Help wanted

You know those ‘sleep schools’ where you take your baby and go and stay for a bit and they fix everything? Anyone know if they have ‘fussy clothing schools’? Where you take your five-year-old and stay for a bit and they fix everything?

If they don’t, would someone please start one and and call me to confirm my booking?

It’d be like the sleep school; the angels running it take the problem out of your arms and start by letting you get a good sleep.

Actually, the good sleep at the start would just be a bonus, like wine and chocolates on a arrival at a hotel room.

Later, after you were rested, they’d bring your five-year-old back and she would be happy and dressed. And they’d talk you through how they did it, because every single method you’ve ever tried hasn’t worked and you’ve run out of options.

Would anyone else book in? Or has Elsie got some sort of sensory processing disorder related to her prematurity that I diagnosed her with all by myself, with the help of my direct line to reputable medical experts and resources worldwide, Google.

She won’t wear socks, sneakers, leggings, tights, jeans, more than one long-sleeved top, anything with cuffs on her ankles or wrists (ankles I’m not too fussed about – the only way to make a pair of tracksuit pants look any worse is add cuffs at the bottom (especially given the no-sneakers-thing), or any jumper with a zip or hood.

That makes dressing in winter most unenjoyable for everyone involved. Especially when you’re in a hurry to get out the door.

I’ve tried jovial distraction and enforcement, letting her choose and giving her no choice, being nicer than I feel like being and madder than I ever wanted be. The result is always the same. She cries and tugs at sleeves and pant-legs like they’re crawling with scorpions and saying that they ‘feel funny’. And I’m left thinking, ‘Right. That didn’t work. Let’s not try that again.’ And then we get in the car and drive to wherever it is we’re going, with the same look on our faces.

This week during the school holidays I took the girls to Disney on Ice with lots of their little cousins and thousands of girls under eight dressed like princesses from fairy tales. The ones that weren’t wearing tiaras or Cinderella costumes were wearing pink dresses, tights, cardigans and Mary-Janes. And they all looked cute. And they all enjoyed the show.

And so did Elsie, feeling very comfortable in the clothing choice she’d made for the day’s outing, after I’d bowed out and left it up to her.

She was the only one in Hisense Arena wearing her school uniform.

14 thoughts on “Help wanted

  1. *giggle* *cough* well, yes it can be traumatic! Having worked with children for a few years I can safely say you are not on your own.

    Breathe deeply…and ask yourself, does it really matter? And in the case of my daughter, if she wears not enough on a day out because she chose to ignore my motherly advice and so spent the day freezing her ass off, its a lesson learned.

    XX LOL



    1. You’re so right – it doesn’t matter. Elsie proved that it didn’t matter to her, me or anyone else, good lesson learned for all of us!

      She’d have been happier running around the garden trying to catch a butterfly or making a nest for a slater bug than she was watching princesses, but it was still a fun outing. And I’m glad to hear I’m not alone – I’m getting the feeling that there’d be a few book in to the new school.

      Nice chance for you to use the ‘I told you so’ when your daughter gets home frozen!

      Enjoy the rest of the holidays!


  2. It’s hilarious because of how you write it…the only one at hisense arena in her school uniform!
    I LOVE that she chose her school uniform, but I feel for you having to keep her warm in winter! Sounds like theres not much you can do. Well, at least she’s a character! Pink tights are over rated anyway! xx


    1. I know – I’m torn between trying to keep her warm, because I do actually know best and letting her get cold to learn why it was that I wanted her to add another long-sleeved top.

      Nah, never was one for pink tights either!


  3. Just wanted to add, whilst I am laughing out loud at your blog entry, I am in no way laughing at the real life conumdrum! I feel for you and I feel for Elsie! The poor little poppet, it must be hard. Dressing my five year old is definitely not something I’ll take for granted any more! What a relief she likes the school uniform though!


  4. Ha ha ha ha very funny. One of my friends (Yeadl) daughters only wears her socks inside out because they feel funny and lumpy and the other only has two t-shirts she wears with puff paint frogs on one and puff paint dinosaurs on the other. It’s a dilemma getting them washed and cleaned in between each wear. She will absolutely not wear anything else. So it’s not just EK!


    1. I’m getting the feeling I’m not alone. Yes, I imagine getting the only two tops washed and dried and back on is a challenge in that climate! I’ve been looking at seamless socks online, not sure it’d make a difference to Elsie. But she got a nice set of blisters walking to Hisense Arena in leather boots with no socks, so she may just learn to wear socks yet…


  5. Excellent! We went too and both my girls need to attend the getting dressed school too. Immy will only were stockings and dresses EVERYDAY. No leggings, don’t dare try jeans, while Miss 7 will happily wear most things as long as she is matching and with her sneakers, oh and no skirts. Nothing too baggy, not a little big with growing room and certainly not too tight, skinny jeans are good but not if they are coloured and the top is not a match…


    1. Oh goodie Claire, another two bookings. We’re getting quite a number, I may have to ask for a bigger venue! Sounds like your girls have ‘strong leadership skills’ as well. Good on them for knowing what they want and how to get it. And now that we know, why would we try to persuade them otherwise? After all, it doesn’t matter. Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Lucky you are such a competent and creative seamstress – you should have lots of ideas for combination outfits which tick all Elsie’s boxes (requirements)!! Please send a photo of the said design as I can’t picture it in my head!!! Let’s just be thankful she like SOME clothing – imagine if she decided she wanted to be a nudist (which most children so at some stage!!!)


    1. I’ve thought about what it might look like, but ‘daggy’ is all that comes into my head! No, not really, she wears my jersey pants and in summer, any of the pinafores or shorts/skirts and tops. Just the winter outfits that pose problems. But as we’ve proven, they’re only problems for me – she’s happy, so who am I to judge?! I’m working on some other dressier pants ideas that would work for her (and the many like her, I’m learning!).


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