School has been in session for one week today, which means one week of wearing uniforms for the Dillow girls. Despite a summer of looming dread about them (and a very unfortunate conversation at Maddie's school orientation that got us all riled up about the whole principle of uniforms in the first place) the first day of school went OK.
Note: I am not a believer in ironing children's clothes. There is A LOT of ironing involved in school uniform wearing, unless one stands at the door of the dryer ready to pounce on the contents within 4.2 seconds of drying completion, and even then it's not a guarantee that the items will be passable without ironing. And you might guess how good I am at pouncing on the contents of the dryer within 4.2 seconds. But I digress.
Maddie is not a believer in khaki pants (it is written in her DNA; she has inexplicably been this same way since she was 2, when she refused to wear her cute embroidered-on-the-knee khaki pants from Target) but is otherwise doing OK overall. I think it's because she's so tired from having to get up at 5:45 am—she has no energy to grumble about it too much. She'll wear the long shorts and capris, and is hoping to make it through the winter without needing to purchase a pair of long pants. We'll see.
Gracie, who I thought for sure would be the most affected by uniforms, is hanging in there, mostly. She struggles terribly with the tucked-in-shirt rule, and I've caught her messing with the seams of her socks a few times—a guaranteed warning sign for clothing/sensory stress for her—but we're trying to just ignore it and hope she'll manage it on her own without it becoming a big deal (best practice in her case). She is in her uniform clothes for less than three minutes after school.
Bee, in front of the Seabees building at Barksdale AFB, July 2013
And then we come to Angry Bee.
It has been building for this one, the more tired she gets (and getting up before 9:00 am makes this one very, very tired).
This morning I told her to get a move on, and get her uniform on before breakfast. She was not interested in wearing said uniform, but I reminded her it is not an option so cooperate. Or something to that effect. Five minutes later, she was not yet downstairs for breakfast. Three minutes after that, she was still not there. I went upstairs to monitor the uniform-putting-on and she was sitting on her bed, in her pajamas, arms crossed, frowning with such power that her face will surely be sore today.
If she had been a cartoon, she would have had steam coming out of her ears and maybe a cartoon ring through her nose, like an angry bull.
If she had been a Norman Rockwell painting, she would have been painfully adorable in the midst of her angry snit, forever recorded as the little girl fuming in her flowered pajamas.
But if she were a real girl, it would have been 7:10 and there would now be 20 minutes remaining to get dressed, eat, brush hair, brush teeth, put shoes on, and get out the door.
Bridget has such a long and storied history of being good-natured that it catches us off guard when she isn't. As in, we don't really have a game plan for what to do when she refuses to put on her school clothes. With Maddie, we can just tell her to get over it—and she'll either get over it, or she won't get over it but will still do whatever she needs to do anyway. With Gracie, we don't really have a game plan either, but at least we know by now how to steel ourselves for any number of a hundred adverse reactions to things (or sometimes, no adverse reaction at all. It's all a big mystery).
All this to say: it's all very character-building, this putting Dillows girls in uniforms business. Ironic, since the Dillow male in the house has been wearing uniforms without complaint since 1990 : )