Karma is stalking me in the form of a purple dress that my daughter wears most days of her life. I believe this is because, as a child, allegedly, I was quite particular about the clothes I would wear. My attitude once prompted my sweet grandmother to declare to my mother, “I would never let a two-year-old tell me what she was and was not going to wear.”

I felt this same way until presented with the seriously strong opinions of my own little girl who will perseverate ALL DAY LONG if she is made to wear something that she doesn’t agree with. She once held a cardigan shut with her hands (for hours!) to cover up an adorable white shirt that she said was “too straight.”

Here are just some of the other reasons why my three-year-old is changing her clothes:


1. There’s a bone on it. (a bow)

2. Her friend borrowed this sweatshirt once and now it’s too hot.

3. These pants aren’t jumping high enough.

4. When she swallows, this coat tickles her neck.

5. She forgot that she can’t do jeans on her legs.

6. Halloween shirts just feel scary.

7. These tights are choking her feet.

8. Her brother breathed on her.

9. She remembers that there used to be a tag on this shirt and even though it was cut out, the shirt apparently still retains all of the bad memories of that long-ago itchy tag.

10. These shoes aren’t “dancy” enough.

11. This dress just feels like it’s sad.

12. She got a stamp in gymnastics on her arm so now she is unable to wear clothes of any kind in case they accidentally brush against her stamp and ruin it.

13. Her brother said she doesn’t look like a super hero.

14. The owl on her pajamas was staring at her in her bed.

15. She can’t remember.

16. The purtle isn’t purtle enough, the sparkles aren’t sparkling enough and the stripes aren’t stripy enough.

17. There is a single drop of water on it.

18. She saw a picture of herself in her favorite dress and now she has to wear it because she hasn’t seen it since yesterday.

19. The bottom of this thing is just “crazy.”

20. Her socks are too heavy for her shoes.

21. There must have been a misunderstanding, she clearly said, “princess party dress.”

22. There’s a hole in it (there’s not).

23. This shirt lives in the drawer all the time (it does).

24. It won’t go on in the right direction (it will).

and finally,

25. This elastic waist band is hurting her feelings.


This post originally ran on Scary Mommy!


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4 thoughts on “25 Reasons My Three-Year-Old Is Changing Her Clothes

  1. Nancy Kissam says:

    THIS IS THE FUNNIEST THING I’VE READ ALL MONTH!! Hysterical, but totally spot-on! And, funny, too – that I can, not only still, relate to her little girl’s reasons, I can empathize with them! Some clothes ARE just sad, not “dancy” enough, scary?. . .

    Ah, all the joys U have to look forward, too!

    P.S. Zoe, boys have these subjective responses, also (ask Cass!) – just not as many, or as dramatic, thankfully!

    Sent from my iPad


    1. joellewisler says:

      Thank you so much Nancy- My little one sure provides me with a lot of material to write about! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Raina says:

    Joelle I have never replied to any blog ever in my life but a friend tagged me thru FB on the post you wrote. She did so because she knows I have a child with massive clothing issues and I have yet to meet anyone or read anything that so closely resembles the “grievances” my daughter has with clothes as your list. I felt like I was transported into my daughters room, where I sit on her floor sometimes for an hour at a time trying to find something, anything she will agree to put on. It happens daily (usually twice when you factor pjs) that she stares at her drawers and whines “I just don’t knooooow what to wear”. This very morning she put on what we had picked out the night before (a top she’s worn at least 15 times) and decided it was too “hangy” around the neck potentially exposing her boobs. Tonight was “remember I told you the rhinestones bother me!” And these pants are too short on me but proceeds to pick a pair that are arguably even shorter. Ironically I had recently bought her some longer leggings but even those are problematic. They’re actually TOO long and she wants to wait until she’s 6 to wear them (she’ll be 5 next month). There’s no logic. No consistency except that she consistently makes me feel like I’m going to lose my mind. When I had a girl I just assumed I would be 100% in charge of her clothing, putting adorable outfits together complete with hair dos and accessories. What I have is a child with severe clothing anxiety whose circle of what she will wear gets smaller every day. On a recent vacation she spent hours every day in her drawers hysterical over her options and how to choose. A few days my husband carried her to the car with just undies on because we simply had to leave to be somewhere. We are actually taking her to a therapist for some guidance. Not sure how serious your issue is but if it’s anything like mine where it interferes with daily life, good luck to you. Feel free to reach out. Not sure what help I could offer considering I seem to have lost complete control of this situation!

    1. joellewisler says:

      Oh geez Raina! I’m sorry you are going through this! I’m definitely nervous about the whole clothes thing, especially as she gets older and more opinionated. I’m trying to let her have as much control as possible in the hopes that on the days that I do choose what she wears it’s not all-out war between us. But, like your daughter, there is not a lot of consistency with what she decides is wearable which is totally frustrating! Thanks for reaching out and I hope things start to get better for you!

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