{The Ordinary Moments 16} #4 ‘A Pair of Trousers.’

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When I found out I was having a little girl and then subsequently a second little girl, I imagined what life would be like. I imagined getting a chance to relive my childhood memories- playing with My Little Ponies or Polly Pockets, dressing them in pretty dresses and skirts, and spending time brushing their hair and putting in all manner of clips and hairbands purely for experimentation purposes, just like my Mum used to do with me.

It all started off with those kind of intentions. When the girls were newborns, their wardrobe consisted of a lot of bright colours- happy flowery prints, rainbows and lots of pink. As they progressed into their toddler years, the baby grows got packed away and the colour pink wasn’t as prominent, but there was still plenty of room for a pretty flowery romper or an ever so cute dress.

Slowly though, it’s all changed. Somewhere along the line, when she was old enough to know her own mind, our beautiful big girl has decided that anything remotely classed as ‘girly’ isn’t for her. It started off with clothes, I’ve written about it before last year, but as soon as she was old enough to express herself and have an opinion, the clothes she classed as ‘girly’ were out and in it’s place were jeans, trousers, t-shirts and lots of black, white and bright colours. Her little sister is still very much an open book, she will wear dresses and skirts, plus her favourite colour is pink, but she is definitely influenced by what Mads does, especially when it comes to playing and games.

For her birthday and for Christmas Mads asked specifically for two things- she wanted a guitar and she wanted a skateboard. To say they both were big hits is an understatement, she loves nothing more than putting on her helmet, knee, elbow and hand pads and going out on the front of our road to learn tricks. Seeing my beautiful little girl at just five, with her long, flowing hair that is nearly down to her bottom, throw herself around on her skateboard, jumping back up quickly and with no fuss if she falls over, makes me feel strangely sentimental. Games and playing consists of being superheroes, Batman, Superman and the like, and if they ever play Mummy’s and Daddy’s then Mads is always the Daddy.

I never went into motherhood thinking I needed to follow rules. I’ve long learnt to accept that if my eldest daughter is happier this way then so be it. I will always respect, support and honour her choices. I half wondered whether school might change her views a little bit, whether she would go through that phase that so many of my friends children are going through at the moment, where ‘girls are not cool’ or that the girls ‘don’t like boys’, but Mads is more than happy to play with the girls and the boys. If I ever ask her who she has hung out with at school that day, it’s always the boys. And I truly love her for knowing her own mind.

Which brings me to my ‘ordinary moment’ for this week. Since she started school in September, I must admit there is one area in which I am still quite traditional. I really wanted Mads to wear a dress or skirt to school. I remember my own primary school days well, of wearing those little grey pinafore dresses with a ribbon in my hair. And to be fair to my big girl, she didn’t kick up a fuss at all about wearing these, she just assumed that was what you wore to school. After a couple of weeks, we found her some gorgeous culottes and she was so pleased to wear these every so often, calling them her ‘shorts’.

When I was out in Tescos a while ago, I found some girls school trousers with a belt. With the weather being so cold at the moment, I ordered them not really thinking much more about it. Then as all children do, Mads started going through a little phase a couple of weeks ago of shouting for us early in the morning. It wasn’t that early compared to some children, but as a family who seem to thrive better on a sleep routine, (until our newborn comes along!) it was just a little too early, and it also meant that she woke her sister up, as they share a room together, and she wasn’t quite ready to wake up.

So being fairly experienced in this parenting malarkey now and also a master of negotiation, (or as others may call it bribery) I set my five year old a deal. If she didn’t shout in the morning until we came and got her, then I had a little surprise for her. The first morning worked perfectly and she didn’t shout until half past seven until it was time to get up, just reading a book and playing with some of the toys she had up in her bed. So I presented her with her ‘surprise’, her pair of school trousers.

It doesn’t sound like much and to be honest I thought that it wouldn’t be a big deal. But my little girl was so excited about her school trousers that she jumped around the house in excitement. I truly haven’t seen her as excited in a long time. She put them on and modelled them for us, looking in the mirror, and chattering ten to the dozen about the other girls in older years that wear trousers too. She told me that if I let her wear trousers every day then she wouldn’t shout.

Since then, a couple of weeks ago, true to her word, she hasn’t once shouted out for us in the morning. At the weekends she has taken to climbing down into LL’s bed and cuddling and playing with her- we even had an 8.30am lie in yesterday as she entertains her little sister so she also doesn’t shout either. I feel a little guilty that it has taken a massive parenting bribe to get her to not shout and wake everyone up in the morning, but whatever works!

But the main thing is again, it just shows that while at only just five, I can still very much influence my little girl, it’s not always in her best interest. While I can guide her, discipline her and show her the way, at five years old she just wants to express herself, be her own person and find her own definition of style and fitting in.

And if a pair of school trousers brings the happiest smiles, the best behaviour and the most excited little girl, then I almost feel a little ashamed that I thought I had to go down the route of those ‘traditional’ grey pinafore dresses.

I’m so incredibly proud of my feisty, unique and wonderful little girl. I hope she always stays ‘her’.

 

(I’ve obviously removed her school logo from these photos but look at this happy face!)

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65 Comments

  • Anna-Marie says:

    Katie, Mads is so adorable! I love the fact she has her own mind and expresses openly. She looks so cute in her trousers. Whats even cuter is the reaction she gave when she got them! Beautiful photos, the light coming through on the pictures is gorgeous xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thanks Anna-Marie, she definitely has her own little mind. I love that about her too. I love these photos, the sun was setting and it was just gorgeous. xx

  • Sherry says:

    She really does look very happy and those trousers are so very stylish. Sometimes “bribes” need to happen, but she doesn’t look disappointed thats for sure x

  • Carie says:

    Aww she looks so happy (and warm!) in her new trousers! I think that for a lot of us the bias towards skirts and pinafores isn’t bias to girly thinks so much as repeating what we knew – trousers weren’t an option when I was little. Kitty wears a skirt but that’s because at the rate she grows a skirt and shirt will last the longest- she grows out of trousers I days!!

    • Katie Ellison says:

      I do think that is true Carie, it just wouldn’t have happened that girls would wear trousers when I was little. So I think you do repeat what you know. x

  • Alison says:

    Ahh Katie this is fab!! She looks so happy! Quite a few girls at G’s school wear trousers – I think it’s much more practical, personally!

  • I’d have loved to be able to wear trousers to school, it’s great to see her looking so happy and what a great surprise outcome, that lie o=in sounds amazing!

  • Rebecca says:

    I think as a mum of a girl you always dream of dressing them in girly clothes but ultimately you also want them to become their own person and know their own mind. It’s so cute hearing her reaction to the trousers though and her jumping around in excitement. And she looks so happy in the photos and that’s all that really matters x x

  • Oh Katie, just look how proud she looks. Gorgeous pictures, she looks so grown up in her trousers :) xx

  • Aww they are a really smart pair of school trousers. I love the belt. She looks so cute and happy. Ours have always worn trousers in the colder months. In fact we had the opposite with Shayla when she was little, her Mum always dressed her as a tomboy so I followed suit. The first time I bought her a dress she lit up, spinning around the room, beaming as she showed her Daddy. They definitely know their own minds quickly these little ones. I love this post and these photos are gorgeous xxxx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      She really was so very pleased with them bless her. Aw that is so cute and they both definitely are girly girls, I love the photos you take of them in their beautiful dresses. x

  • Lindsay says:

    I have the opposite. My oldest who is 3 adores anything pink, sparkly and ‘girly’ despite being dressed in wellies, fleeces and leggings since little as we lived on a small holding. She enjoys climbing and running and most of her friends are boys yet she likes doing it in dresses and tutus. I love how they have their own opinions from little and within reason let her choose what to wear as frankly why not?! Mads has the loveliest smile x

  • Bless, she really looks happy with her new trousers :) and I bet they are more comfortable too to play in, especially if she is a little bit of a tomboy! I know what you mean about having to let kids be themselves – mine is very much into dresses and we have some strange combinations now during wintertime as she insists on dresses that are far too hm practical for the conditions :) but sometimes you just have to roll with what they want :)

  • Aww this is so lovely and she looks so pleased with her trousers, and so grown up too. What a happy smiley girl she is :) xx

  • Donna says:

    When did she get so grown up Katie? I love that she knows her own mind, has her own likes and dislikes and is completely her own person. You have a pretty special child there x

  • Aww bless her, she looks absolutely delighted! It’s amazing how early on they know their own minds, it’s lovely that she’s so determined to express herself already – shows how confident and secure she is! :)

  • Laura says:

    I love that something so simple, gets the best smiles! I bet you have brought a few more pairs since lol x

  • Aw, bless! She looks so proud of herself in her smart trousers.

  • LauraCYMFT says:

    Bless her! What a gorgeous little person she is. I love that you embrace her style and let her choose as I know a lot of parents of girls who would refuse to.

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thanks lovely, yes definitely think it is important to let them develop their own sense of style and identity. Even though I would love to dress her in little dresses. 😉 x

  • So lovely that she knows her own mind, as parents we often try to enforce our opinions but it is nice to see that you are following her lead

  • Mads is one cool little lady. Growing up with an older and younger brother and all their male friends (my younger sister wasn’t born till I was 6, so not really a female comrade till we became adults as we were always at different stages of life before then), I was the biggest tom buy around. I didn’t mind pink so much, but had a definite aversion to anything frilly or overtly “girly”. So I can relate to Mads a lot! When I was around 12, I did start to want some cooler girls clothes like skirts and bags in my wardrobe – I remember it feeling such a scary subject to broach with my mum because because by that point I think she’d decided I “just didn’t DO these typical girl things” and she was really surprised when I piped up that actually, sometimes, I do want to do these things. I want my kids to feel they can do “girl” things and “boy” things or any other “things”, with no need for typecasting, and if they fancy changing it up at any point, that’s no big deal either.

    • Katie Ellison says:

      It’s funny isn’t it? I am wondering whether this will be her now or whether she will go through a phase where she wants to experiment down the more typical ‘girly’ things route. Whatever she does we will support her. x

  • Oh Katie she looks so so happy and proud in her trousers. I think it’s wonderful that she is able to express herself so clearly xx

  • Ali says:

    Ah bless her, my eldest is a bit of a tomboy too and loves to wear jeans at the weekends and trousers to school. She is nearly 9 and only this year did I cave in and buy trousers. I too prefer her in dresses but it is so important to let them make their own decisions and develop their own style, even if it goes against ours!

  • Oh bless her, I love that she knows her own mind! After having 2 boys I was so excited to have a little girl and imagined all the pretty dresses and bows in her hair. I forgot that the fact she has 2 big brothers could mean they hugely influence her, and she is far from a girly girl! But I love it too, and if she is happy rolling in mud and playing with cars then wonderful! Beautiful pictures as always xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      It’s funny isn’t it? My littlest is definitely getting influenced by her big sister and is turning into a little tomboy too! x

  • Tia says:

    And she looks super cute in those trousers. I’ve tried to avoid the girly pink obsession but my oldest daughter is obsessed with it anyway and throws a tantrum if she can’t wear a dress, whereas my youngest will remove any dress I put on her. It goes to show they’ll be what they are regardless of our influences! X

  • Mary says:

    She is getting so big Katie… I bet she will seem so big once baby is here too! I love how happy she is over the trousers (which are lovely btw) Its so great that she knows her mind and what she wants, I hope she never lets anyone influence her! x

  • It’s great she is so confident, I hate that they sometimes feel they have to conform especially at school. Shows you have made her feel safe and secure in her own skin. Parenting win xx

  • Kara says:

    You know I totally get this! I love seeing how happy she is, I think like you it just makes you happy to see them happy, Addison is struggling with being torn between what she wants and what she thinks (thanks to girls at school) she is supposed to like.

    Here is to our strong willed girls xxx

  • I am a feminist and say fair play do what you want to do.it is great she has her own mind and does what makes her happy X #ordinarymoments

  • What an amazing little girl you have. She’s strong and comfortable in her own skin and beliefs – and that is a massive credit to you and your hubby. We have the opposite troubles in our house in that our youngest will ONLY wear dresses, seriously no jeans, leggings, pyjamas or anything that resembles trousers. Every day it has to be a dress or at a push a skirt (with tights in this cold weather). She also only wants to wear ‘pretty shoes’, which is not ideal on these wet, cold days. But like Mads, she’s confident and knows her own mind, which makes me smile and feel proud.

    • Katie Ellison says:

      It’s funny how different they are isn’t it? And you are right, it is so great that she knows her own mind. xx

  • Oh Katie she looks absolutely thrilled! Isn’t it funny how the simplest of things can make them so happy when they’re so young.

  • Suzanne says:

    My girls loved school trousers at this age too. Now they wouldn’t be seen dead in them! I say embrace every stage as it comes. Perhaps she’ll always like trousers and stuff that we normally equate with boys (WHY?!!) but either way, she has the cutest and proudest smile ever! x x

  • Louise B says:

    She looks so smart. My girls love all things pink and girly but really love trains and cars etc just as much, so I think you just have to go with it and let them choose what they are happy with. xx

  • Oh bless her, and good for you for letting her be the little girl that she wants to be- plenty of other parents wouldn’t. I think too many people like the idea of having little girls to ‘dress them up’ and be little dolls, when they need to remember that they are actual people, with own thoughts, preferences and opinions! S is ‘girly’ in some ways, but loves superheroes, rough and tumble and likes a whole range of clothes, including her brother’s hand-me-downs! Lovely post Katie x

  • Kate✚ says:

    I loved this post so much Katie. What a beautiful daughter you have. You must be so proud of her. Meryn has never been into ‘girly’ things really – I bought her dolls for ages before realising she never really plays with them and much prefers to get stuck in with her brother’s toys. I love watching their little personalities and interests develop xx

  • I love this, what a beautiful post and I think is amazing how much she knows her own mind and you should be so proud that you have raised her like that. Lucas so often now comes out with things like ‘that’s a girls colour’ or a ‘girls toy’ which he would never hear at home, so many families now are so open with letting their children wear and play with anything but there are many others who aren’t. I’m just glad he still loves his long hair as I’ll be heartbroken when he wants it cut short! xx

  • Can you remind me what a lie-in is? :) Ha ha seriously sounds fab and she looks so very happy with her trousers x

  • Hannah says:

    I love how you let her make her choices, and let her personality develop and shine through, she looks so happy and sounds so confident in her choices, if she is happy that’s all that matters, you must be really proud of her. I try to do the same with my four but the younger ones copy the older ones a lot!

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