Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nature vs. Nuture

Have you ever seen that show What not to Wear? I love, love, love it. And I have a strong suspicion I will someday see Sam nominated as a fashion disaster. His utter lack of fashion sense is not his fault. It's in his blood. My Dad once wore a knit dress to a Patriots game. This summa cum laude graduate from medical school thought he was wearing a sweater for a short armed giant. We totally blame him for all our fashion faux pas.
Anyways, Sam has started to express in interest in what he is wearing. He has started asking to wear a specific shirt or sweatshirt. Okay, I will admit, I am a teensy bit controlling about what the kids wear. I always want them to look presentable and neat and on special days or occasions I will find just the right shirt, sweater or dress. I have always picked out their clothing each day. I think those days are over. Now, I do realize that it's important to let Sam make choices and choosing what he will wear is just the beginning. However, can I tell you how very, very hard this is for me. Sometimes, when he walks out the door I want to pin a disclaimer to his back that would make it very clear I was NOT responsible for that particular ensemble. On the flip side, this whole choosing his own outfits is also absolutely side splitting hysterical.
The other day he caught me at a weak moment. My sister had stopped by and he needed to get dressed for school. [side note: he had picked out his pj's the night before and ended up in a pair of striped boxer type bottoms with a long sleeved striped top, the stripes on the bottoms were blue and white vertical and the top, red, white and green horizontal. My sister thought he couldn't top that. HAH!] Since I was busy catching up with my sister I sent him upstairs with the instructions to pick out his clothes and get dressed. Five minutes later he strolled downstairs in his baseball shirt and pants and soccer socks. Muffling the laughter, I explained that his uniform was for baseball games only and he needed to change. My sister was having trouble keeping a straight face herself. So back up he went and down again several minutes later. This time the two of us nearly wet our pants laughing. He still had on the soccer socks, pulled all the way up to his knees, but was now sporting his shiny basketball shorts and a Celtics jersey, the kind with no sleeves and that's made of some kind of mesh like material. Once I was able to talk I sent him back up, wondering what he would come up with next. His third outfit was not one I would have put together, but it was weather appropriate so it got the thumbs up. His choice of pj's last night nearly had Joe and I choking on our dessert. He chose a pair of flannel pj pants and paired them with a long sleeved Fair Isle type sweater. He couldn't understand what was so funny and why he had to change. He thought it was a very nice sweater.
I'm going to continue allowing him to choose his clothing, hoping that with practice he'll develop an eye for what works. But if my Dad is any indication, I think it's a losing battle. The other day when we were at my parent's, my Dad had on his favorite polka dot dress shirt (honestly, you'd think my Mom would just chuck it already!) with scrubs, white athletic socks and Teva sandals. Is that a step up from wearing a woman's dress out in public? I'm really not sure. Oh, and my Mom is not an innocent either. She once attended my sisters' high school basketball camp game in a pair of shorts and a pinny. You know, one of those vests made from netting that gym teachers use to differentiate teams. Basically, it's see-through.
Aye, yi, yi. I'm in big, big trouble.


sarah said...

OMG! Marie, I am LMAO!
Sounds like we might need to do a group nomination for WNTW! too funny.

Anne said...

Ha ha! Dad's fashion (non)sense is in Eliza's blood too. I have a picture of Dad wearing that polka-dotted was taken in 1985!!!!