August 28, 2009

17 Rules Every Dad Must Know When Dressing His Daughter

Dressing a 2-year old girl shouldn't be that difficult, after all, I've been successfully dressing myself for three decades (give or take the few years my mom and dad took charge). With my choice in color, style and overall look, I think it's safe to say I have the fashion sense of blind manatee. And even then, that may be an insult to manatees.

When I'm charged with the task of dressing either of my daughters, I abide by the two rules every guy uses to dress himself: one article must have a neck-hole and the other must cover the crotch. These rules are simple, easy to remember and will keep you from violating any state laws.

My wife, on the other hand, has 17 rules for dressing our daughters. They are complicated, confusing and intimidating. (They are also endorsed by the League of Female Manatee.) These rules were not pulled out of a hat—though, to any normal human being, they might look that way. The basics were crafted centuries ago and have been adapted by each generation of wife/mother. While slight details may change from household to household, the essence of each rule is in tact.

But let's be honest: 17 rules are too many for any dad to remember; after all, dads' minds are only programmed to retain things like baseball statistics, what-beats-what in poker and which flavor of snow cone is the best (lemon lime). Even Einstein couldn't remember his wife's set of rules for dressing their daughter. And if he—father of e=mc2—couldn't do it, how could women expect us regular dads—who don't even know what e=mc2 means—to cope with so many rules.

In order to avoid future problems, I wrote the rules down on a little cheat sheet that I keep hidden in the top drawer of each daughter's bedroom. I reference it every morning. Since I started doing this, my wife and I stopped fighting about clothing, which has opened up some valuable free time that we now dedicate to fighting about societal value of the "I'm So Excited" episode of "Saved by the Bell." (And yes, there totally is some.)

So, without further ado, the 17 rules for dressing my daughters are as follows:

1. Clothes need to match—in color and style, not in "type of animal on them."
2. Diapers must go on under tights, not over.
3. A shirt with a ketchup stain does not "have red in it."
4. No matter how you dice it, vertical stripes on a shirt do not match horizontal stripes on pants.
5. Shorts are not a year-round option.
6. No socks with sandals (this rule also applies to dressing dad).
7. Bowls are not hats.
8. Pants are not hats.
9. Underwear are not…you get the picture.
10. Adam committed original sin when he ate the apple. His second sin was dressing his daughter in white after Labor Day.
11. Daughters in matching outfits are cute. Dad and daughters in matching Megadeth tees are not.
12. Changing from PJs into another set of PJs is not "dressing her."
13. Wristbands are not "part of an outfit."
14. If she wears her Jay Bruce Reds baseball jersey on Monday, she can't wear it again for at least 10 business days.
15. She also can't wear the other 11 Reds jerseys you bought her.
16. Grunge is dead. So are you if you dress my baby in it.
17. And finally... if you have to sniff it, it's off limits.

There you have it. The list of rules every father must have. Print it out. Tuck it away under the mattress. Hang it from the ceiling. Stuff it down your shorts. But most important, keep a copy in every room.

You'll find it more useful than e=mc2.

The Life of Dad is updated every other Friday (barring the call of family duties). Thanks for stopping by and following my attempts to be a good dad, husband and co-ed softball player. I hope you visit again. -- Brian


Katie said...

You are lucky there are only 17. We have others like, "girls only wear girl clothes, not t-shirts with cars on them from her brother," and, "real sports fans don't put their baby girls (over the age of 1) in pink jerseys!"

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

LOL! Rules 14 and 15 are stringently enforced in our house, though with the season the Mets have had, it hasn't been as much of an issue this summer. :-\

jennieb said...

these are very good rules. there is only one rule in our house when it comes to danny dressing chris. 1. put him in the outfit i put out for him. no matter what.
works wonderfully :)

Carrie said...

Hahaha! That was great. I can actually see my best friend giving that list to her husband. ;) Good luck with abiding by those/not getting caught sneaking the jersey in twice in one week.

Alicia Gregoire said...

"11. Daughters in matching outfits are cute. Dad and daughters in matching Megadeth tees are not."

Love this one. Of course, my husband and I would totally throw the child in a Megadeth tee.

Anonymous said...

You are too funny. I'm reposting your link on my facebook. My sister in law and mother in law has to read this!

Sarah Jensen said...

I am so glad my mom had 10 boys and didn't know what to do with the 3 girls she had.

My friends are like your wife. I AM NOT.

If they aren't covered in mud and smell of pee when the leave the house, I'm happy.

Matching? Plueeze. I don't match. Well, I do. Jeans goes with everything.

My 7yo daughter embarrasses the 11 yo daughter by her dress of mismatched Pippy Longstocking type clothes.

And I dress Grunge, so I can't say anything there either.

Oh, my girls don't wear boy underwear and vise versa. Does that count for something. though they do wear underwear as hats.

What a great mom I am, huh. LOL

Unknown said...

You may enjoy this entertaining 'dressing your child' chart

Anonymous said...

I'll surely have this printed and share with my husband and other male friends. This is great! Keep up the good work! Good luck on everything. By the way, these best gifts that you could give your better-half might interest you too. Thanks and have a nice and fulfilling day.

Anonymous said...

sorry sarah I disagree, I wear knickers 24/7 as a man and I LOVE THEM

Anonymous said...

I just have 1 simple rule for dressing them, if they are under 16 DON'T, they should be nkd 24/7 little p----y always ready