Tuesday

I'm feeling a bit guilty tonight, as I often do when I realize the way Q's blog portrays her, at least to the untrained eye. Because she can't write yet, Q is unable to speak for herself, and there is only me to speak for her. Because I'm a stay-at-home mother, because I also work from a home office, because she is not yet in school and we do not use daycare, I usually speak of her life mostly in pictures.  I rarely have time for words. And here's the thing: the pictures tell a bit of a different story. Q is an unusual child. She is not your typical three-year-old girl. For one thing, she looks much older than she is. For another, she is, at least physically, a natural clotheshorse. She looks fabulous in any style, any color. She has a natural grace of limb and motion. So whatever she wears, she looks like a fashion spread.  

 


   
It's difficult for me to portray her honestly, because she looks the way she looks - because the camera loves her. But the fact is that the clothes have nothing to do with the reality of Q. 

I myself love clothes. If anyone is guilty of the sartorial extravagance of this blog, it's me. I'm very aesthetic and very visual, and because Q receives so many beautiful gifts from so many wonderful people around the world, I am able to dress her in beautiful things. 

But this is not the essence of Q. It is perhaps even contradictory to the essence of Q. 
Q is a child of action, a child of motion and adventure. She likes to run and to climb and dive, to play baseball and basketball, do pushups and jumping jacks, and lift weights (yes, real weights) before bed. At three and a half, she would still prefer to go around in nothing but a pair of briefs and some sandals 24/7 (even in winter). She wears clothes only when forced by her mommy and daddy, and on those occasions, resigned to having to be clothed (sigh!), it matters not a whit to her what clothes she is dressed in. The more naked parts, the better (hence her love for something like this bathing costume, which allows her "naked arms" and "naked legs"). 

When her tastes do assert themselves, they are unusual - sometimes even inexplicable. 
She falls in love with the occasional prop or accessory - an umbrella, an oversized bowtie that she wears as a headband, a backpack, a headlamp. But please, gentle readers, don't get the wrong idea. If Q could speak for herself, she would quickly and forcefully correct you (as she often corrects me). 

She would tell you, "I'm not a princess! I'm not pretty. I'm a TinMan! I'm an Octopus. Not a pretty octopus, just a plain Octopus. I am...just Q."

10 comments:

Yoli said...

Maia we do not have the wrong impression, you have always portrayed honestly what the Q is about. I see this blog as a labor of love and what you have her ware reflects her free spirit. Nothing she wears compromises the child she is or forces some cookie cutter ideal. The clothes you have her wear do not define her, she defines the clothes.

ChantaleP said...

Beautifully said...

kenza said...

"just Q" what an amazing person to be!

Yanyan said...

I agree with everything Yoli said! her personality and fee spirit always shines through any outfit she wears, even though she does look fabulous in any outfit she wears. Octopus! That is great!

shopgirl@ said...

Dear Maia - Q is beautiful, exquisite regardless of what she wears. I am sorry for referring to her as a little princess. It was not meant in a negative way at all!

I too have a little girl - 3 year old who refuses to play with dolls or tea sets. she loves dinosaurs, trucks, swords and super hero's....even though I love dolls, I allow her to be who she is as you do with Q.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

I think our little girls would get along famously ;) I loved dolls when I was little (and I make dolls now) but Q HATES dolls. She is very much her own person, and I love that about her!

Christiane said...

Yoli wrote the right words...
It was probably important for you to put this feeling into words (and so sincerely and full of love and respect) and important for the blogosphere, as a reminder.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maia,

I discovered your blog through Modern Kiddo and I find it rapturous. As a mother of 2 young girls (age 4 and 10 mos), I am inspired not only by both Q's and your incredible sense of style but by your obvious devotion to and love for your daughter. Sometimes I get so caught up in the act of "mothering" that I need to be reminded of the sense of wonderment that goes along with raising children; your blog provides this reminder. Keep it up, your blog and your daughter are beautiful!

Merisi said...

Dear Maia,
all I see is the sense of wonder you feel and capture so wonderfully, like the artist you are. It permeates everything you do. And I can sense the warmth and love your daughter is thriving in.

It is amazing how small children can impose their will on us so-called grownups. One of my daughters, at two and a half, threw a temper tantrum every morning when she had to get dressed. I was at the end of my wits when my husband spotted an announcement about a lecture about "your two year old child" given by the child psychologist Louise Bates Ames. At the question and answer period I asked her how I should handle the daily morning terror of dressing her. She answered: "Put her on a chest of drawers, where she can't run away!" - well, it worked, peace forever after! ;-) The same daughter went to preschool with the same sweater, day in and day out, for a whole year. It started fraying by spring's end and I felt obliged to tell the teacher that yes, that little girl of mine owned more than one sweater. The teacher laughed, assuring me that she had never doubted that.

FDChief said...

The thing is, tho, Maia, that these small people are also legion; they are growing inside their heads as much as they are growing outside them, and part of that is trying on being new people and doing different things.

So while I suspect that you have encompassed the core of your little girl, don't be surprised if suddenly she changes into someone you don't quite recognize at first.

After all, the eaglet never looks quite like the eagle, neh?