Starting at age 4, Phinny was released into the wilds of self-styling. We never mandated what she wore before that, we just provided her with comfortable clothes and she didn't object. When we officially gave up the reins, she embraced the task with gusto.
She wears some seriously jacked up ensembles. In public. Like this one- that's a princess crown on top, flipped back for a better view of the random muslin hankerchief tucked into the front. Fashion glasses, dress on backward, etc.
She wore this all day, even kept the glasses on while we perused the planetarium. I think you will agree that she is TOTALLY BADASS. People were staring of course. Smiling, giggling, admiring. She did not care a whit. She did not care that she was repeatedly massacring the word "Physicist" as she announced to me over and over her desire to be a "nurse physisisitht".
That opportunity was brought to her by the simple power of the word 'yes'.
I am making it my practice to saying 'yes' to everything short of "Mama, can I play with food coloring on your bed?"
"Can I take 3 stuffed animals, extra shoes and this gigantic and cumbersome book with us into the car?"
"Can Nora come over?"
"Can I have hot chocolate?"
"Can we watch Dora?"
OH HELL NO.
I do a draw a line. Anything that might cause me brain injury, such as letting them play that horrible, horrible Tolo trumpet for more than 5 minutes for example, is off limits. For the sake of my sanity.
But the experiment of saying 'yes' before my inner scaredy-cat of mess and inconvenience has a chance to revolt is producing really excellent results. I realized that there is a unique opportunity here. Life becomes harder, but it becomes happier. When the babies are happy, I am happy. I don't know why it took so long to realize that wiping up a spilled mess after a science experiment is infinitely easier on my psyche than calf-roping a screaming toddler. Also, if I participate in the mess-making, I actually have fun.
These little moments- where I struggle out to the garage trying to carry Griff with an armload of what I see as completely unnecessary crap- bring a lot of happiness to these tiny people. Afterall, they have a whole kids life with that menagerie of stuffed animals. Just because I don't, doesn't mean they aren't important.
So I'm going to keep up this experiment. Because I don't want a house where I'm the Dictator. I want a house that is full of fun. Comfort. Excitement.
Also: the world would benefit from more four year-olds wearing tutus on their head in Target, don't you think?