You always hear moms saying "they will never wear that character crap." I'll admit that I was one of them. I thought it was tacky and went against the "style" I wanted Molly to wear. Seriously. Her style. I never felt alone in these thoughts. Most the moms I knew agreed that they weren't cute and would avoid them at all cost.
Fast forward to now. In her closet she has a Hello Kitty shirt, Bubble Guppies shirt, and a Dora dress. If she could she would have more. She can spot Dora from a mile away. I really wish stores would stop putting random Dora stuff by the produce. Clearly I am trying to avoid her at all cost. It doesn't end in clothes though. Instead of choosing one of those over the top adorable DIY birthday themes, we are going with Dora.
I had every intention of having one of those glitzy theme parties. I had a chevron romper, popcorn bags, and a couple other circus themed cuteness. I had searched pinterest for hours looking for ideas to rip off. Then one night as I was laying in bed looking through circus pins it hit me. She has no idea what the circus is. Sure she likes animals, but she won't be blown away by my efforts.
So I scratched it all. I got on Amazon and ordered a bunch of plastic table cloths, table toppers, and matching Dora everything. Even an insanely gaudy Dora wall hanging made out of a trash bag.
This is where I know I chose right. We started to tell Molly how she was going to have a Dora birthday party. You should have seen her face light up. Any time we mention party or birthday she says "Dohya!?" At the moment she is not allowed in the office because it's birthday head quarters. She will wait at the door saying "Dohya, birthday, presents." She's excited, and I know on July 6th when she walks out to see all of her plastic matching crap she is going to pee her pants with excitement.
Isn't that what having a kid is about? Doing the things you know they will love because them being happy is the best? I'm not saying if you have an insanely adorable hand crafted birthday party you are losing at parenting. I'm saying when did having kids become about dressing them up to reflect who we are and what we want them to like. When did having their room be to your standards of design become bigger than what they actually are interested in. Who cares if they want a shirt or a bed spread with some cartoons face on it. The years when they are begging for cartoon crap are so fleeting. You have so much time to try and get them to like skinny jeans and sunglasses.
I won't lie. Toddlers dressed up like little people is pretty cute, but sometimes I just think, seriously? They look like they can't move. Where is the balance between show pony and kid? That's the thing. There just needs to be a balance between letting them be what they want and putting what you want on them.
See to me her loving Dora and freaking out every time she sees her plastered on a shirt is her first moments in self expression. When she picks out her shoes she wears them whether they are what I wanted or not. When she brings me her clothes, that's what she is wearing. When she wants an extremely gaudy shirt with bubbles all over it and her favorite characters she can have it. Just like when she's in high school she can pin a wolf tail to her parachute pants or chose to wear an at least mildly appropriate length skirt.