were both cutely dressed, preppy to the max, Boden-wearing, bundles of childhood sweetness until they hit age 6 and asserted their love of shorts & tshirts, specifically athletic shorts and tees for the boy and Gap-everything for the girl. My parenting style is “pick your battles” so I insist on dressy clothes for Mass and if we eat at certain restaurants. The rest of the time I let them wear whatever, as long as it’s modest.

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