Mimicry

All week, after carefully choosing which socks she will wear (they must be partly pink but mostly white, and they must be medium-high: my little fashionista has strong opinions about sock appropriateness), then excitedly choosing which shoes she will wear (I believe I have already mentioned Sophie’s shoe fetish here), little Sophie has broken down in a shrieking tantrum over the outrageousness of being forced to wear her shoes over her socks. She’ll accept pretty much any shirts and pants, but she is particularly picky about what goes on her feet, and, this week, she has been refusing to wear her favorite black sneakers with any socks at all.

It’s not a major tantrum, just a minor one, so I continue my morning activities, hoping Sophie will grow interested in something new.

Sophie wrestles her shoes off. She tugs her socks off. And then she works valiantly to get her shoes back on to her now-sockless feet.

Being able to remove her own shoes and socks is actually quite a feat of dexterity for little Sophie. I’m proud of her fine motor skills, and almost proud of her independent stubbornness — but I also worry about her feet getting cold or, worse, getting blisters.

When I mentioned this week’s sock wars to Sophie’s daycare teacher, Daycare Teacher pointed out that I myself wasn’t wearing socks with my shoes. Sophie was simply imitating me.

So today I made a big show of putting on socks with my dress-shoes. 

And Sophie placidly accepted wearing her own socks below her shoes.

This discipline-through-modeling thing is astoundingly effective.

But what else am I inadvertently modeling that may become a much more insidious habit than socklessness?

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