There’s a distinct continuum of parenting philosophies regarding the matching of their offspring. All levels are equally valid, but the decision is intensely personal.
Level 5 Matchers: These parents believe that complete matching is synonymous with holiness. They not only match ALL of their children, both male and female, all the way down to their socks and underwear, but also match their OWN outfits to their children’s.
(I’m pretty sure that Level 5 Matchers only exist in the 80’s and in Hanna Andersson catalogs.)
(Oh – and in families that are so massively large that the only way for them to efficiently know who all belongs to them is to pick a color scheme and go with it.)
Level 4 Matchers: These parents regularly match their children, both male and female. Although they don’t typically also match their own clothing with their children’s, they feel compelled to do so for family portraits and holidays.
(My Mom made she and I an adorable set of red, plaid, pleated, taffeta Christmas skirts one year. Although she didn’t qualify for this status my entire childhood, she was definitely a Level 4 Matcher that year.)
Level 3 Matchers: These parents tend to always match their children of the same gender (especially girls), but don’t subscribe to cross-gender matching or parental matching.
(Typically, the little boys and husbands belonging to these families are very thankful.)
Level 2 Matchers: These parents find occasional pleasure in matching their children, but don’t make it a requirement.
Level 1 Matchers: These parents are Easter-Only, same-gender-only matchers (and maybe just “coordinators”, a whole different continuum unto itself), and refuse to match their kids at any other time.
Level 0 Matchers: These parents scoff at (or secretly scoff at) any parents with a matching level above their own, and absolutely refuse to EVER match their children, sometimes even consciously choosing to make them clash – on principle.
Have you located yourself in the Matching Continuum?
I am a Level 2 matcher, but could have possibly moved up to 2.5 on the continuum had I birthed two children of the same gender.
My friend Ashley, however, is no more than a .5 on the continuum, and I only give her the .5 credit because I haven’t heard her scoff higher levels of matchers. Although she has two girls (the ultimate temptation to increase one’s level of matchyness), I have never seen her girls match.
And for more proof of her low level of match, we went shopping the other day, and she tried to pick out a dress for AJ that I hadn’t bought for Ali (although she found out afterward that I had indeed bought that dress…and, unfortunately for her, AJ also found out.)
And so, although she’s WAY too kind to ever say so, she probably would have never done what I’ve done every time AJ has come to spend the night with Ali.
(Their eery look-alikeness is surely to blame for some of my matching temptations.)
And furthermore, I am obviously and solely to blame in the brainwashing of her child…which led to a phone call from Ashley Saturday afternoon.
“AJ asked me to call you and ask you to ask Ali if they could wear their matching dresses tomorrow at Church.”
(Although Chris took the call and said that Ashley sounded amused, I worried what matching angst I had caused her.)
Ali obviously agreed to the plan.
And everyone in our somewhat large church was made aware by two giddy little girls that they did, indeed, match.
One day, they’ll realize their supposed to be embarrassed to show up at the same place in the same dress, but for now, our girls definitely qualify for Level 3 Matchers.
And it’s all my fault.