Saturday, July 19, 2008

choosing your battles

I've found another plus side to choosing your battles. You know, besides the fact that I am happier and my kids are happier and who has the energy to fight about everything anyway?!

Sometimes you get to relish tiny victories.

Any of you who read my blog are aware of my frustration over our middle school's new dress code. I think the fact that I went to bat for what I believed was right helped my daughter feel I am on her side. (Which I am, but most especially when she is right.)

However, as much as I believe in standing up for what's right, I also believe in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law. So I've been wondering how to handle my conflictedness about this issue come the first day of school.

I chose to ease into the subject, mentioning that collared (yeah, I keep wanting to type: collard)shirts were on sale and that we ought to prepare now for the first week of school. I wanted to make sure she was clear that I assumed she would (eventually) comply (because I am most definitely not going to commute to another school).

I was surprised to learn she has already come up with a brilliant plan:

Based on past experience, she doesn't expect they'll enforce the new dress code any better than they enforced the prior one; she doesn't want me to spend too much money; and she still wants to make her point. So she asked me to buy only a couple of collared shirts for now. She plans to wear her favorite tie-dyed T-shirt to school on the first day in protest and in order to test the system. (Call me a rebel, but I'm fine with that.) I explained to her what the administration has posted by way of action for non-compliance: They will call home and then give the student something to wear. (I am working on my protest speech for the non-compliance call even now.) L~ intends to take a wait and see approach. If they call her out she will accept the shirt they give her but instead of wearing it she will wear the one I have purchased for her, which she will have hidden in her backpack.

Fair enough.

But the sweetest victory came last night when we were out shopping. While she did complain a bit about how blah! the collared shirts were, she has already found a way to comply while still fulfilling her need to express herself. The first thing she said as we started sifting through the sale rack was, "OK mom, but the first thing we have to do is take off all the buttons and find some cool ones to replace them with."

I bought a packaged of bold and bright-colored buttons first thing this morning.

Take that Dixon! I love this kid!!


b. said...

Atta girl!

Atta Mom!

Amy said...

Stick it to the man!

Way to bond over inherited sassiness!! I love it! :)

Bek said...

I love it. Calculated rebellion (and having you both be on the same side in any rebellion is a good thing....).

What a smart girlie you have there... that is why she loves to challenge you, eh? The smart ones have a special knack for it, I am told...

Tell her that all the mammas here in blog land are looking forward to hearing what happens..

BTW...she should try her "rebellion" more than once. They are likely to be more strict the first few weeks... ;-)

Queen Scarlett said...

I really like your daughter.