Levi chose this dragon image for his purple T-shirt.
Levi chose this dragon image for his purple T-shirt.
This one for his red T-shirt.
This one for his red T-shirt.
And he refused the "liger," much to my disappointment.
And he refused the "liger," much to my disappointment.

Picking battles and magical dragons

You may know this from previous blogs, but about two years ago, my son renounced all pants that weren't sweats. I honored his fashion request and bought him five or six pairs of sweatpants that he calls “softies.”

Recently, he informed me he only wanted to wear shirts with dragons on them.

The thing is, I quickly realized finding dragon shirts in his size that he liked wasn't easy, even when searching on the Internet. A wise friend / mentor suggested I make him the shirts by swiping images from Google and printing them on special transfer paper.

I wasn't sure what to do here. If I gave in to Levi's request, I was opening the door to more and more fashion restrictions, which makes my job more difficult. But it doesn't seem fair to say no, either. After all, I'm a fashion-conscious individual, so shouldn't I support my son's clothing choices?

As the boys get older, I find it more difficult to know when to give in and when to force what I want. Unlike marriage, parenting is not really a 50 / 50 compromise, but what is it then.

My wise friend told me that Levi might be trying to control his clothing because he was forced to give up his pacifier a few months ago. This made sense to me, and I decided to give in, knowing I might be falling down a rabbit hole.

What would be next? We've already got sweatpants and dragon shirts, so how about a crystal necklace and a purple-tinted “John Lennon” glasses? Maybe instead of soccer camp he could go on Ratdog tour this summer or become a Ren Faire carney.

Oppressing all of my fashion fears, I finally decided to give in. In the scheme of things, dragon shirts are do-able. So, I took Levi to Michael's and bought the transfer paper and five T-shirts. Then, I let him scroll through pages of dragon images and pick his favorites.

It turns out that the dragon images he loves the most are the “fantasy” genre kind that I find a bit on the cheesy side. Personally, I would opt for the Asian dragon theme, but he disagrees. I tried to get him jazzed about Napoleon Dynamite's “liger," but he rejected it because “ligers don't have wings.

Silly me. What was I thinking?


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