Tights are Leverage

Wildling has a new fashion obsession: She only likes to wear tights.  She even screamed at me this morning, when I made the mistake of suggesting leggings “No! I only ever like to wear things with feet attached, and those are called tights!”  She was properly enraged, because I told her she could not wear just tights and a long shirt, and had to wear a skirt or shorts, when she thought the long shirt was sufficient.

I don’t like these morning battles, but I have to admit that I like how picky she is about her clothes and how insistent she is on wearing specific things.  It’s the first time in four and a half years that we’ve actually had leverage on her.  We can actually get her to do things now.  She even cleaned up the entire playroom to earn a pair of black tights that she clearly desperately wanted.

I remember trying (and failing) to discipline her when she was younger.  On one particularly horrendous day, I had threatened to take away her favorite toy if she didn’t do what she was supposed to do.  Not only did she refuse, but she started adding stuff to the pile of what I was taking away.  She started bringing over more and more toys, and finally I had to cart it all out to the shed and wonder where I had gone wrong (incidentally, that was the inspiration to our eventual massive toy reduction).  Taking away toys never worked.  She wasn’t attached enough to them.

It feels a little strange to gloat that we have leverage over a child.  But it’s so nice!! We don’t use the power abusively, but it helps when we’re trying to get Mellow to sleep and Wildling is jumping on the bed and shouting song lyrics about how Saturn’s party is Saturday and she won’t lay down and she won’t be quiet and she won’t listen to us, and we can just say “Wildling! Lay down and be quiet or you won’t get to wear tights tomorrow!” and magically she drops to the mattress, closes her eyes, and is asleep within minutes.

I hope tights stay in style for a long time.

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One thought on “Tights are Leverage

  1. Leverage is good! I have my own version of morning battles, in my house, and I’ve finally stopped questioning the ethics of my use of leverage to shorten their duration. Whatever gets me out the door is a tool worth using, gratefully.

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