Personal Style: A Statement at Any Age

When I was raising my daughters, I don’t remember a lot of resistance to wearing clothes that either I picked out or that matched (and what I picked out usually did). They were easy to get along with when it came to dressing them for the most part. When I nannied Cooper, there was a little more resistance to matching colors and coordinating patterns, but we got along in general. There were some days, though, when I had to override his clothing choices to get him out of the house for some outing or appointment. And I remember feeling guilty that I was tampering with his independence or interfering with his God-given right to mix plaids with stripes. After all, a person’s style choices say a lot about them, no matter their age.

I saw my own grandchildren at various times dressed in unusual combinations, and my daughter would be as chill with it all as could be. Clearly, she appreciated the value of letting the little ones showcase part of who they were through their unique style. As someone who typically goes for gaudy colors and tee shirts that say much about my personal taste and choices, I can really get behind her attitude. Let them demonstrate their personalities in this very personal and showy way. I decided GG Sprinkles should devote an episode to this very idea and have a little fun with it.

I costumed for an awful lot of my units in sophomore English, and I have a closet full of very eclectic outfits: a medieval gown (two, actually) for King Arthur, a toga or two for Caesar, princess gowns, capes, etc. I have a Mardi Gras gown that I used to wear with a belt I made that says ‘For the love of God, Montresor’ from a Poe story that’s set during the Carnivale. I chose that one to wear for the episode. Why not, right? Then I grabbed some of my tee shirts with bands and sayings that I identify with. I grabbed a pair of Sleeping Beauty socks (my favorite princess) to show that you can make a statement about yourself even with your socks. There were other items, but the point is that our style choices are independent and important to us. So enjoy exploring style with the youngest of us. Their sense of style is every bit as important to them and as telling as ours is.

Author:

I’m a huge believer in two things: the wisdom and potential of our children and the importance of poetry and imagination in their lives and development. My teaching background is at the high school level, but my methods in the classroom ran high in interaction and whimsy, at least as much whimsy as preparation for state testing allowed. I have four young grandchildren, and I nannied a little boy for over four years from infancy, so I like to think I know children pretty well. And I used poetry to teach and inspire no matter what ages I was called to teach. Poetry takes very big ideas and boils them down to nuggets of wisdom more easily understood. And then there’s the rhyme, such a valuable asset to pre-reading and a great hook to pull the little ones into the poetry itself. The rhythm, cadence, and yes, the rhyme, all have value for kids. Even if the full meaning of the words eludes them a little, there is value in what they do process. I have written and published two books of essays and poetry for teachers, but my greater joy came in writing poetry for children. I began a book of children’s poetry the day my first grandchild Samantha was born and fourteen years later I continue to add to it. I entitled it A Duck in the Sky, which comes from a discussion we had with Sam when she was just a toddler. We were talking about the meaning of life and Sam assured us that the meaning of life was, in fact, a duck in the sky. Fair enough, and a very good title. I never published my children’s book, although that will happen. But in the meantime came Covid and quarantine. I wanted to contribute something, to help entertain young children stuck at home, even if for only a few minutes at a time. So GG Sprinkles was born, someone who reads poetry and entertains with props, demonstrations, etc. Our videos began on a GG Sprinkles Facebook page, and shortly after that became a GG Sprinkles YouTube channel. So we now have quite a few videos available and I continue to write poetry. I have learned a great deal about a lot of topics: fairies, zebras, angels, octopuses, birds, superheroes, blanket forts, dragons, space, buried treasure, planets, burping, puppets, trains, unicorns, kites, magic wands, and so much more. It has been a pure joy to do this for the kids. And, of course, I’m learning so much along the way. We intend to keep the videos coming as long as the poetry comes and the kids and parents are interested. We’d be delighted to have you come along with us as we explore new topics poetically and just have some fun. GG Sprinkles welcomes you to any of the videos you’d like to watch and further thoughts here on my blog. Enjoy!

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