although the rest of the dressing routine, well, let me give you an example:
We were given a lovely navy blue (very dressy-i.e.-Sunday church wear) dress for H. Yesterday morning, she came downstairs, dressed for breakfast in---you guessed it---the navy blue dress.
So trying to use this as a "teachable moment" for language and etiquette, I said to H, "You look very pretty this morning. That is a very fancy dress and it's pretty yucky out today, why don't we choose some different clothes for today and wear that dress a different day."
She looked at me, slightly puzzled, so I said (even less wordy this time), "Dress-pretty. Today-shirt and pants day." And as I did, I pantomimed putting on pants and a shirt.
This was met with an a-ha look and she said, "pants, okay" and ran upstairs to change (or so I thought). About 30 seconds later, I heard her coming down again, this time, she had on the dress, but with a pair of pants underneath it.
So, I thought to myself, okay I need to explain and demonstrate the shirt part again. I said to H, "Yes, pants, good, but also shirt" and with that I went through elaborate hand gestures of putting a pretend shirt over my head and sliding my arms into pretend sleeves. Again, the lightbulb flashed and she was off for her bedroom, and again 30 seconds later I heard her descending. When she rounded the corner from the dining room into the kitchen, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a glimpse of navy blue fabric. When I looked up, she still had the dress on (with the pants) and had added a shirt over the top of the dress. I can only imagine how strangely she must think parents instruct their children to dress in America.
At this point, I did my final silent mime show for the morning---taking off the dress, while keeping on the pants and shirt. She took off again, and as she did, I offered a quick prayer that we might make it to lunch sans the navy blue dress, but otherwise fully clothed. And then, voila, there she was pants and shirt and ready for breakfast. Does anyone know who the patron saint of wardrobe is?