I love dressing Shep. Many moms think dressing a boy is less fun than a girl, but I truly love putting my little Shepherd in his precious jon jons and short alls and smocking. And I shudder to think that one day, like his brother, he will fight me like a mad man to wear a graphic tee to church.
When the twins came into the world, I tried to be reasonable. I loved dressing them in sweet, southern, matching outfits. I am a lover of all things smocked and appliquéd. But I tried to be realistic. I reminded myself that all white wasn't necessary when rolling on the floor or trying to learn to feed ourselves. I let the onesies fill our drawers...trying to buy the most solid, least offensive ones (to my personal tastes) I could find, but slowly words and pictures crept in. Thoughtful gifts from others. A shark shirt at Target--B just loves sharks. A purple shirt with a snorkeling dog--y'all, it really is cute. Suddenly my littles had items in their closet that didn't exactly meet my picture perfect vision of dressing my children. And, at around 2, suddenly my littles were very vocal about what they would wear.
Frances still has her moments. Many days, like today, she will announce that she will only wear a dress. She may not choose one of my favorites, but at least it looks like we're trying. She seems to kind of get that there are times for a t-shirt and shorts, and there are times for our "good clothes." Barnes, on the hand, has become a fashion rebel, clinging to the bane of my mommy existence-- graphic tees. Y'all. He loves graphic tees. If it's a t-shirt and it has a picture on it, he thinks it is awesome. His current favorites are alligator, dinosaur, bicycle, yo-ho (pirate ship) and shark. And he wants to wear them ALL. THE. TIME. Despite all the other adorable options in his closet (monograms, button ups, smocked tees, polos), he goes for the graphic tee every single time. He was just certain that Jesus would love his shark shirt this morning, and trying to convince him that church called for a little fashion step up was like an exorcism. In all fairness to him, he's probably right. Jesus probably would like the shark shirt. I mean....it's a shark eating a hot dog that is holding a sign that says "help me." Right up Jesus' alley.
Really, though, I look at pictures of my sweet, tiny babies who lacked clothing opinions. I see how cute they always looked...how they let me dress them like dolls...how they coordinated on all major outings and many minor outings. And as cute as they were, when I really think about it, maybe I don't miss that at all. Seeing them pick out their clothing, seeing what they love and what they feel comfortable in, it's just another aspect of watching their personalities blossom. Think about it...you tend to choose clothes that make you feel more "you." The thought of getting a window into what makes B&F feel like themselves is mesmerizing. And if wearing an alligator that says "chomp" on it somehow makes Barnes feel happier and more comfortable, why in the world should I care? Surely my son's sense of self is more important than the image we project, right?
So I'm trying, trying to embrace the t-shirts. I even let them accompany me to Target and pick out a few themselves. I know individuality is so important, especially with twins. But that doesn't have to keep me from dressing Shepherd like a proper Southern boy for as long as he'll let me.