Random gratitude

Today I'm thankful for God's gifts of patience and undershirts.

A couple of months ago, Natalie decided that she no longer liked wearing, well, most of her clothes. She stopped wearing pants, shorts, shirts, even skirts that she'd been wearing just the week before. All she wanted to wear was one particular dress. With a little digging, we found in her dresser two more dresses (that we'd used as night gowns) that would be suitable for Natalie to wear.

I tried to walk the fine line between constantly badgering her with, "We're leaving in 5 minutes whether you're dressed or not," and, "Okay, sweetie, we'll stay home until your one outfit is washed and dried ... again."

We went to several stores and found one or two dresses she liked in the fitting room but rejected once home. Target supplied more hits than misses, and eventually I was satisfied that she had at least enough satisfactory dresses to last a week between laundry loads.

Somewhere in the middle of the dress-refusal episode I asked her about wearing shorts under the dresses -- she cringed at the thought. I didn't think about undershirts until she discovered a hand-me-down tanktop in her dresser and declared it an undershirt. That gave me a little hope, but I remained frustrated under the surface.

I was particularly frustrated about a wonderful find of Old Navy dresses on super clearance that I offered to my oldest daughter. She summarily rejected them all. I meant to take that pile of dresses back to the store, but didn't get around to it. I had held onto the minute hope that Natalie might change her mind. The few times I brought it up with her -- "you should try on the dresses from Old Navy again" -- she refused.

Well, this morning, I was feeling hopeful again. And Natalie with delight and glee tried on and loved every dress in the Old Navy bag, thanks to the hand-me-down undershirt. She also loved the two pairs of shorts I purchased for her to wear under the dresses. 

I'm thankful for all my friends who've been there, done that with their kids and loved them through their persistent quirks. We're raising little human beings who have to live in their own skin and learn how to express their tastes. It's frustrating, especially when we seem incapable of convincing them of the big-picture importance of obeying parents and just helping the family get out the door in the morning.

I don't know what caused Natalie to freeze up when it came to wardrobe variety a couple of months ago, but I love her, and we'll both remember the blessing of patience and undershirts.

Andrea,
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Tuesday 13 September 2011 at 1:20 pm
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