I’m Pretty Now, Aren’t I Mum?

Last week my 4yo got dressed in an outfit she likes. I can’t remember exactly what colour combination and which styles were combined, but she looked ace. She always does. 

She chooses her own clothes. She chooses her own combinations. They are usually nowhere near what I would choose and I adore that. Socks are not allowed to match and she proactively un-matches them. 

On this occasion she got dressed, and then said to me ‘I’m pretty now, aren’t I mum? I’m pretty in this outfit.’ 

I responded by telling her that she is always pretty, always beautiful. She asked why. The why wasn’t a lack of confidence in her appearance as much as a default reaction, but I still feel it’s an important question to take seriously and answer properly. 

And so I explained the difference between pretty and fancy, and the difference between pretty and smart. I told her that she looks wonderful regardless of what she wears, but that there are times we want to look smarter (for work) or fancy (for a party) and so choose to wear different clothes to normal. 

She understood. And accepted it. But I confess to that statement feeling like it hit me in the stomach for more than a moment. 

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She is Not My Battleground

My 4yo started school this week. 

I think we are both doing ok and both feeling rather fragile about it all at the same time. 

In the school playground a friend commented on the fact that my 4yo is looking very smart in her uniform and that she is one of the smartest in her class – no pink socks with her school shoes, or crazy dinosaur bag to carry her things in etc. 

Dear reader, you may well be aware of my complete hatred for school uniform. I have railed against it on twitter, on facebook, in conversations, on the radio. It makes me angry. I will spell out all of my reasons for this, maybe around half term time. 

In the meantime, I will dress my daughter in her school uniform. I will not communicate my hatred of it to her. She is 4 years old. When (if?) she decides to rebel against it that has to be her decision, and not mine. She is not my battleground, she is her own person.