Grier got these shoes at the weekend and they've been a bit of a revelation for us.
My philosophy on kids clothes has always been the same. I like to buy them nice clothes and then let them do what they want in them.
Rarely has anything ever been marked or stained beyond repair and I would never want their activities or explorations to be hampered because they are supposed to be keeping their clothes clean. Does that actually work anyway?
I suspect this is the opposite to the way lots of parents feel but it works for us. I'm hoping that having nice clothes will give them a sense of pride in their appearance but I would never want them to obsess over what they (or anyone else) is wearing. My Dad is always, always smart and seeing him so is reassuring for me. Dressing appropriately for an occasion is good manners to me - making an effort for those you love and respect. I digress.
Grier is beyond delighted with these trainers. She loves having new shoes - I think most kids probably do - but these are different. She is absolutely convinced that they are helping her to run faster and jump higher. They have imbued her with powers that patent mary-janes never did. In her mind they are the most fantastic shoes because with them she is armed to meet the world and take it on.
I'm now wondering if I've been dressing her for me rather than for adventure and fun and life as a two year old.
I'm not about to go hardcore gender neutral but after my rant about toys I feel like I need to think about this a bit more carefully. When asked what she wants to wear Grier almost always says 'dress'. She does have trousers or 'leggies' as we call them around her but often says no and as long as she wears some clothes I'm really not bothered. Also having a child with strong feelings about what she wears is new territory for me as Brodie couldn't care less what he's clothed in, especially now the pink phase seems to be over.
Brodie wears fairy wings regularly and Grier sports hard hats with aplomb so I think we've made an effort to let the kids know clothes and toys are just clothes and toys. I'm not sure if these differences between having her own ideas about what she wants to wear are down to being a girl and being encouraged to be girly or just a personality thing. I'm almost certain that I don't comment on what she wears, or focus on her clothes any more than I do to Brodie. There are a million more interesting things to talk about.
These trainers though, they got me thinking. Do I need to be more vigilant about taking the focus away from what Grier wears and more towards what she can do? Thoughts on this one friends?