But yep, the older one. I actually pick out my eight-year-old's clothes for her.
Here's the thing:
- Will doesn't wear clothing by choice. She hangs out naked (for most of the day) until someone makes her dress, and then she puts on the absolute minimum that she can get away with.
- Absolute minimum means ABSOLUTE minimum. Unless you specify socks and underpants, and then double-check that they're there, she won't bother putting them on. Normally, I don't care, but I draw the line at personal injury, and I'm weary of discovering, mid-hike, that the child has put on her jeans commando, or finally finding out near the end of our sledding adventure that she's put on her snow boots without socks. I know that a lot of parents would tell me to let Will teach herself with those blisters and frozen toes, but not ensuring that she takes care of her body feels differently to me than, say, letting her test her physical limits by climbing something that she might fall off of, which I have no problem with.
- When she is required to dress herself, Willow doesn't care what she wears. She prefers comfy, elastic-waisted pants, and she does not prefer the pinks and purples that are heavy in her hand-me-down stash currently, nor does she like dresses or skirts and tights, but she'll wear whatever is easiest to grab from her clothing storage. She finds it VERY frustrating if she is required to search through unsorted clean laundry for something.
Until a few weeks ago, the girls kept their tops and bottoms on hangers--each kid had her own rod--and their socks and underpants in drawers. Lately, though, I feel like I've been on an organizing kick, or rather I've somehow found some extra energy to start rethinking chronic sticking points and finding solutions to at least a few of them. And my clothing re-organization is making me VERY happy.
Pants get folded in half and laid out. On the middle third of the pants I stack a shirt, a pair of underpants, and a pair of socks. I fold the pants up around the bundle, and put it in Willow's drawer.
Now when someone finally tells her to go get dressed, Willow can simply grab a complete outfit out of her drawer--if the underpants are right there, she puts them on, and if the socks are right there, she puts those on, too. I think that somehow the packaging is encouraging her to dress herself in all the items of clothing, not just the minimum that she always chose when she had to select each item individually. Hallelujah!
As long as I pick them out for her, of course.