Who is tricking whom? – Dressing our clever little Apra – 5 Dec 13


I think it is time again to tell you how our little Apra is doing. And about the drama she is used to perform these days.

While Apra in summer often had the wish that we give her socks to wear, she now, after winter started, doesn’t want to see socks anywhere near her. The same goes for jeans and warm pullovers or jackets. Basically, she just wants to wear light sweatshirts and thin cotton pants. Preferably those which are actually bought as night suits. Any thicker pant, any woolen pullover or anything that has the colour and fabric of jeans is refused sooner than you can finish your suggestion to wear it.

Even here in India however we get cold temperatures and while it may be possible for a good part of the year, this is now the time that one cannot let children walk around half-naked anymore! That’s how we currently nearly daily have a discussion about whether to wear clothes and which ones.

Apra gets quite loud in expressing her dislike. If you insist on wearing the jeans, she will start screaming, throwing head back, forcing you to react quickly to either catch her when sitting on a stool or to balance her when she is on your arm, obviously while not dropping the selection of clothes on the other arm. That’s why we now wear clothes while sitting on the bed. No way to hurt yourself in anger when surrounded by cushions!

The alternative for the jeans was found soon: Let her choose one of her favourite cotton pants, secretly stuff another one inside and then wear two at once – it works, keeps her warm and you can avoid further screaming, discussions or tears. Yes, tears is the next attempt from her side to make you give up on the plan of warm clothes. They roll down her cheeks, forced out of her eyes by her anger. So don’t wonder if you see pictures of Apra in something that looks like a night suit or at least the pants of one. If she is warm, we are fine with it and it will spare the tears.

Sometimes, she agrees on wearing a pullover when you lay out five options in front of her, letting her choose. Sometimes however none of the choices seems to appeal to her. Then she tries to outwit us with her clever little mind: ‘No, not the black one!’ for the one you are holding in front of her. ‘That is too small!’ for the next one and ‘That is too big!’ for the one after. With the words ‘That is dirty!’ the fourth is cast aside and ‘That is wet!’ for the last option. All rejected for good reasons!

Sometimes she agrees when you explain her how she will get a cold, have to take medicine and maybe even go to the doctor. Sometimes however that makes her cry more and lets us wonder how we will ever again give her medicine or go to the doctor without a bigger drama.

Sometimes… well, no, never does she agree on having the pullover put on without her consent. An option which we thus have rejected because it leads to even more screaming and tears.

If nothing seems to work, we mostly just explain Apra that the room is warm, outside it is cold and she won’t leave the room until she is wearing pullover, jacket, socks, warm pants or whatever it is that she is opposing at that moment. Sometimes she agrees faster, sometimes it takes a bit longer.

We are just very happy that we always have enough time to just sit with her and wait until she has finished her tantrum, that there is always someone to take over when one of us doesn’t know how to go on anymore and that our baby currently only does this with clothing! But there is a little sign for hope: for three days now, she has worn her jacket without any further ado – maybe she is past that phase now?

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