There is a family wedding on the horizon and you know what that means, don't you?
Shopping... Dress shopping, to be exact.
Now me? I had it easy. Once I knew when the wedding was, I just started keeping my eyes open at Femme for The Dress and it wasn't long before I found it.
It's elegant but not too dressy for this particular wedding, it fits well and my favorite part? It's Prada.
So except for finding The Shoes to go with The Dress, I'm done.
However, my daughter still needed a dress and well, my daughter has been dressing herself with her own very distinct style since she was two! It's not a simple matter of running out and grabbing a pretty dress; she wants The Dress (for herself) as well!
But that's OK because I love to go shopping with her!
We make a good shopping team, she and I; there are rarely power struggles, whining or frustration. And this is why: we have A Rule when we shop. It's a rule that I implemented long ago when she was just a tiny kiddo that could barely string together a sentence but could make it very clear about what she did or did not like when it came to clothes or shoes.
This is The Rule: I won't buy something that she doesn't love or want to wear; but I also won't buy something that I don't like or think is inappropriate for her to wear. Maybe it's more of a joint promise than a rule. We both have to give the thumbs up.
I don't need to love it but I have to like it a little bit and it needs to be appropriate - for her age, the season and/or the occasion. She knows that I have to approve but I don't have to love; I know that she has to love. Because of this rule, she understands that I won't force my own tastes on her and I understand that when I say "No", she will listen and move on.
This makes for a compromising dance that we perform both gracefully and lightheartedly. We have a good time shopping together because we both understand and stringently follow The Rule. It might mean that we have to go to more stores or take more time but that's worth it to me. I want to enjoy shopping with her and I want her to enjoy shopping with me for as long as possible! I know it won't last forever but while it does, it should be fun, loving and companionable.
I suspect The Rule works so well because it is based on respect - I respect her personal tastes and she respects my right to make the parental veto. And I do veto; no doubt about that! But she vetoes as well... and that is ok.
She isn't my little Mini-Me; she is her own little person with her own big style and man, do I love watching her develop it!
Oh, and The Dress for her to wear to the wedding? We found it today... And had a wonderful time being together in the process.
And now? It's time to find The Shoes.