Clothing preference in toddlers – “Look at my new dress” that I hated five minutes ago

Over a year ago, when my friend told me that her then 2-year-old was expressing strong preferences about clothes she wore to daycare, I was really confused. As a child, I remember I didn’t express clothing preferences to my mom until I was seven years old. So age two seemed very premature to me.

With Kaia in the last few months, she’s definitely expressed affinity to certain pieces of clothing over others. Most of the time, she’s pretty indifferent, but when she has an opinion, she really really has that opinion. For instance, she loves this little knit/crochet cardigan that Chris’s cousin handmade for her. She loves all vests and pull-over dresses. And she especially loves all her dresses; the bigger the fluff and tulle, the better. She’s been gifted at least seven or eight different tutu dresses, so she certainly has no shortage of tulle. She doesn’t seem to understand why she cannot wear the same dress, pants, or shorts multiple days in a row. The concept of being “dirty” has not quite developed in her head just yet.

The funny thing is, sometimes, you just have to put your foot down and make her wear something. There is no way I’m letting her just wear the 10 percent of things she has in her closet that she loves. So, I make her wear certain things despite her tantrums and crying. She needs to wear all of these nice clothes that she’s so privileged to have… before she outgrows all of them. I do NOT like or tolerate waste. And somehow, just somehow, after I manage to get the new dress or sweater on her, she ends up loving it. I put on a new dress for her on Friday, which she refused and said she didn’t want — always a struggle the first time. She even tolerated the matching headband (a total shock since she hasn’t worn a headband in over a year!) and didn’t rip it off. And when she emerged from her bedroom with it, Kaia twirled around in her new blue, yellow, and white dress, and said to Suma, “Look at my new dress! I like it.”

Welp, that’s Pookster the Punkster for you.

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