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I'm Losing the Battle Against Long Pants

Muffin and I are in a battle of who could care less (to quote Ben Folds).

 Her school has a dress code policy of girls wearing leggings or shorts under dresses and skirts. I’m fine with this; Muffin spends a lot of time in the sandbox and leggings provide extra protection from sand getting into places it shouldn’t. With the Hyderabadi style of khurtas worn over pants or leggings, Muffin has embraced the the local fashion and wears dresses with leggings and sometimes even wears jeans under her dresses. I’m okay with all that. I want her to have confidence in choosing her clothes and expressing herself.

Here’s my problem. Summer is upon us. It’s near 90 degrees (32 C) when I drop her off at school in the mornings and pushing 95 degrees (35 C) by the time I pick her up. Each day seems warmer than the previous day. Muffin is insisting on wearing ankle-length leggings or pants every day and she is a little sweatball by the time school is over. She won’t wear shorts. She won’t even consider knee-length or calf-length capri pants. Long pants, Mommy, long pants.

Last week I told her that it was the last week for wearing long pants. Starting on Monday, she would need to wear short pants to school. I have lost that battle every single morning this week. On Monday, once she was at school, I reduced her collection of leggings from about ten pairs to three. I showed her! Then I felt a bad about feeling vengeful toward a preschooler, so I took out a bunch of fabric and patterns to plan a new summer wardrobe for her; this week I've cut out a few items for her already. At Mike’s suggestion, I’m also going to trim several inches off the leggings and sneak them back onto her shelves to see if she notices they are shorter.

She’s rotated through those three pairs of leggings every day this week and today I’d had it again. We hadn’t even left the house yet and we were sweating already. I told her if she wanted to wear long pants she had to put them on herself. If she wanted my help, I was going to put shorts on her. And what do you know? She battled with a pair of leggings for a few minutes, threw them aside, picked up a pair of jeans, and put them on. I lost again. (And damn, is she smart!)

Today I’m going to hold off work on her Easter dress in order to chop and hem all of her pants into shorter lengths. It’s not as if they’re going to fit her next winter and we’re moving from Hyderabad summer to U.S. summer so other than a couple pairs of jeans and sweatpants (for chilly beach evenings in Rhode Island), she doesn’t need anything but summer clothes.

Should I be more flexible and just let her wear the damn leggings and be sweaty? Is she wearing them because she knows it annoys me so much?


Kate said…
Even in the deep heat of summer, I almost always wear pants. My mum was always convinced that I didn't like my legs, but I actually strongly prefer pants.

Seems like if she gets hot enough, she'll relent- or grow out of it, or simply prefer to wear them. Why fight it?

Just send her to school with lots of water!
Derien said…
I think that if being sweaty hasn't bothered her, yet, there's no point in having this fight. Let her wear what she feels comfortable with.
Stephanie said…
I've decided that as long as she makes a solid effort of putting them on herself, she can wear them. I realized one of my frustrations with the leggings is that after she insisted on wearing them, she insisted on me putting them on her while jumping around, running away, and laughing at me hysterically while I tried to wrestle her into them. I'm not going to do that anymore.

This morning she agreeably sat down and put them on with only a minimum of assistance from me.
Mel S. said…
It is hard when they start dressing on their own. They don't quite get it. My daughter has worn many mismatched outfits. I decided that it was easier to let her dress herself than fight her on it. She will learn fast enough....

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