Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Creative Space: A Last Ditched Attempt at Clothing the Kid



The smallest has thus far waltzed through the majority of Autumn almost entirely naked. Certainly without sleeves. Whenever there are inevitable scenarios requiring clad arms and legs, it is necessary to factor in an additional half hour for ‘getting dressed’ negotiation. This is not because I am an always negotiating, walkover parent. This is because this child is as wilful as I. This is because this Houdini-kid could escape a fleece-lined straitjacket.



I have had enough experience as a parent of very smalls, to fathom that life runs smoother when you choose your battles. This battle ain’t worth it. So the toddler chooses what she wears and it’s usually all entirely ghastly and aimed at a heatwave and when (if) she finally declares herself chilly, I pull out the the mobile back-up wardrobe.



On Mondays, the small goes to child care, wearing clothing of her choice, with back up warmth stashed in the bag. Upon pick up, last Monday, I immediately noticed the kid was wearing sleeves. No legs, but sleeves at least. I congratulated the fill-in carer person on the sleeve victory and received a small lecture on control and who’s the one wearing the pants in the house anyway? (quite obviously, not the toddler).

The words of the lecturing carer wafted in one ear and quicksticks out the other – but may well have planted a small seed on the way through. The next day I peeked into an op shop looking for a fish tank. Ours has sprung a sneaky leak and any minute now there threatens another ghastly fish death scenario. The ghastly fish death scenario is increasingly probable, because I flatly refuse to buy anything other than secondhand for a fish who suddenly turned on his comrades and ate them for breakfast. Naturally, not an op shop fish tank to be found – not even a plausible punch bowl – but there was a soft, warm, mauve, size 16, ladies jumper. With sparkles.

It took longer to pull out the sewing machine, than to morph the (pre-felted) sparkly jumper into a toddler dress. There was none of that ironing of seams, no finishing of sleeve cuffs, no decorative bizzo – not until toddler wearing and proof of approval.





Two hours of continuous wear later, the kid was deemed won over and I took the dress back, to spend ten minutes finishing the seams and turning the original cuffs into pockets and talking myself out of accidentally removing all the sparkly stuff and remaining focused on the big warm and fuzzy toddler picture.



The kid loves it. She says it’s ‘BEWDIFUL’. She carries it around and snuggles it in bed. She never, ever, not ever, (not even when hell freezes over), wants to wear it again.

You might want to invest in an urn for continuous tea drinking sustenance on Thursdays. There are enough Creative Spaces to be found via Kirsty’s to keep you going all day and into the night...

53 comments:

zofia said...

Oh so lovely, the kid has taste. Excellent transformation! Quick ones are often best.

Mandy said...

Love the jumper/dress. She looks happy!

I can totally relate on the choosing your battles with a toddler. It's just better not to fight over something as insignificant as what to wear. I too would be getting the lecture by the sound of it! I now give the toddler a choice of a couple of outfits & that way he chooses from my choice. I know it won't last as he gets even more independant like his mother! lol

Kirsty said...

& now she has a lovely soft "blankie" for nap time. That's a win in my book...no matter what battle you started out fighting. x

Cherie said...

Oh Bew-di-ful kid, story, your description, your writing - totally made me smile and adoring of her spirit and yours as well for being such a brilliant Mum ;) Still smiling ;-))

Lola Nova said...

Hilarious! and also bewdiful.
Yes, I am of the camp that figures, if she has gotten herself dressed (naked babe on the loose sort, she is) and is in no real danger of frost bite, then we are good to go (with her own back up back-pack clothes in tow).
Here's hoping a piscean death shall be averted.

Michelle said...

As the mother of a wilful toddler, the lecturing caregiver can stick her advice! Pleased your little one has a snuggly new blanket - at least she can cuddle it to keep warm.

GemmaJoy said...

Classic. Love it! Thanks for sharing (it made me laugh). I hope she wears it again.... or maybe she likes the unfinished look.

beccasauras said...

Those photos are gorgeous, especially the scabby knee one! And bewdiful it is! Maybe tell her she can only wear her 'bewdiful' dress to care, ot threaten to take it back if she doesn't wear it- I have all the same dramas, I try it all!

Stephanie and Carlos said...

I think my expressions tell my than my words ever will... seriously wonderful!!

xo Steph

74 Lime Lane said...

i have a 6yo boy who is still wearing shorts and t-shirts!
such a great use of the jumper ~ i'm sure she will come around when she realises how bewdiful she looks in her new dress

Mel said...

Gold star for effort there Tania. It is really cute. I'd wear it. My five year old still insists on "no sleeves" in winter and pretty much wears a fur coat all through summer (can you hear me grinding my teeth?). Oh I was also grinding my teeth at the "helpful carers" comments ... ask her to come over and help you in the mornings getting everyone out the bloody door! *grind grind*

Little Ted Canvas said...

They sure are stubborn & determined little people aren't they! Your dress is truely brilliant! What a fabulous idea, clever you! I would never have thought if it & I love the pockets.

Selina said...

Oh, what a shame! It looks so bewdiful on her!

Umatji said...

ach! blogger ate my comment - no doubt all the more witty and interesting for being eaten. Great dress and post was the summation however!

Stomper Girl said...

Gosh that was a good idea. But why does she never, ever, not ever want to wear it again? I thought she liked it? Is it the pockets?

Amanda said...

Don't you love the lectures. Sometimes it may sway us a tiny bit but those darn kids have a mind of their own. That's not such a bad thing is it?

Love the finished product, I am sure she will change her mind. Hopefully at least once more so we can see more pics :)

Christie said...

LOVE the dress, can't believe she won't wear it!

Glad to hear we are not the only one's who has (HAD) fish that turned on each other, when the 'last man standing' dies I shall give you the fishbowl!

june at noon said...

Oh, am I ever there with you. Most days, my three-year-old wears whatever she likes. It's not worth the battle, and I don't like stifling her creativity, anyway. Usually I can talk her into a pair of legwarmers under a skirt if it's chilly, and that's good enough. Great refashion you did--she looks so cute!

Ammie said...

This post is wonderful. Your small is adorable, willful personality and spunky smiles both. :) Hooray for the sweet and cozy toddler dress, er, cuddly.

teddybearswednesday said...

Dress and blanky?! Bonus!! As a blanky at least she will never grow out of it ( well not for some time at least anyway) and you work will go on being loved and appreciate ( and sucked perhaps too)
xo

Leah said...

Great remake. Looks oh so soft and cute too.

Fer said...

That's rooly trooly bewdiful!!

It's interesting how others are the expert at bringing up your child, clinic nurses are another fine example.... :P

Thea said...

Why would she want to wear something that isn't bewdiful? You just needed the right colour and sparkles mum!
x

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

I think people with "advice" forget/blockout how toddlers really work! Ignore them (the advice givers ... although it may help with my toddler too ?!?!?!) and plow on!
Laughed when I read about your fish. We had one years ago (the responsibility tester before kids) who changed his name by depol to Hannibal - he polished off 6!. They're a nasty business those fish!

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

that is my constant mantra "choose your battles"!
and my new favorite, an oldy, but a goody, "you've got to laugh or you'd just cry!".

Gina said...

So, so good... and if you sewed the cuffs down to the back you'd have yourself a little straight-jacket. Think she could get out of THAT?

I've put two orders in for W & C. Mauve dresses should work for them I think?

Kate said...

Oh but it is bewdifool! She is never, not ever going to be introduced to my 2 year old who would always rather be nudie but will still wear whatever I put on her. X

One Flew Over said...

That is one seriously fashionable re-fashion - no wonder the small is chuffed to bits.

Love it x

Liesl said...

Do we see the makings of a future slanket aficionado? The blurring of lines between garment and blanket is a slippery slope.

(But no matter which way you look at it, its a pretty cool refashion)

Madeline said...

So that bewdifool creation is now a snuggly?....leave it to a toddler. And, do you ever wonder if caregivers actually have children of their own? The rate at which they freely dispense unwanted (and kind of dumb) advice makes me think otherwise.

heather said...

oh man! i love what you did with that old sweater thing. my kids wear the pants in the family sometimes. and you know what? they should! cuz i am a royal f*** up sometimes, and i need to be run around and out in my place occasionally. phew! thank god for them strong willed ones!!!

jorth said...

Picking battles? SO VERY TRUE!

Chicken Willow said...

What a great job you've done! I love it.

Kylie said...

Gobsmacking competition has been declared! Gorgeous jumpy-dress Tania - gobsmackingly gorgeous, in fact. So much so that I entirely agree with the littlest miss that it is indeed far finer to snuggle ;) Kx

Cute as Buttons said...

Oh I like that..sparkles and all! And by the way, when did she grow up and turn into a little girl and not a wee babe? Looking delicious - clothed or not! Lisa x

Lauren said...

Fantastic Tania!! I've been having the same argument with little owlet who insists on wearing her wardrobe from two summers ago. Midriff tops in Tasmania in May are a bad idea. I reckon I'll be keeping an eye out at the op shop!

Neen said...

Awesome. I just love your post.
I recently achieved a similar Toddler/wool award myself when I convinced my son to wear a handmade green woollen jumper by declaring it was a Ninja turtle costume, now he wants to wear it everyday. :)

Sue said...

Thanks for today's best laugh........my sides are aching.

ecoMILF said...

It IS beautiful! Great idea. And I agree- pick your battles. She'll put something on if she's cold. She looks like she adores it so congrats on your victory! xo m.

CurlyPops said...

Hee hee... it really is bewdiful!

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

Brilliant! such are the arguments in our house about clothes that we now "negotiate" outfits the night before as Busy insists on getting dressed immediately upon waking I cannot cope with having an argument about it as soon as she wakes me up at 6am... she does wonders at day care - she will sleeve up for them.... and wear shoes... and eat avacado....

dillpickle said...

What is with little girls and sparkles?

But now to the point. A friend's 3 year old spent all of last winter dressed in silky boxers and t-shirts. ALL of last winter. Still flat refuses to wear anything her older brothers wouldn't wear, but I have seen her in a jumper already this season! Possibly the most stubborn child I've ever met when it comes to clothes, but a particular lovely child, otherwise!!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Too funny! Love the refashion. Knowing your own mind can be a brilliant trait in a teen - at least you know that she won't be swayed by peer pressure.

A Peppermint Penguin said...

bewdiful! She doesn't look frost bitten or likely to have pneumonia, so can't be that bad.

Good luck with the cannibal fish!

Cheers,
AJ

Anna Bartlett said...

Fantastic dress Tania. Sometimes the target market is cruel though. Lucky they're cute too.

Nikki said...

Love a spunky, willful kid, me.... well, I have one of my own (complete with lecturing child-carers).

Clever-clogs. I love the refashion as much as your wee one does.

Any idea how to get willful kids to wear socks?

Kylie said...

155 blogs to get around to this week - ahh - there goes my Friday.

Lovely dress - pitta that she is not ever ever going to wear it again.

Pick your battles and phh to the talking too -what would she know! She probably has not even had children yet (I can say this - my full time job pre Amelia was a childcare director and I can now say that I knew nothing back then)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Since gooseflesh and chattering teeth don't seem to bother her unduly , I'd leave it . Once it's no longer a power struggle , she might deign to wear a woolie .
And then find something else to battle over ! It's a fabulous age , isn't it !!

Anonymous said...

Tarn,
I can relate to your story on so many levels! Miss 2.8yo has very specific ideas about what she will or won't wear and yes it is usually impractical for our cold Melbourne weather. For some reason she does not want to wear tights or socks or pants.She will perform tantrums or just pull of the 'undesired' item.
I got one of those looks from the childcare worker today when she remarked on Miss 2's cold legs!
Just love the reinvented dress..do you take orders? Pretty please?
Love Jen xo

Catherine said...

Love the refashion - and hope she has a mirasculous change of mind, or puts it on by accident one day and remembers how good it feels!

michelle said...

i'll tell you what's bewdiful, she is. that first photo is adorable. i could sense the wilful disposition before i read a word. just think how well that determined personality will serve her in adolescence when she faces peers pressuring her

prashant said...

I love the refashion as much as your wee one does.
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Tas said...

Love the upcycling and total sympathy on the refusal to wear. I have a little diva at home too. Plus I had a tortoise who ate our pet fish...he ended up in eternal hell in a preschool tank. No forgive and forget from me!