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Toddler Wore Same Shirt for a Year

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Mom•Logic's Julie: My daughter refused to take off her pink princess sweatshirt.

I read with interest this week about the 11-year-old boy in Wisconsin who wore the same Green Bay Packers jersey for 1,581 days in a row. I can so relate. When my daughter was two-and-a-half, she fell madly, deeply in love. With a sweatshirt. And not just any sweatshirt, mind you--a hideous pink Disney Princess sweatshirt that I couldn't stand. I had always prided myself on dressing my daughter in the latest, hippest fashions.

I shopped at Babystyle, Hot Topic and Kitson Kids for nontraditional baby clothes and rocker T's. But one day, I made the mistake of ordering her the damned pink sweatshirt from To say she loved it would be an understatement. She adored it, worshipped it, became obsessed with it.

Every morning, the only thing she would put on was the tacky pink sweatshirt. If I hadn't washed it the night before (and who the heck does laundry every night?--not me), I was in for a 30-minute full-on tantrum--kicking, screaming, the works. After a few months of waiting for her obsession to wane, her love for the shirt only grew stronger.

Finally, I caved. I ordered four more sweatshirts, one for every day of the week. I had a sit-down with all her teachers to explain that I really wasn't a bad mom who sent her child to school in the same dirty shirt every day. I was just the mother of a particularly stubborn 2-year-old who I was sick to death of fighting with every morning, that's all.

After about a year, without warning, the sweatshirt affair ended abruptly. She marched over to her drawer one morning and pulled out a purple tank top, and never wore the sweatshirt again. I guess you could say it was a clean breakup, and for me it couldn't have come sooner. I wanted to burn the damn things, I was so sick of looking at them. But I donated four to Goodwill and put one in the attic for safekeeping. I'm sure someday we'll both get a laugh looking at the sweatshirt she refused to take off for a year.

Has your child ever become obsessed with a piece of clothing? (Surely I'm not the only one!)

Click on an image to view the Pink Sweatshirt Adventure gallery!

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27 comments so far | Post a comment now
kmc April 6, 2008, 5:19 PM

I’m glad to know someone feels my pain.
My 3 year old daughter has fallen in love with her pretty pink princess costume from last halloween. It has gone from ball gown beautiful to looking like cinderella’s scrub dress.

Julie April 7, 2008, 8:34 AM

Kudos to you for picking your battles!! When my son (who is now 14!) was about four or five he decided the best shoes on the planet were his cowboy boots. It was fine when he wore pants, but when it became summer and he wanted to wear them with shorts and a sleeveless shirt, my fashion sense and the “what will everyone think of me?” fear took over. After all the battles that you are well acquainted with, I finally gave in and let him wear the shorts and boots out shopping. Of course we received all the looks that I had feared and I found myself explaining to everyone that caught my eye why my son was dressed that way. Then a little grandma came over to me and patted me on the back and said, “You are a great mom! You are not squelching his personality and you are more concerned with feeding his creativity than with what other people think!” From that day on I was just fine with whatever he wore, even when it was 95 degrees and he wore shorts, cowboy boots, and a big jacket that had tons of pockets to hold all of his treasure! :-)

Stef April 7, 2008, 10:26 AM

Apparently when I was about your daughter’s age, I became obsessed with a particular dress, which I, being the most stubborn child in the world, insisted on wearing every day.
So every day when I was home, my mom let me wear what I called my “fress.” I don’t think the obsession ended as much as I outgrew the thing, and it ended up on one of my dolls.

Larry May 12, 2008, 12:21 AM

Really people? Who wears the pants in these families?!?! My God! I have two boys under the age of 4 and Mom and I decide what they wear. They do have some say, BUT ultimately, we are the adults and we decide. It is utterly ridiculous to hear stories about kids wearing the same jersey for a year straight or the other mother buying 4 sweatshirts, all the same, so to not have to deal with a tantrum. Grow up parents and impose some discipline now so your kids grow up to be model citizens, not brats who know they can get their way by throwing a tantrum. I see them at the mall all the time and I’m proud that those aren’t my kids. Show some pride and don’t let them be yours either……

Julie W May 12, 2008, 11:18 AM

My mom loves to remind me how much I loved a certain navy blue skirt when I was 3. Apparently she snuck it out of my room at night to wash it. I guess everything turned out ok in the end. I am now a grownup with a whole closet full of clothes and I am pretty good about rotating them.

Anonymus May 12, 2008, 12:03 PM

Parents are wimps today. They don’t know how to say no to their kids.

Liza S. August 18, 2008, 5:18 PM

Kudos to all the moms in the world who know which battles to pick and which to just leave alone. My son has worn the same outfit - shorts, shirt and shoes - for the past four weeks. We have drawn the line at letting him sleep in the clothes and wear them to church but besides that, this is the only outfit he will wear. Some things are worth battling and others are not. Larry and “Anonymous” must not know what it is like having strong and independent children. I am glad other parents allow their children to learn how to make decisions on their own.

Shellie September 18, 2008, 7:44 AM

Ok, so I believe there needs to be a balance here. I have two kids 4 and 7 and they have there favorite clothes, but neither one of them have ever become so obsessed with one that they had to wear it everyday. I don’t think having an obession of any kind is natural or healthy. Doesn’t that pave the way for more obsessive behavior in the future?
My kids are plenty creative and self expressive. Since the age of 3 they have picked there own clothes out to wear, self expression. I guess I just don’t understand why any parent would let their child have an obsession with anything. What if that shirt obsession turns into a boyfriend or girlfriend obsession later?
I don’t think it is about picking your battles so much as it is raising healthy minded kids.

jeno September 19, 2008, 9:01 AM

I loved when my son was three years old and wanted to wear a wife-beater style t-shirt, shorts, rain boots and a hard hat for the day. And my daughter at the same age liked to sometimes wear dress-up princess clothes to the grocery store. It wasn’t an everyday obsession, but just an occasional quirky choice. They are thirteen and eight now and would NEVER do this now. *sigh* Enjoy the little cute things while they last.

sherry November 12, 2008, 3:18 PM

My daughter didn’t get obsessed with one outfit, but I did let her pick out her clothes. There were many times I wanted to walk behind her with a sign that would say “my daughter dresses herself”. Especially when she wore that dark green plaid skirt with the sherbert colored striped sweater and the red hairbow with white polka dots! As she got older she would have her favorite outfits, which helped teach her to do laundry. I washed clothes once a week, if she wanted something washed to wear again before then, she had to do it herself. We may have wasted some water but she learned to do laundry early and not expect me to do it just because she wanted something to wear.

sashay December 7, 2008, 7:32 PM

my god. Now I see why the children of today are such spoiled rotten little brats. Their parents are idiots! So mom, just lie down on the ground and I will cover you with compost and spray you with fertilizer and hope and pray to god that you grow a back bone. How lovely that your bratty kids walk all over you and make their own decisions at 3! Can’t wait to see what you find amusing when they hit 13.

Ellen W. December 7, 2008, 10:51 PM

my story is the WORST, no contest.
it was a while before halloween, and i was nine months pregnant, and due any day with my second child. my three year old daughter was obsessed with the littl mermaid, so we got her an ariel costume, complete with seashells and everything. she put it on and did NOT take it off, unless she was forced out of it! i went into labor halloween night, and my son was born the next day. i called my husband and told him to make sure my daughter dressed warmly when she arrived at the hospital, because it was freezing, very cold for october.
she showed up in the costume, with her red wig on.

Anonymous December 11, 2008, 9:46 PM know, it’s sad to see all the negative comments about parenting styles on here. LOTS of kids do these things, and at the time, they’re frustrating, and in retrospect, amusing. It was a lovely story to read, and adorable pictures to match. Every kid is different…and to those of you who say “My kids would NEVER do that” I’m sure there’s a reason for it. You CANNOT make a child sit down if he doesn’t want to….he’ll just get back up the moment you walk away….unless, of course, you sit on thier lap to keep them down……..

Erin December 15, 2008, 5:17 PM

Reading through the posts, I was struck by some of the aggressive, angry language in the negative posts, for example: “brats,” “spoiled rotten,” “idiots,” “impose discipline,” and “wimps.” There seems to be some mistaken idea that choosing your battles is some sort of code for giving them anything they want. Sure, I could dominate my children and force them into behavioral submission - it would definitely be easier in many respects. Instead, I decide what’s really important, make those boundaries unwavering and evaluate the hundreds of other little battles as they come. A toddler’s job is to strive for independence – much of which they’re not equipped to handle. It a frustrating life, being a toddler—so why can’t we let them win a few here and there? I find that allowing them to have some control over things that seem relatively incidental to me (like wearing a shirt over and over) makes them more respectful of important things like sharing, picking up after yourself, not hitting, etc. In my mind, raising kids to be kind, tolerant, compassionate and open-minded adults isn’t something that comes with a “do it or else” attitude over trivial things.

MaryL January 24, 2009, 11:41 PM

Oh, goodness!
Three quarters of the parents in this world would love for their child to HAVE a comfy, warm sweatshirt that they could wear everyday!
This is a non-issue. Let the child get dressed as he/she prefers unless it is outright dangerous.

H June 25, 2009, 12:47 AM

Um, my son never did anything like that. However, I was that kid!! When I was 3 or 4 I refused to eat ANYTHING but EGO waffles. After about a month my mom took me to the hospital (I was her first child and she was freaked out). I think I gave up on them after she gave up on trying to make me eat other stuff. LOL… Sorry mom! :)

Eric February 22, 2010, 8:29 AM

I have 2 children, a 3 year old daughter and a soon to be 5 year old son. I have let them were what they want from the age of 2. Its interesting to see what outfits my daughter picks to wear. One day she wore a cars t-shirt with a pink princess skirt and tinkerbell socks. I have no problem letting my kids were what they want. I never have problem with my kids wearing same shirt over and over week after week due to fact I have one rule, I wash their clothes once a week on a Sunday. They like the fact that they can wear clean clothes again Monday morning. My daughter is obsessed with dresses and skirts however, she refuses to wear anything but dresses and skirts. But I don’t mind as long as she has a new dress or shirt/skirt ensemble each day of the week.

Eric February 22, 2010, 8:42 AM

Were should be wear in my post. sorry about that.

notaparent February 22, 2010, 8:56 AM

maybe the best thing to do is not to buy your kids stupid clothes, it is common sense, if you want them to eat vegetables don’t introduce them to pizza pops….. same with their clothing choice….don’t buy junk….

Fashion Merchandising October 12, 2010, 4:09 PM

I really appreciate the work. I’m a company professional in Georgia and have passed the article to my friends.

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