Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dress-up girls

Maia wears tights most of the time. It's not a comfort issue like Chloe's socks; if there aren't any clean ones, she's disappointed but not distraught. But she really loves them. She tries to convince us that they can be substituted for pants. (In fairness, Chloe tries to convince us of the same thing, but only when she's changing from her dance outfit to her Girl Scouts outfit when she's just come out of class and is still warm from dancing.) She can put them on herself, which is better than Chloe can do, and she's done her best to get us to let her wear tights and a skirt all winter.

(She's succeeded surprisingly often. This is because winter here is not like winter in Ohio, and she can do that without freezing...sometimes. I do so wish she liked to be warm.)

She's also quite preoccupied with her hair. There was a time when she seemed to dislike it because it was curly. It's settled down some now, possibly because it's longer, possibly because she's older, and now her joy is hairstyles. I even got her a hairstyles book for Christmas. If you need a hairtie, look no further than the floor of any room in our apartment. The girls use them for their dolls and ponies, and for making tiny purses and monster traps, but quite a few go into Maia's hair. She can put her own hair up, sort of, but what she loves is when Eric or I give her a ponytail, or pigtails (always "piggie-tails"), or braided piggie-tails, or pull half her hair back, or put in clips, or do little twisty braids. Sometimes she asks for a hairstyle after her bath, and wears it all night, waking up in the morning with little wisps of hair framing her face.

Chloe, on the other hand, likes to put together outfits. She particularly likes an outfit that Omi sent over, a dark tank top with a black sweater and some dark leggings (both girls love their leggings; I'm still the only one in the family who will wear jeans). She beamed when I said it looked grown-up. She likes her hair long and down. We cut four inches off recently because the fights about keeping it brushed, and her screaming during brushing, got to be too much.

I love watching them play and run. I love seeing Chloe curled up with a book on the couch, like I do (...or hanging upside down off it, like I did when I was her age). I love being Maia's audience when she gets a running start and leaps down the steps that go toward the apartment complex clubhouse. I can't say I love it when they howl in despair, "Why haven't you done the laundry??" when they have drawers full of clothes but they're looking for one particular shirt or pants, but it does highlight how particular they are about their appearances now, and while it's less convenient, it's a lot of fun.

Now if only I could convince them that clothes shopping isn't the deadliest of chores. I know their opinion will be radically different in eight years, but right now I can't get them into a clothing store without threats and/or bribery. Which makes supplying their individual styles harder, and is my excuse for why both girls are wearing too-short leggings half the time. Of course, they also howl in despair when I say it's time to get rid of them. "They're not too short!" Maia says. "We love those pants!" Chloe says. And I say, oh, all right, if your ankles don't freeze. They haven't yet.