Sometimes you are able to influence other people. Other times it is extremely difficult. You may influence someone in an unintended way. Or, when you are not even looking, not even trying, you influence by accident.
My four year old daughter is a sassy one. She is strong-willed, opinionated, a fast & loud talker, extremely social – always looking to connect with another human being and have a conversation – especially with little people like her. She is one to watch in my book, also, one to BE watched if you know what I mean. Her own brand of trouble hovers around her.
Over the course of the summer I have enjoyed our time together as I take her to the pool a couple times a week for swimming lessons, then afterwards I let her swim until she drops the remainder of the evening. She flits, she floats, she flies away in the pool as she talks to every kid that will talk back to her, shares their toys (yes, takes their toys to share back with them), and shows no fear.
It has been interesting to watch the difference in her attitude towards food and fitness and how it differs from my twelve year old son. I truly believe it is due to my personal attitude toward the same at the two-to-four year old influential time period. My son gravitates naturally toward burgers and naps, where my daughter likes fruits & veggies and loves to run around and play. Certainly lots of twelve year olds go the same route as they hit 7th grade, but I see clear differences in how my daughter is at age four and how my son was back then.
The other appeal about my little daughter – who doesn’t love to go shopping for a little girl who wear a size 4? The clothes out there for that size and age are darling – so easy to create a wardrobe for a girl that makes the closet burst at the seams. Some of the fashion is a bit too edgy – it seems that the size 4-7 girls clothing starts to replicate women’s fashion from the bikinis to the low-cut jeans. We do not go that route! However, I am a total sucker for the Target C9 girls fitness wear. There are yoga capris, tank tops, warm-ups, tennis skirts. The stuff is really darn cute.
Last fall I picked up a black warm-up suit with white side stripes in a breathable mesh for the girl (as I love to call her). To layer underneath, a black breathable Under Amour type t-shirt with a star design on the front and faux-layered white long sleeves underneath. She took one look as was OK with it, not overly excited, but she did wear it. A feat for a picky girl.
This spring the worst happened. The zipper of the warm-up jacket broke. And with how Target moves through merchandise, there was no hope to replace it. We kept it around for awhile since it was warm out and she really didn’t need to wear the thing anyway. But once we hit time for garage sale/closet clean out this summer, it had to go. Looking back – wow – that was a mean, heartless mom moment. I mean, who cares if the zipper is broken? But, we discussed and got rid of it anyway. She had been doing OK with the tennis skirts and tank tops for most weeks up until she came across the star shirt in her closet a few weeks ago and demanded the zipper jacket.
There is no zipper jacket. Remember? We talked about it and decided we should get rid of it because it was broken? (She’s FOUR. I suck.)
For the last several weeks every trip to Target I have glanced at the girls C9 fitness wear every time I go, in hopes that fall would bring some new selections to curb the girl’s need for warm-up gear. To my surprise and delight – this past weekend – Target came through! They have an almost identical black with white stripe warm-up outfit in girls’ C9 fitness wear for the Fall! I grabbed the only sixe XS in haste and purchased right away, price being no object (although, it’s Target, come on!).
I had been redeemed! The girl was thrilled, put the outfit on right away. And proceeded to wear it the next day, too. And the next. And the next. (Squeezed ONE washing in.) Needless to say, I am horrified to take her to preschool everyday in the exact same outfit, also one that is not weather appropriate – long sleeves, black, jacket?!? She is a sweaty little red-faced fireball each day when I pick her up – warm-up jacket on all day, with it zipped to the absolute top.
So what do I do to remedy this situation? I spy a CORAL version of the warm-up suit at Target yesterday while running in to pick up some gift wrap and a card. Again, I hurriedly grab the XS as if it is the last item of clothing in the store and dash to the checkout. Super score, super spoiled girl, she is ecstatic and for the first time is four days I get her to wear different clothes.
Through all of this, I am partly annoyed, partly amused by it all. And now, as I look at beyond its face, I am partly proud of the influence I have had on my little daughter. She wants to eat fruit and veggies. She wants to swim. She wants to run. And she wants to wear cute, fashionable workout apparel. Go girl! I am right there with you.