For the last year or so, Lakin has taken such pride in dressing herself. She has opinions, strong opinions, about what to wear. It's not always seasonally appropriate and most definitely it's her own artistic flare, but it bring her great joy to pick out all articles of clothing for each day.
This is all fine and good. It is adorable to take your three-year-old to Costco while wearing polka dots, stripes and three tutus layered atop one another. I'm cool with this, really, that's not the issue.
The issue became when Lakin would tear her drawers apart to put together the most fabulous of ensembles and leave her room a catastrophic mess every single time she dressed herself. Oh, and the four to five wardrobe changes that occurred throughout the day (not an exaggeration). Clothes were strewn about her room and all over my house. It was not uncommon for me to come across some underwear on my kitchen floor, a pair of leggings stuffed into the couch cushions and socks on socks on socks in every corner of the house. I was losing it and Lakin would promise to be more careful, to keep her drawers in order, to put her dirty clothes in the hamper... but alas, she's three and those promises, they be a empty.
In one dramatic moment I threatened to take all the clothes away, out of her room and out of her grasp, if she did not begin treating her things and our home with more respect. Later that same day, I opened the door of her room to find that my little heart to heart had no affect on my little fashionista. The drawers we so diligently put back together were a straight mess. As was everything in her room. If it had a place on a shelf, it was on the floor.
It was in that moment that I took everything out of her room. Everything. I put her clothes in a plastic bin to be dispensed daily by yours truly. No more picking out her clothes. Only one outfit and one pair of pajamas a day. The books and the toys found new homes in the playroom. Lakin's room now holds a twin size bed, an empty dresser, a digital clock, and a very empty closet. Next step is a padded cell.
Sunday was the day we cleared her room out. There were some tears. Lakin insisted that we couldn't take her stuff out of her room. Bahahahaha. After a few hours of no wardrobe change and no chance of a new outfit, my resourceful daughter found her preschool backpack, removed the back up outfit that the teachers require you to pack in case of an accident at school, and put on her neon yellow skinny jeans (the ones she never let me put on her when I would suggest them) and a purple top. I had to laugh. Even with no clothes in her room, she found a way to change her outfit. Desperate times call for desperate measures ... to the tune of too tight skinny jeans.
The next morning she had new socks on when she came upstairs. She'd found them under her bed. Stuffed there months ago during one of her major clothing rampages.
Points for persistence, my dear. We've now found and removed all of Lakin's secret clothing stashes.
When I was a teenager, I remember my mom telling me about a man she worked with, he'd taken his son's dirty clothes, the ones he'd continually left on his bedroom floor instead of putting them in a hamper like they'd asked, and laid them out on his front lawn. I used to think he was mean for embarrassing his kids like that. I now have a new appreciation for guerrilla parenting tactics like that. I'm putting it in my back pocket for the teen years. Because, sometimes, you gotta make things a bit uncomfortable for your kiddies.
This momma ain't afraid to get a little unconventional up in here.