Dream, Draw and Dress
By Melissa Summers
Letting my daughter create her own t-shirt has been a lesson in letting go. When I first opened the package of Peace Monkey’s Do-It-Yourself Tees, I was instantly struck with the kind of crippling anxiety which will only grip an anally-retentive adult when faced with a permanent marker, a t-shirt and an enthusiastic seven-year-old.
A permanent marker? A one time chance to make a design? You want me to let a seven-year-old just draw? On a shirt?
I grabbed a paper bag to breathe into, gave my daughter her shirt to draw on and didn’t say a word about the permanence of what she was about to do. Fine, I only said once that she should think very carefully about what she was about to do. You only have one chance to make this the perfect t-shirt, maybe you want to make a sketch before you start actually drawing?
Thankfully my daughter has been raised by two parents and one of those parents is not particularly anally-retentive. I won’t say which one.
In spite of my best intentions to squash any sense of spontaneity in my seven-year-old, Madison grabbed the marker and drew a picture of a dog. She drew a dog because my daughter never misses a chance to remind me that the only thing she would like in this world is a dog.
She may never have a dog but she now has her very own drawing of a dog on her shirt and it’s given her a lot of joy. Maybe we can teach the drawing on her shirt to do tricks so it’s nearly as exciting as a real dog? Okay, it’s a really nice soft and sturdy cotton shirt but probably not as exciting as a puppy.
Nonetheless the shirt with her very own design is a huge source of pride. When people ask where she got it she proudly says, “I made it myself.” She then quickly adds, “It’s a puppy. Don’t you think I should have a puppy?”
DIY tees at www.peace-monkey.com.
For a daily dose of Melissa Summers’ wit and charm please visit her popular parenting web log, Suburban BlissPublished February 9, 2006. Last updated September 17, 2018.