Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Naked Protest

I had the boys all dressed and ready to go this morning. Henry was in a bad mood, but it was improving. I went downstairs to finish making myself reasonably presentable. When I came back up, I found my eldest sitting on the stairs completely naked, his clothes piled in a heap in front of him. I shrieked in disbelief. What are you doing?! He looked up at me with the expression of a protester coming face to face with riot police for the first time, that moment when The Man arrives and you have to stand behind whatever it is you're standing up against. That makes me The Man, which isn't such a great notion, but I can live with it. His cause? Choice. I had made the fatal mistake of choosing his shirt for him instead of letting him choose. The kid's learning to make his own choices. He's learning which choices are his to make and which will still be decided for him. And he's realizing that the choices that belong to him are precious few, and he's just not going to let them be taken away just because it's more convenient for somebody else, like The Man. He didn't want the striped shirt, goddammit. He wanted the froggy shirt.

3 comments:

camikaos said...

power to the people. down with the striped shirt tyrants!

I've so had that moment... only it was a pink shirt she wanted...

RMatney said...

That you responded to this protest by seeing the bigger picture, the mechanic at work, and seeing it with love and humor is so admirable. Many may have engaged the power struggle and taken it as an opportunity to assert absolute dominance and control. Much respect to the Dad-wisdom on display.

David said...

We know oh-to-well the struggle of kid and clothes. Thankfully Jackson has recently become slightly less concerned with such things. For the last year and a half, though, fights over sleeveless shirts in the winter and pajamas that are way too small have been our daily fare. In fact, Jackson still wears onesies. He's now 3.5 years old and has come up with the concept of 'up' shirts and 'sleeping' shirts. The up shirt being the one you wear when you're not in bed. Sleeping shirts are old onesies with buttoms at the bottom that long since lost all ability to be closed on our tall little boy. They are probably still 1T or 2T type clothes that long ago should have been packed away. Instead, they are donned nightly as part of the sleep ritual. No regular pajamas will do, no matter how many cars are on them or how cute they are or how well they fit.