I learned early on that, with children, it is important to choose your battles. When Joseph was about two, someone sent him a pair of blue rubber boots, the kind that you splash in the puddles with. They came up to his knees and had frog faces on the toes.
Around this time, we went to a late evening mass for a holy day of obligation. I bathed Joe and put him in some bright red penguin pajamas so he could go straight to bed when we got home. Joe insisted on the boots as his footwear of choice. On arriving at the church, Father greeted us, and commented on Joe's getup. While he has always been very supportive of parents and children in all capacities at the church, I could see he didn't get it. For me, him looking ridicules was not worth the fight he'd put up if I made him take those boots off.
The more children I have, the more choosy I become about what I'm willing to fight about. You want to wear your stocking cap in August? Go for it. Eat peanut butter and jelly for breakfast? Low sugar jelly, whole wheat bread and protein. Knock yourself out. Sleep on the floor in your sleeping bag instead of in your bed? Fine by me.
Benny and I were at cooking class a few weeks ago and I met a mom who understood about choosing your battles. She had a beautiful little girl about three. Tiny and petite, graceful and dainty, dressed very cute in a pink dress--and sporting an enormous, black, handlebar mustache. You could tell the mom was slightly embarrassed, but the little girl was so proud to be wearing this huge fake stick-on mustache. She wore it throughout the entire class, and every time I looked at her I had to choke back a giggle. It just wasn't worth the fight.