October 12, 2010

My Matching Days are Over

Throughout their lives, I've tried not to overdo "matching outfits" for my daughters. Sometimes, though, I just couldn't help it. Professional portraits always called for matching outfits. It just looks better that way (in my opinion). Christmas always meant matching dresses.... such beautiful pictures. Halloween was a no-brainer: Go with a theme so no one fought. At the tender age of five, my daughters have decided they don't always want to match.
In hindsight, it all began two years ago. As we prepared for preschool, I took them shopping for backpacks. There were several designs. As each girl picked, I made sure to tell the next sister that she could pick the same thing. There, in the back pack aisle, I swear all four girls rolled their eyes at me (and they weren't even three years old!) Their expressions seemed to say "We CAN'T have the same backpack!" Now, as we approach Halloween, not a single one of them has requested the same outfit... not even a theme! (If you'll recall, I will be walking the neighborhood with Sleeping Beauty, Tinkerbell, Minnie Mouse and a ballerina). Over the weekend I let the girls go online and pick out their Christmas dresses (coupons and free shipping made it the perfect time to look). I took each of them into the living room one at a time, sat them down in front of the computer and let them look at their choices. My only rule? No short sleeves. They all picked really cute dresses and none of them chose an identical dress.
Don't get me wrong. I truly don't mind that they aren't picking the same things. When my daughters started preschool I made it a rule that they can't wear matching outfits. I want them to be seen as individuals, rather than "The Quads." (OK, on school picture day I still dress them alike because the photographer does a family group shot if siblings attend the school. One day out of the year won't lead to an identity crisis). So while my holiday pictures will no longer include matching dresses or costumes (well, not this year. Who knows what they'll pick next year), at least my daughters are starting to express what they like... even if their sisters have a different opinion.

8 comments:

MaryAnne said...

As Lily starts to grow into Emma's old toddler clothes, I keep expecting her to favor the same outfits - but her tastes are completely different, even at such a young age. She has a different build, too, so different clothes fit differently...

You seem to do a really great job of giving your daughters room to be themselves, multiples or not. And I think it's pretty neat that all four know exactly what they like!

reanbean said...

I think it great that you're letting them have some say AND that they're choosing to be different on their own. They must really all have different tastes and preferences if they all picked a different dress for the holidays. Do you see it in their everyday choices as well?

Quadmama said...

Some days they fight over shirts, dresses, etc if there is only one. When I shop clearance or relatives shop second-hand, you're never going to find four. The nice thing is as they get older, they're more willing to share. For their birthday, I gave them each pajamas. The other night when it was time to pick out clean jammies they got a kick out of letting their sisters wear "their" pajamas. They definitely have their own likes and dislikes, I just try to remind them it's OK to like the same things.

MultipleMum said...

It is a funny connundrum for all MoMs hey? To match or not to match. It is funny though, despite your best efforts, your girl's will *think* that they were ALWAYS matching because in all of their family photos they were in matching outfits. lol. It must be so hard finding four wardrobes in the same size that don't match! Perhaps a different clothing label for each?

Quadmama said...

My girls are split into two bedrooms, so for the most part their clothes are in two dressers (one dresser per room). Essentially they share clothes, and their not above going into the other room if there's something they want to wear. I'm sure as they get older, though, I'll have to oversee clothing arguments. (I've thought about labeling certain items, but it hasn't been a huge issue... yet!)

Losing My Lap said...

I am with you! I try not to do matching outfits as much as possible and at preschool never...but in pictures it DOES look cute. Usually, though, I try for complimentary outfits...the same polo shirt, that has the same colors or colors that don't clash but matching is just easier some time. It must be harder with girls and all their pretty dresses and accessories!

Quadmama said...

I think eventually I'll have to do coordinating outfits, rather than matching for pictures.

Marilynne said...

Dressing them differently has got to help people know the difference between one and the other. I think it's cool that you're letting them choose.

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