I've been amazed with both kiddos, as I've watched their preferences develop. I'm not against their having preferences; it's just that they're always a little earlier than I expect. Today I put sandals on the Littler One, but then he found his new tennies and very clearly (and yet completely non-verbally) let me know that he wanted those instead. I gently told him no, since we were rushing out the door, and that we can do tennies tomorrow. And I was yet again amazed that my 16 month old cares about what is on his feet. It made me happy to see him developing more and more into who God made him to be.
This week's theme is shoes. Since it's summertime, we've been putting both boys in sandals most days. There have been days, however, that His Highness says, "I want socks and shoes!!" Loudly. Sometimes we convince him that sandals are a better idea, sometimes we outright force the issue for convenience (on the way to the pool, for example), and other times we say, "OK, go get your socks and tennies." I am very much in favor of letting him choose that sort of thing for the most part. This week has been interesting though. Yesterday he said, "I want socks & sandals." Not just regular socks, though. Awesomely-awesome red, white, & blue striped socks. With sandals.
Now I will admit right now that this sort of taste (or lack thereof) comes from me. Up until the past year or so it was one of my most comfortable footwear choices to wear socks and Birks. I haven't done it in a while, but I'm not guaranteeing that I never will again, either.
The Cat Daddy and I both really try to tread that line of grace. We're very much in favor of rules and boundaries, but it has to make sense, you know? We don't want to spend all this time pounding down rules that, 20 years down the road, will have us wondering why we cared what color shirt he wore or what sort of product he wanted to stick in his hair for 6 months, or whatever. So, as long as he's settling down and going to sleep in a reasonable amount of time, we allow him to take his cars to bed with him, and we let him run naked around the house (when there are no guests over), and choose his clothes most days, if he wants to. As long as he's aware of the consequences. When he puts his shoes on the wrong feet I say, "Hey, those are on the wrong feet," and His Highness says, "I like them that way," and I say, "OK, as long as you're aware of it. If they start hurting your feet, just switch them back." If he wants ME to put them on the wrong feet, though, I won't do it. I say, "No, if you want them on the wrong feet, you'll have to do that yourself." And sometimes he does.
So, regarding the socks and sandals thing, I said, "Are you aware that socks and sandals aren't very stylish? People might laugh a little 'cuz it looks a little funny." And he replied, "That's OK, I like to wear socks & sandals." And I figured with an attitude like that, he could handle it.
So I helped him with his socks and sandals...