I often find myself looking through Ebony’s wardrobe in wonder. She just has so many pretty dresses, so many gorgeous little tops and all the cords a girl could wish for. She doesn’t wear any of them, of course. She spends most of her time in a school uniform these days, and it is near impossible to prise off her after lunch.
When choosing her own clothes, Ebony usually selects the closest thing she has to a ballgown to be coupled with a sparkly cardigan and the cold winter weather. After some negotiations, she is usually convinced that, perhaps, a sleeveless dress is not the best idea for a January afternoon at the park. Of course, I could let her discover this for herself, but then I’d be the one crying an ice blue, sobbing four year old home from the park. She might be tiny, but she’s still way too heavy for my to carry nowadays, even with a distinct lack of heavy attire.
Her own wardrobe puts mine to shame. I will be honest here and say that I’ve never really been that into clothes. I was never one of those girls spending my pocket money in Primark desperately trying to mimic whatever celebrities were wearing that week. I’ve never maxed out a credit card because my desire to earn a piece of designer clothing simply became too much for my rational brain to handle. I’m just not that into it all.
I like to have clothes I like. I need a healthy selection of pretty dresses in my collection, usually floral. I need plenty of tights and a pair of warm winter boots. And in the summer, I need a few summer dresses that will, without doubt, get caught in the wind and show my knickers to the world. On your average day though, I’m perfectly happy in a pair of jeans, a jumper and a comfy pair of converse.
I’m not bothered about having this season’s floral dresses, I’m perfectly happy wearing the ones from last year. The location of the frills may have changed slightly, and the neckline may be different, but a floral dress is a floral dress in my eyes. Sometimes I see something that I love and truly feel like I need it, but most of the time I’m happy with what I have. I don’t love the idea of buying lots of cheap fashion that is made in sweatshops on the other side of the world. I’d rather have fewer, ethically made pieces than lots of cheaper clothes.
There is only so much money, and I can always think of better things to spend it on than clothes. New clothes just never make it quite to the top of my list of priorities. I’m not saying if I won the lottery I wouldn’t buy any new clothes. I’m sure I would, but I don’t think they would be the first thing I spent my winnings on. In a similar way, Ebony’s beautiful clothes are a little wasted in our house. I love it when she looks cute in a pretty dress, it makes for a great photograph, but it’s not the most important thing to me. I love having a little girl who isn’t afraid to get muddy. One who covers her clothes in mud, paint and glue without so much as a second thought about whether she’ll get into trouble.
I’m glad my four year old isn’t worried about her looks, or obsessed with her clothes. She’s too busy climbing (and falling out of) trees, filling her pockets with pine cones (admittedly, not ideal if you’re the one who does the laundry) and playing with her friends. I mean, she also often has pasta sauce smeared around her face and she wears her hair clips at the very top centre of her head, so she may actually have gone a little too far the other way, but that’s ok. She’s my wild four year old, and I love that about her.