I can tell that Hannah has a knack for fashion. Last December she gave me an approving smile when I dressed to impress for a wedding and I knew then that she was developing her discerning eye for good taste. I’m eager to teach her about dressing herself and have arranged her clothes to help make that a little easier. We’re still in Triage mode over here, so I don’t have the entire Montessori setup going for her, but I am trying to help her learn independence through grooming skills. Let’s face it, we wear PJs until 2 PM, and the best I can do is a post-nap outfit change to go to the grocery story. However, I know it’s worth the time to chase around the squirmy toddler while wearing baby Audrey so that I can teach Hannah these skills because she’s happy to learn them. After all, we both beamed with pride when she selected her favorite shorts ensemble to wear the other day. It’s from our fashionable friend Heather over at Herstyleblog.com, so it’s arguably the most stylish outfit she owns.
I took two simple steps to make outfit selection easier on both of us. First, I cleared out all the clothes that I don’t want her to wear so that there’s less to sort and her Dad won’t dress her in them on the weekends. Second, I clipped all the outfits together with clothespins. Now she can pull clothes out of the drawer to her heart’s content and we’re still able to find the outfits in a snap. I’ve been getting her involved with moving the laundry from washer to dryer, and am looking forward to showing her more and more about folding and sorting clothes. Ultimately, I plan to add some other learning steps to the daily activity of getting dressed by having Hannah put away her clean clothes and match colored clothespins to the colors of her outfits. At the end of the day, she’ll discard her dirty outfits into a bin in her bedroom.
I’m constantly wondering if Hannah will be a helpful older sister when Audrey is learning to dress herself. Will she show her how it’s done or will she wonder why Audrey gets to wear some of her favorite clothes from years past? I want to teach the girls a sense of pride not only in what they wear, but also how they take care of their clothes. By being a patient role model I’m hopeful that Hannah will look forward to teaching her little sister about fashion as much as I delight in sharing it with her! Having all the little clothes in the same dresser has already caused some confusion, though. Hannah’s Dad dressed her in one of Audrey’s nighties for bedtime the other night! Maybe 3/4 sleeves for toddlers is an emerging trend 🙂