Why getting my four year old - going on twenty - dressed is the worst part of my day:
worse than exploding poop
worse than colic
worse than nothing to read.
Note: I haven't had any exploding poopy diapers in a couple years and none of my kids had colic so my perception may be skewed.
I love toddlers. Love their squishy, cookie scented faces. Love their Cheerio breath. Love their dirty paws and tear stained, drippy eyeballs. Love their attention spans of gnats and their tear-free shampoo locks of love. And when they're little - leave em where you put em kinda little - they're dang fun to dress. But once they develop motor skills and a sense of independence, my short career as Clinton Kelly in an apron comes to an abrupt halt.
You have two choices:
Let toddler dress himself. This works only if you never plan on leaving your house and emerging anywhere in public. "Public" tends to stare when someone comes at them with a Batman halloween mask, football pajama bottoms, rain boots, an inside out and backwards shirt, and a feminine scarf (which oddly enough, kinda does pull the whole emsemb together). Add a winter hat in summer, or flip flops in winter and you have a small child's wardrobe.
So if you have to go into Public and if you're determined that the fruit of your looms look appropriate, here's what you do:
Pick out adorable outfit. Try convincing kid to wear it. Good luck. The tags are scratchy. The pants are the wrong color. They're too long. Too short. There's no Elmo on the front. The shoes aren't good. The socks aren't soft. Etc.
Wrestling a little child into clothing when all he wants to do is finish his half completed project of taking over the free world is a little like trying to put an octopus into fishnet tights. The arms are akimbo, the legs are flailing, and your head will be smacked more times than you can count. I tend to arrange my hair style according to what my four year old will be wearing that day. If he has a button down shirt or the shoes that are hard to put on, I go with the messy bun look. Because my head will be used at any given time as a hand rest, foot rest, arm rest, flotation device, landing pad, and a place to put his crackers.
Putting his Flintstone feet into proper shoes always poses a pickle as well. Mostly because whether or not he needs to go potty he will be doing the Pee Pee Dance and it's really difficult to get square shaped feet into oblong shaped shoes. My fingers will be smashed, my hair will be yanked out, my tongue will be bitten from holding back questionable exclamations, and I haven't even gotten to the tying part yet. This is why I don't fight the flip flops in February thing.
Ironically, as I am writing this pointless post, my son is on the back deck in his pj bottoms, shoes on the wrong feet, his John Deere tractor apron backwards (so it's a cape), sliding in the snow. Shirtless. Shirtless is the new shirt. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.