By Feature Writer Rebecca Nelson Lubin
Wednesday they had pajama day at my charge’s school. The flyer that the teachers sent home announcing the upcoming pajama day included a picture of my almost four-year-old charge, clad in his favorite navy GAP fleece pajamas and proclaimed that on December 8th all the preschool children were invited to wear their pajamas to school too, as he does every single day. This pajama habit began just shortly after he turned two. He told us he liked to be cozy during the day, and seriously, who could argue with that? I have no problem with indulging him because sadly, this pajama fetish is not going to last much longer. Some day soon he will grow a little more, realize that everyone else is wearing clothes to school, and fall in with the herd. And I for one will miss the old days, when footsie pajamas topped off with crocs was the height of his fashion sense.
I’ve always found it adorable when pre-schoolers begin to dress themselves. It’s truly a time of unadulterated expression, before the filters of society have a chance to creep into their little brains and they begin to censor themselves. I once Nannied for a little girl who loved ballet, and at three she dressed in a tutu every single day – with several costume changes every few hours – and wore out her ballet shoes by wearing them to the park. She never took a class. It was simply what she liked to wear. My darling Sierra received a “ball gown” when she was four and she donned it appropriate wear for the backyard trampoline, no matter how many times her father told her it was to wear at Christmas to see “The Nutcracker.” The older brother of Pajama Boy would cringe to be reminded now, at the mature age of ten and a half – but when he was five, he would only dress in Halloween type costumes. The cop one was his favorite, and there were many walks downtown with him in full dress and sporting a utility belt with a pretend service revolver, handcuff, walkie – talkie and a little plastic Billy Club. To anyone who dared to tell him looked adorable got a stink eyes stare, a gun drawn on them and orders to turn around slowly and place their hands behind their backs.
Perhaps it’s us adults who need to let go a little and not put the little children in our lives into pretty little boxes. Yesterday I played for two hours with the sixteen month old little sister of Pajama Boy. What did I do? I followed her around with a pretty silk bow and a tutu pleading, “Don’t you want to look pretty?”
She kept playing with her books, rocking her applesauce-stained sweatpants and telling me, “No.”
Perhaps she’ll be the sort of little girl I was, only wanting to dress in her older brother’s hand me downs instead of the dresses my mother kept buying me. My older brother would only wear the color beige, because that was the color of our Dad’s car. I’m sure my mother wasn’t the only parent to wash the same pair of pants every night. I know I’ve clocked many hours in front of the dryer, waiting for that one favorite green shirt to be ready to wear. Again.
Give me a kid in a cape any day. I’ll always resonate with the kid with the independent fashion sense. Even if the shirt is inside out and the pants are on backwards. And he can’t move his feet because he’s stuck both down one pant leg.
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/