Emma dislikes wearing clothing that has scratchy tags, is tight fitting, such as skinny jeans and form fitting jackets, anything that binds or doesn’t have some sort of elasticized waist. I believe it’s her sensory issues that make most clothing so uncomfortable and so I try to find her things to wear that I know won’t bother her. If it were up to Emma (and it usually is) she would wear nothing but track suits. Thankfully there are plenty of children’s clothing companies who produce attractive clothing which relies heavily on elastic waistbands and whatever it is they put into clothing to make it stretchy. But every now and then in a moment of insanity I see something so cute it’s irresistible and out comes the credit card before I’ve taken the time to consider the above prerequisites. Inevitably the package arrives and Emma takes one quick look at it and says, “No, that’s too small!”
Which is code for – I have absolutely no intention of wearing this, ever.
If I insist, “But Em, just try it on, then you can take it off.”
She will usually comply while saying, “Just try it, then take it off.”
Every once in a while I have been able to get her to wear something other than her leggings with cute t-shirts and a hoodie, but it’s not the norm. And once the weather gets anywhere near 50 degrees, Emma begins negotiating to wear her crocs.
“Em, it’s still winter out. You can’t wear your crocs,” I will tell her.
“It’s too cold!” Emma will say, showing me she understands the concept. “Wear crocs tomorrow,” she’ll say wistfully.
Emma reminds me of the firemen at the fire station across the street from us. We always know when the weather is above 40 degrees because the firemen begin wearing shorts. I figure it must be because they’re around all that fire and heat and they crave feeling the bracing cold air on their skin, but perhaps it’s just they are a heartier breed than the rest of us. Impossible to say, but I keep meaning to take a photograph of the children bundled in their winter coats standing next to the firemen wearing shorts and short sleeved shirts.
Yesterday the forecast was for a high of 72 degrees, (even though it went up into the 80’s!) so I tentatively pulled out some spring like clothing for Em and held my breath when I presented her with: a skirt made of cotton, no elastic waist band, soft cotton t-shirt and soft red (wool) sweater, no annoying tags as I had cut them all out. Then I stood back and watched. Miraculously Emma put everything on, then chose her shoes, “wear these shoes!” she said cheerfully as she pulled on her socks and pushed each foot into a bronze pump.
“Emma! You look so pretty!” I told her.
Emma smiled at me and twirled around. “So pretty!” she repeated.
I took pictures because she was so cute in her red and white outfit and who knows when she’ll ever wear it again, so I figured we needed documentation. Years from now, I’ll say to Richard, “Remember that day in April when she wore that adorable outfit to school?” Then I’ll pull out these photographs.
Emma getting ready to listen to some music on her ipod
Choosing the music she wants to listen to
Looking up when I said, “Emma you’re so pretty!”
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism go to: EmmasHopeBook