Traditionally, Janey hasn't cared a great deal what she wore. Once in a while, she'd get attached to a certain shirt, especially at one point her "rainbow shirt", which was a tacky thing with sequins making up a rainbow. But usually, she just wears what I put on her. Lately, though, that isn't the case. Janey has become hugely attached to pajamas, and most especially, her "snowman jammies", a fleecy nightgown, very wintery, with snowmen on it.
All weekend, Janey wanted to wear her snowman getup. It was a fairly hot weekend, with yesterday close to 90, and it was painful for me to see her in fleece. But I gave in mostly. I cruelly insisted on regular clothes when we had to leave the house, but inside the house, I let her wear the nightgown. By midday yesterday, it was covered with food, and I had to wash it. That was traumatic. Janey kept searching for it, and throwing a complete fit when we tried to substitute other nightgowns, or, God forbid, regular clothes. When Tony was going to take her to the store, she had reluctantly settled on a long ago outgrown pajama top. He put shorts under it and was heading out the door. I stopped them, and tried very hard to convince them both that a too small pajama top was not suitable wear for out in public, but Tony said "it took this long to get her into something---just let it be!" I realized he had a point. The top covered what needed to be covered, was fairly clean and at a distance might not look like pajamas, so I let it go. She fell asleep in it later, so I didn't have the nighttime snowman jammie fight.
I think the jammie obsession is part of Janey's need to recreate situations that comfort her. Friday night, once she got in the nightgown and I lay down with her to get her to sleep, she has the most wonderful look of comfort and happiness on her face, and she actually looked straight at me and said "together again!" It was great. The jammies are part of the stage setup she uses. They are part of how she creates a comfort zone for herself, and I do respect and understand that. But....
I was worried about dressing Janey for school today. I managed to get her to have a bath, which has started to be another battle, and then when dressing her I put on my very best stage banter, which I have gotten good at over the years. "Hey, look at this nice shirt! It seems like a jammie shirt to me! It looks very comfy! And WOW! This skirt seems just like a jammie skirt! It has a nice elastic waist! It looks so nice!", all the while dressing her as fast as humanly possible, hoping to get away with it. So far so good. Janey is watching her usual 7-7:30am dose of Curious George, still dressed for now.
In a way, it's cool to me that Janey has started to notice what she wears. Although I'm not much of a dresser myself, I enjoy clothes---I enjoy picking them out for her, I like comparing brands, I just plain like clothes. I've often tried to interest her in clothes. But of course, like most things with autism, now that she is noticing them, there is her own twist. That's my Janey.