I have no idea what it’s like to dress a little girl, but judging by the opinions of myself and other women I know, I’m thinking dressing boys is much easier. They don’t really care what they wear. Red cashmere sweater and navy blue and gray striped sports pants? Great! Cars swim trunks and a fleece Mickey Mouse jammie shirt in the dead of winter? Even better!
Have you ever tried to ACTUALLY dress them? Like physically put those swim trunks on? It’s crazy! I can only speak for my boys, but I imagine many mothers of boys have quite the same experience every morning and every night. They run a lot, and sometimes it feels like the only time they run is when I’m trying to dress them. If I can manage to get both the top and bottom of the pajamas off in one fail swoop I consider myself doing pretty great! It saves a good minute or so. I often manage to get only the top off before the sprinting begins. It’s not unlike a dog chasing it’s tail. Once I get the bottoms off then there’s naked sprinting. That’s their favorite part. Being naked is the greatest thing a little boy can experience. Hopping on the bed, snuggling in the blankies, jumping on you…Naked.
Getting dressed is a longer process than getting undressed, but there’s always running. Yesterday the undies ended up on the fireplace mantel before the body, buying my oldest a few more seconds of naked running. It’s winter here right now and the undies had snowmen. “It’s not Christmas anymore! I’m not wearing those!” Probably the only protest I’ve ever heard about clothes. He forgot he protested and the undies did eventually end up on his body.
After undies we move on to the socks which are typically “silly”. Have you ever heard of silly socks? Silly socks is when your socks are twisted at the heel or the seam is touching the tips of your toes. I’m a weird sock person so I know exactly how crazy that makes me. Apparently at least one of my boys contracted that. Tantrum. Crying. “These socks are silly!” I’ve never seen such a reaction over a twisted sock, although if I weren’t stable I probably would react in a very similar fashion. I knew exactly what he was talking about. These were words I never knew I wanted to speak!
I typically pick out the clothes to speed up the process because it seems like no matter how much time we start with, we’re always rushing toward the end. I often look at clothes in my son’s closet and think “hmm, I wonder if that still fits him?” I have two choices at that point. Put it on his body knowing full well that there will be no opportunity to take it off and put something different on if it’s too small; or put it in the too small pile, pass it down to the next kid, and promise myself I’ll put it on him at least once before he gets this big. Because I’ve got a second boy, I usually go with the latter.
We all know pants are the hardest part of getting dressed right? You have to get one leg in and then keep it in there while you put the other leg in. You know what I’m talking about right? You’re getting dressed while doing bicycles in the air and bouncing on your snowman butt. You get one leg in and before you know it, it just fell out. Right out of the pants. It’s something only little boys know how to do so successfully. It’s a magic trick really. You can be sitting there holding the foot that’s already made it through the pant leg and then out of nowhere, like you passed out or something, that leg gets out. You have no recollection of it getting out. You don’t remember letting go of the foot, but somehow you did.
He’s sprinting again.
Sometimes I try two legs at once. Like that’s better. I figure I can save time and just try to pull the pants up one time. All that invites is jumping. Yup! Jumping into the pants. Have you ever jumped into your pants before? It doesn’t work does it? Nope. Have you ever tried having your husband hold your pants for you and then you stand on the bed, start jumping to build up momentum, and then jump? Like maybe if you start higher it’ll work. Still doesn’t, does it? Little boys don’t get that. It’s fun of course to jump on the bed and then on you, but the pants are not really part of the equation other than you are holding them when he jumps on you.
One great part about the 3+ age is they can dress themselves if you can handle that. It’s a lengthy process as well, but at least you can just direct if needed. Undies usually end up on backwards and the socks always end up silly, but I feel like there’s less frustration for me. My son went through a period of time where all shirts had to be worn backwards. Whatever. He’s dressed right?
What about the little ones? My little guy is 18 months and he’s not so easy either. He definitely has no opinions so that’s great, but not really a far cry from the bigger boys as far as that goes. There’s just a lot more to do at this age. There’s a diaper with tabs and onesies with snaps. He can’t run very fast so he can’t really get away from me, but man can he roll! It’s that magic boy thing again with the pants. No clue…no clue how they do it! Right now I’m teaching body parts. Pee pee is his favorite. There’s lots of pointing. And the love of being naked begins!
And yes, one more naked baby to come.
I’ve heard there’s lots of crying with little girls. Like crying every morning about pink leggings, and ruffly kittie t-shirts. As chaotic as it all sounds to dress a little boy, I think I’m good. I’m good without the tears.