Monday, May 17, 2010

Making Memories Monday & Montessori Monday: Individuality is Awesome but Bye Bye Matching Outfit Photo Ops

Memories, Sweet Memories...
My grandma was one of those moms...
My mom is one of those moms...
And I am one of those moms...

You might be one of those moms, too...


Love matching outfits...


Especially on babies and young children  (but quite honestly, if it were really up to me, at a bare minimum, would like to have coordinating outfits for the older ones, including parents, for photo ops and the like...holidays, special occasions, etc...)

When pregnant with Big Bro, I went out and bought matching outfits...for little baby-to-be and me...

Yes, was the proud owner of not one but three sets of matching mommy nursing nightgowns and baby gowns.
These outfits spoke to me so much so  that one of these three sets  did not even need to wait to be purchased by someone else...I bought them for myself.
My mom, who also has a thing for matching, bought the other two sets.
Somehow, it just made perfect sense that my newborn and I would be all matching, as if this feat would tell the world that yes, indeed, he is my son...like nursing would not have clued people into that...

Well, it continued from there...from matching mom and first born nightgowns to matching outfits for Big Bro and Little Bro.
Those matching days are coming to an end...knew that it could not be forever, just did not expect that it would happen so young, so soon...

Recently, Big Bro, Little Bro, and I went shopping, as Big Bro told me that he wanted to get something special to wear to his co-op presentation...

He wanted to choose it for himself...which he did.
He chose a rather cute t-shirt...a light blue shark shirt and a pair of plaid shorts.
Then, he went and almost out of habit, helped me find the same shirt for Little Bro, as Big Bro has been doing this drill long enough that he knows the routine...
He knows that Mom has a thing for matching outfits for "special occasions", be it a field trip, a family reunion, a holiday get together, or a photo session to send to relatives.

Well, Monday morning rolled around and it was time for the boys to get dressed for their co-op and for Big Bro's presentation.
As Big Bro was about to get dressed, he told me that he no longer wanted to match his little brother during co-op time...he was fine about matching Little Bro for the rest of the day, but did not want to match him during co-op.
 When Dear Hubby and I tried to ask him about this, Big Bro opened up and told us that a few of the bigger boys had commented to him that he matched his little brother and were they twins and that made him feel badly about matching in front of them.

The only problem was that by this point, Little Bro had gotten himself dressed and was so incredibly happy to have on his new "sharkie shirt" and was so psyched that he and his brother were going to match for their special day at co-op.

When Little Bro saw and heard that Big Bro did not want to match, Little Bro was devastated...

So, it really felt like a no-win situation, as Big Bro was making his first attempt at being an individual and Little Bro was still wanting to be viewed as part of the dynamic duo...

We tried to get the boys to work through this on their own without us giving too much input, but it was a challenge...

Finally, Big Bro made a decision...

He decided that he would dress in a matching shirt but would wear the new shorts while Little Bro could wear a different pair of shorts but still have on the matching shirt.

Little Bro was thrilled that they both sported the shark shirts, so all's well that ends well.

Phew...settled...

So, that is how it worked...and to Big Bro's pleasant surprise, the older kids who had before asked him about matching complimented him on his cool shirt and his shorts.
They also complimented Little Bro for his matching shirt, but did not do it in a way that made either of my two feel silly for having matching shirts. Thank you, Boys...

What I am coming to realize is that as Big Bro matures, he is developing more and more into his own person who wants to make more decisions for himself and that needs to be respected by us as his parents.
Someday soon, there is going to come a day when they whole matching outfits will probably stop altogether, unless it is a uniform for a sports team or something like that...

Peanut Butter Cup Time...the Montessori tie-in...
 Following the child and being respectful towards a child are the key tenets in the Montessori philosophy.
 So, when Big Bro decides that he wants to move on from being dressed like his little brother in photos, then that will have to be that, even though I love having them match.
 
Big Bro is in his last year of the Montessori inspired 3-6 cycle, so next year, he will be moving on not only as far as his selection of outfits but also his selection of work.

It will be a little different in a Montessori inspired homeschool, in that he will still see 3-6 materials on the shelves, primarily for Little Bro, so if he wants to occasionally go back and revisit those works, that will be his choice...but as he sees the new work and has new lesson presentations for the new work, I am pretty confident that just as he is starting to strike out on his own and make decisions about whether or not to match, he will make the same sorts of decisions about whether or not to choose newer 6-9 work or stay with the more comfy 3-6.

Please be sure to check out:
Jennifer's  Making Memories Monday link-ups,
Jody's Montessori Monday link-ups,
and Nicole's Montessori Monday link-ups.
















  Happy Monday, everyone!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

So it is happening. Sorry Mom. Just about the same time as Chris and Tim both decided to make their own choices. We didn't have too many identical outfits but they definitely wanted individuality. The chicks are flexing their wings. You are an awesome Mom and Ryan is one amazing Big Bro!! Grandma

The Sunshine Crew said...

Thanks for the comment and the compliment:)

Was going to go through Dear Hubby's photos to see if I could round up one of him and his Big Bro in either matching or coordinating duds.

Have a happy day today and see you in a few weeks...we love you!

Discovering Montessori said...

I also dressed my two daughters alike for a long time. Their three years apart. My oldest decided when she was about seven that she wanted her own style. I still sometimes try while were out shopping, it dosen't work.

Jennifer said...

Ah, yes, I'm one of those Moms, too. In case you hadn't noticed from the photos on my blog! Fortunately, my 9yo really doesn't care what he wears much less what his brother wears, so I'm good for another year or two. In my case, I fear it is going to be my younger one who rebels. Sigh.

Evelyn / 2 Pequenos Traviesos said...

OMG! I'm one of those moms too! I dress my 2 rascals alike on holidays and special ocasions. But to be honest I thought I was being "corny" by doing this. Thanks for sharing this and preparing me for when they decide not to dress alike. Also, thanks for your lovely comments over my blog.
Hugs from PR

Chef Penny said...

I love matching outfits! Alas, I got a boy and a girl almost 5 years apart so no matching for me. lol I have to settle for coordinating. Fun post!

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