Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's Not Cool

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Since when do little kids feel the need to make fashion statements?

Okay, in this house, since the age of about 2 1/2. Both the sons and the daughter.

One would think that daughter would prefer to dress a certain way, to reflect a certain image, regardless if she's eight or eighteen. From a young age, she has displayed a true fashion sense -- granted, I buy her the clothes, but it's she who puts the look together. People are forever commenting to me at shul and in public about how sweet she looks, how in style she looks... Sometimes it's a knit hat she wears at a jaunty angle, other times it's black suede "fashion boots" that she sports that help complete her look. Even in her green plaid school uniform and white blouse or polo shirt, she's got flare.

Okay, so daughter is sort of a given, but sons...?

When not in school uniform, oldest son never wanted to wear jeans, neither as a real youngster, nor does he still. He prefers to just pull on sweatpants, or jogging pants, and a nice polo shirt. The easier the look, the better it is.

What's with child # 3? For the past year, I've noticed that he walks around or stands around a lot with his hands in his pockets. He looks sort of cool, I think to myself. A little like something out of West Side Story. He has a crocheted kippah collection, and suede kippah collection, and even some black velvet ones hiding out with the suede ones, but it's a beautiful Boukkharian one he prefers to wear. And atop that kippah, he wears a black ballcap with Los Angeles imprinted on the front. So imagine kippah sinking low, baseball cap sitting high, hands in pockets and like his older brother, preferably not in jeans, but in sweats or cotton pants.

This child has a particular look, and particular tastes. Just last week, as I prepared some clothes for him to wear to school, I pulled out one shirt. "No," with vigorous head shaking. I pulled out another shirt. "Nope!" And another shirt. "No...it's not cool." Another shirt? "No, it's not cool either!" I stared at this child. What is cool to a six-year-old? He announced that he was happy I hadn't bought him PJs that had fire engines on them; he told me another time that I had to give away a shirt I'd bought for him that had trucks on it. "I don't like trucks," he declared. Since when are motor vehicles not acceptable on young children's clothing? And dinosaurs? Forget those...they crept out of the clothing decoration picture for him a few years ago. He made them more extinct than they already were!

I think I'm just about ready for child # 3 to wear a school uniform...for the next 8 years! At least I'll have that many years to convince him of the fact that wearing a uniform is C-O-O-L...!