Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've recently gotten in the habit of giving Cheech choices. Lemme explain. When I was pregnant, I was perusing through a children's clothing store when I noticed a mom hold up two different dresses to her baby girl. "This one, or this one?", she asked. The girl, who couldn't have been more than 12 months, took a minute to study each dress, then extended her hand to reach for the one she wanted. I couldn't tell if I was more amazed that such a little person was already showing signs of likes and dislikes, or that her mom had even thought to give her the option. I vowed to do the same once my little one came along.

Here's why. When I was a kid, I pretty much wore what my mom wanted me to wear, played with the toys my mom picked out for me, and did the things my mom chose for me to do. I never got the luxury of options. I'm not trying to make my mom out to be the bad guy here, I just believe that it never would have occurred to her to do it any other way. And honestly, I think that's most parents out there. When you're the one doing all the purchasing, until your child becomes very vocal about his/her opinions, why wouldn't you pick out what you like? So, I ended up the little girl with super long ringlets, and always, ALWAYS in a dress with some sort of mary jane-type shoe. But that's not me, AT ALL. I've preferred short hair for most of my life, my favorite color has been blue for as long as I can remember, and my mom still cringes at my incredibly foul mouth. Just because I came from her, it does not mean I am her.

With Cheech, I want things to be different. I am fully aware that she is her own person, with her own interests, and as new age-y as this may sound, I want her to always confidently express herself and feel comfortable picking out the things she likes. I want her to be aware of what makes her her, and not me or her dad. So when I took her shoe shopping about a month ago, I grabbed two completely different styles. A super cool "Chameleon" pair that would have been my first choice, and a pair that never in a million years I would have chosen for her, the "Tasty Treat" style. I watched as she carefully looked over each shoe and reached out for the Tasty Treat. I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of bummed she didn't go for the Chameleon. I took the Tasty Treat back, switched hands, showed them to her again, and asked, "Are you sure??". Tasty Treat it was.


  1. just wait until you're trying to get her dressed for school and she flips out because she isn't wearing enough purple and pink.
    i've tried to convince her that not EVERY single article of clothing needs to be purple or pink or have something to do with princesses.
    she doesn't buy it.
    i even found her a ridiculously adorable harajuku mini outfit (cliche, yes. but it was seriously amazing, this one.) she wanted none of it. because it was not (wait for it...) purple or pink.
    le sigh.

  2. I wonder if that mother in the store with the 12 month old was me? My daughter has always had a preference it seems. She knows exactly what she wants even as early as 6 months. I did not give her a choice on purpose, the first time I asked her, I thought i was just playing a cute game with her. I did not expect her to really choose. But thats what she did. She sent out her chubby hand to grab the one she like! I even tried switching hands to see if she just reached for the more convenient one. Nope, she reached for the same dress about 5 different times!

  3. we’ve been giving Wolf two books to choose from at story time and he definitely has his preferences. I’ll hold up one that I know he hasn’t heard in awhile {or I know he doesn’t care for as much} and he never picks it. I think it’s fun to let him decide.

  4. I really admire you for this, already giving up this very short period of 'dressing up' that you have as a parent! ;) No, just kidding, I think it's a good thing to give your girl the chance to express her own preferences. My daughter is a few months older than yours, and I'm not going to lie that I love dressing her, and hope she'll accept my choices for her for a wee bit longer (I've been buying some sizes ahead, so I really hope she does! ;)). But in the end, once I feel that she want to decide for her own, I know I will follow her in that. I wanted to say that my daughter Rosa doesn't have really strong preferences yet, only things she doesn't like (like hairy cardigans), but now I realize that she does, particularly in the shoe department. It's interesting, I think I must start paying some more attention to her preferences, because now that I think about it I realize that she does have a few!

  5. By the way: the shoes are not too bad... I'm sure you could have found worse! ;)

    1. Yeah, I'm curious: would you have offered her the choice between chameleon and something *really* hideous? Because I would have been tempted, just to see, and then there's no way I would have bought something I hated. I'm a mean mummy.

  6. we've started doing this at nighttime with books too. finn definitely makes it clear which one he wants to read (and sometimes he chooses both :)). i'm going to start trying this with clothes too... giving choices seems great for all sorts of reasons (plus i've heard it cuts down on the meltdowns. and who doesn't love that!).

  7. hehe cheech is my kinda girl- i would have definitely chosen tasty treat :)

    it's amazing how babies already have opinions and preferences, and when given the chance to communicate them, they do! i hate when people say of toddlers "they are becoming a little person". They already are a little person, from the very beginning! We just have to give them a chance to show it.

  8. This reminds me of an episode from when I was about 17. I went as an 'au pair' in England (I'm French). For breakfast, the mother asked the 3-year-old “Do you want these cereals, or those?” The kid asked for one kind, which she served him. Then he fussed and wouldn’t eat because he would have preferred the other kind after all. The mum threw away the cereals and milk and gave him the other kind. She asked him “Do you want the bowl with the little cows or the bowl with the little hens?”He required one of the bowls, and guess what happened next…
    In my opinion, choice is great as long as it doesn't arrive to that extent.

  9. I have given my boys the choice a lot, and they almost always go with which ever one I wouldn't have picked! You should see the "summer" shoes my son is rocking right now. They are awful! But he choose them and is completely happy with them so it's all that matters!

  10. Cheechy, I would have picked tasty treat too. xo

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