Last week, we decided to try something new and we call it “girl closet”. It all started about 6 months ago when I pulled a cute tutu skirt out of Lia’s drawer. She refused to wear it that day, so I asked Ava if she wanted to wear it (in retrospect, this was probably not a good idea). Lia flipped out when she saw Ava wearing it and tried pulling it off her, screaming “my skirt!”. Then, about a month ago, Lia started begging to wear Ava’s jammies… then her shirts… then her dresses. Some days, Ava was more than happy to oblige her sister, but others… well, we had a few fights.
Then we had an idea last week. We decided to put all the girls’ clothes in the same closet. I talked with the girls about it and they seemed really excited. We talked about how we were going to combine all the clothes and each day, they could choose to wear anything (weather appropriate, of course) from the girl closet. We discussed the possibility that they might want to wear the same thing some days. We talked about what we could do in that situation and they agreed that they would take turns picking first and would be understanding.
The girls are 20 months apart, but only separated by 3 inches in height and 3 pounds in weight. We often get asked if they are twins. They wear almost the same size in clothing, though there are a few things in the closet that are too small for Ava and a few that are too big for Lia. So the fact that they are almost the same size was definitely a deciding factor.
I’m happy to report that, so far, they are LOVING the girl closet. Every day, they race into Lia’s room and dig through the ridiculous amount of clothing in there. The first day, Lia wore one of Ava’s dresses. The next day, Ava wore a princess shirt. I really thought that would cause a fuss from Lia, but they were content with their decisions.
So, what are we hoping to gain from the girl closet experiment?
1. Sharing – The girls of course get lots of opportunities every day to share, but since this will be something that we deal with everyday, I’m hoping that will help them grow in the caring-about-other-people area. Ava is already very good about putting other people first and I’m hoping this will be a good chance for her to model that behavior consistently to her sister.
2. Less fighting – So far, we have had no fights. I’m sure there will come a day when they will fight over an outfit, but I’m hoping that those arguments are few and far between. Since they will have lots of practice sharing clothing, I’m really hoping this carries them all the way through high school (maybe college too? is that asking too much?!). And when they do fight, it will be a great chance for them to practice their working-it-out skills!
3. Sisterly bonding – I never had a sister, but I always dreamed of sharing clothes, talking about boys, and sneaking out together. I’m sure my girls will do all three together at some point, but for now, we can stick to the sisterly bonding over shared clothing. I imagine as they get older, they will spend more and more time obsessing over what to wear and hopefully they will help each other out in that aspect.
4. Less stuff – I realized when I moved Ava’s clothes into Lia’s closet just HOW MUCH clothes they have. Let me tell you, it’s way too much. Way too much. Next time I get the girls a new shirt or dress, I can feel less like I have to get something for both of them. Or, maybe I’ll just look in their closet and realize that don’t need any more clothes until they grow a whole size.
5. Laundry is easier – Since I buy most of the girls clothes, I know which shirt or dress belongs to which girl. Daddy has a little more trouble with that. He’s never certain which closet to hang which shirt in. Now, since all the girl clothes are in one closet, that’s less sorting and less work when it comes to laundry… yay for that!