“Does this outfit look alright? Does this shirt look ok?” he asked. Most of the time he does just fine without my input but not every outfit selection is a homerun, so I always appreciate when he asks prior to leaving the house.
“Yes, it’s fine.” I said.
“No. Your shirt looks too small.” said a child’s voice behind me.
My husband looked at me accusingly.
“Well, the shirt’s not the same kind of cut you usually wear but really, it’s fine.” I said.
He stood there for a moment, looking back at forth between me and the 9yo…seemingly unsure who he should believe.
“Is that shirt tucked in?” asked the 9yo. “Because it looks a little small.”
“Forget it. I’m going to change.”
As my husband walked away, the 9yo asked again. “Mom, was his shirt tucked in?
“Yes, he usually tucks in his shirts, especially for Sunday morning.”
“Oh, ok …then his shirt must not have been too small. It must’ve been too long.”
We may have given our children an incorrect understanding of why we tuck in our shirts. Clearly to them it has nothing to do with the way we present ourselves…it is simply a way to make sure that an extra-long shirt is not perceived to be a dress.