Picky Pip!

My darling son is becoming quite the picky Pip just lately. It's quirky and funny and frustrating all in one little pickle parcel.  For all Katie's "issues" she was quite amenable for me to choose her clothing at aged 4, but not Pip.  He knows what he wants and he will stand up for his right.......

Big Time!

First he started being very choosy about his PJ's.  It's quite the selection process watching him decide which tops feel soft enough to adorn his little body in bed bed. Piles of discarded tops and PJ bottoms are thrown on the floor for me to put away again.  During the very hot spell in the recent summer he insisted on wearing full length PJ's to bed "in case he got cold"

More recently he started rejecting jeans and trousers in favour of soft joggers (classy!).  In all honesty, because he's been very slow to potty train, joggers are easy to get on and off especially that now he has to get himself changed if he wets himself.  Pulling off some tight jeans that are soggy with pee is not my idea of a good time I can tell you.

The funniest argument we are now having is over swimwear.  Pip has been having toddler swimming lessons for nearly a year. There's not much swimming involved in Pip's case and an awful lot of bouncing up and down splashing the water everywhere or disappearing away from his little class to go and explore.  His teacher calls him constantly to return (a bit like I do all day long). Every single boy in his class wears swimming shorts now but Pip insists on wearing an all in one type of affair that you would normally put on children in the summer to protect them from the sun.  He will NOT wear trunks.  He will NOT go in the pool without wearing his swimming T-shirt thing.  He will NOT take off his swimming costume for a shower unless everyone else has left the shower area. He's mortified if anyone else sees him less than dressed. I've tried pushing the issues with him but he genuinely panics. If it wasn't for the fact that he would happily spend hours in the shower at home all nudie I would question whether this was a sensory issue.

The other stuff I will put down to sensory difficulties.  He likes soft things against his skin. So do I!  I hate feeling trussied up and unable to breathe.  I remember the dresses in the 1970's with the elasticated top halves which felt like ants crawling up and down my skin.  I can't cope with jumpers that are woolly and fluffy as they irritate my skin. I hate dressing up and live in my jeans all the time. I don't make a fanfare about it though so I don't think it's learned behaviour. Katie is the complete oppositie, she loves being dressed up.

So is this just a phase?  Children do love their phases don't they?  Or is there more under the surface? He has a large birthmark that I wondered whether he was sensitive about. No-body mentions it at home though (apart from Katie occasionally when she wants to be mean) so I'm not sure how aware of it he is.  It will remain to be seen.  He's a 4 year old living in a highly controlling house.  He lives with Katie doing all she can to control her life and the mood in the house with her behaviour.  He lives with me trying to control Katie and counterbalance all the controlling behaviour.  It's not really a surprise he's decided to join in the party and do a little controlling of his own.  What I'm now trying to do decide is whether I just let it all go and ignore it all or push the issue.  The issue of the swimming costume is fast becoming an issue of size because he's pretty much grown out of his current one and I either need to give in and buy a new one or just wait until it gets too small to get his head into (already becoming an issue) and see if he decides he doesn't want to wear it anymore.

Life is never dull is it?  Has anyone else had this issue with their little one? Did they just grow out of it? I don't think we're in autistic territory here but do wonder if there are sensory issues at play.


  1. Three children with sensory issues here. None adopted though.
    One with HFA, one with dyspraxia and the third (who is the most NT) with the worst and pickiest sensory/control issues.

    It will do no harm at all to let Pip go into the next size up all in one. He obviously likes the feeling of being snug in his outfit, that makes him feel safe, and safety might also have something to do with the fact that he doesn;t want to take it off in the public shower (whilst at home he doesn;tmind showering without clothes) Ds2 (the HFA) hated showers without clothes until he was about 8. We used to put him in the bath with his clothes on, just to get him used to feeling of the water. That will give you an idea about how bad it can be....at its worst.

    Who cares what he wears? He may well change his mind later when he wants to wear what other boys are wearing, but at the moment it really isn't a big deal.

    Caring about your clothes is the first stage of individual independent choice, and liking particular ones based on comfort/ideas about style and self presentation (contrary to parental ideas of style and self presentation!) is a familiar stage in childhood development. Very annoying to parents though. Can still remember my mum buying me a revolting tasteful plum coloured corduroy party dress when I wanted a pink frilly one in nylon net aged 5. I just could not understand WHY she thought the plum one was nice - had to wear it though (felt dismal and depressed by it - my poor sister had a matching one)

    So in short, sensory issues about clothes are very likely, but I think as parents we get very invested in how our kids look, and worried that people will think they aren't wearing the right clothes, when they are the much better judge of what actually works. [Apart from perenennial problem of them never anticipating how cold they will get in particular garments and refusing to wear a coat]

    Sensory issues can present as needing to be snugly clothed, but also avoid anything scratchy or labels sticking into necks or sides or waistbands. I remember a little boy near us when I was a child who refused to wear trousers, only tights and wellies - his mother went with it. This was really just a phase by 5 he had grown out of it.

  2. Just adding to the above comment - my son is nearly 7, high-functioning ASD, and will only swim in an all-in-one. He doesn't care what his peers are wearing. I think it's a physical/material sensory comfort to him. His most recent one is from decathlon (they deliver if you don't live near to one) - the sizes go up to age 12! My son also does not want anyone to see him naked in public so we use a poncho towel that means he can get dry and changed underneath it. At home he will happily run around naked though!


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