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Competing Patterns

posted Friday January 15th, 2010

sophie pattern

We all fall into patterns — some more flattering than others.

One of my less becoming? I’ve fallen into a habit of dressing Sophie myself.  She’s perfectly capable of choosing her clothes and dressing herself (with the exception of some shoes) and yet yesterday morning I realized that there I was — half-dressed myself, harried and watching the clock, fearful of a late slip — orchestrating her outfit, helping her out of PJs and literally putting her clothes on.

It’s terrible on so many levels. I know it. And doing it yesterday, I had one of those realizations you have — where you see yourself from above and think, “WTF?!”

This morning I managed to scrape together a little extra time, and as I jumped into the shower I announced to Sophie, “Hey! Let’s have a contest! I bet you can’t get dressed before I get done with my shower.”

She did it. That’s how we wound up with competing patterns. Normally I’d micromanage the situation — choose a different shirt (or two appropriate ones for her to choose from) and cajole her into holding her arms up so I could remove the offending one, replacing it with the more aesthetically pleasing option.

But today I didn’t, and it wasn’t even because we were out of time. When we got to the car, instead of lifting her into her car seat (that elusive 40 pounds — and a “grown up” booster seat is still a ways off, even at 6 and a half) I waited while Sophie climbed in herself.

She looked pretty satisfied, as you can see from the photographic evidence.

It was a good morning. Perhaps not coincidentally, Sophie didn’t cry or cling to me when it was time to walk into the school with her class.

I’m not saying things won’t fall apart again tomorrow morning. But I’m going to try hard to make this a new pattern — fashion (and expediency) be damned.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome, first grade by Amysilverman

4 Responses to “Competing Patterns”

  1. Oh my god- I am so with you on this. It is such a struggle on so many levels- aesthetics being one. I always feel pressure to have Kayli look cute since she stands out so anyway and it is one of her strengths. But self respect is important too isn’t it. I’ve been trying to do more like this for awhile- you’re right- it comes and goes.

  2. I think competing patterns can be fashionable. If anyone can pull it off, Sophie can.

  3. It’s my favorite. Makes me think of a Matisse. And if you look hard enough you’ll see a hundred other independent little girls doing the same thing.

  4. You shoulda seen the competing everything my 6.5 year old wore today. The patterns didn’t match. It was a long tunic shirt with a Mexican-style big flower print and a skirt made up of part blue jeans and part burgundy velvet. With red socks that she had to squish in between the piggy that went to market and the one that stayed home because she wore thong sandals. And that kind of “bag-lady” chic is pretty typical around here.

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