There was a time when I never would have left the house with a kid dressed this way. You know, back when I just had a couple kids. I used to think that if your kids were dressed to the nines, coordinating Gymboree clothing, hair neatly coiffed, unscuffed shoes and matching accessories, then everyone would think you were a good parent. If you went out in public with your 3 year old daughter wearing, for example, red, white & blue shorts, a teal tank top with metallic gold fish all over it and hot pink cowboy boots that are 2 sizes too big for her, then everyone would think you were a terrible parent.
Now, I realize it doesn't matter at all how your kids are dressed in public. Wait, scratch that. It would still matter to me if say, your teenage daughter was wearing a slutty dress or something like that. But, as far as little kids dressing themselves, it doesn't matter one little bit. In fact, I think you're better off letting your kids dress like hobos when you go out in public because really, when the mom with the kids dressed to the nines walks by, what do you think? You don't think - Wow, she's got it all together! Look at her kids! They're in matching duds and they're all clean and shiny! Nope, admit it. You think - what an overachiever, as you snort to yourself (even if you're secretly wishing that just once you could run to the store without one of your kids forgetting their shoes, another one with a cup and a half of peanut butter smeared on their face, and yet another one dressed like a color-blind clown.)
Here's my stubborn Brooklyn in the red, white & blue shorts, teal tank top with metallic gold decorations and hot pink cowboy boots that are 2 sizes too big. Yeah, we got some strange looks as my little fashion plate clomped along in her big, pink boots, but you know what? It doesn't matter. She was happy, I didn't have to fight with her about getting dressed, and I didn't have to worry about anyone looking at me like I was an overachiever.
***** For those of you who asked if/why Brooklyn was mad, here's the scoop. We came to a stop light and I said, "Gee that's a great outfit, Sweetie! Can I take your picture?" Brooklyn, being the most stubborn child on the planet, looked the other way and refused to smile. As soon as the light turned green and I turned around to drive, she looked at me, smiled, and said, "You can take my picture now." *****