Friday, March 02, 2012

Sugar and spice and everything nice

Josie has probably worn a dress 2 or 3 times in her entire life.  I think dresses on little babies that aren't even sitting up or are still crawling are kind of silly, because the end result is this big wad of fabric up around the baby's armpits and either skinned knees or ripped tights from crawling.  So she never wore them as a baby.

Then at some point last year, I had a pair of cute winter tights that someone had given her, so I was getting her ready for school and put her in a little jumper and some tights.  She was so incensed she practically ripped my face off, and immediately started pulling off the tights and tugging at the dress like I had tried to put her in a straitjacket.

I figured, great, that's one less item of clothing that I have to worry about buying.  Plus she's such a tough little monkey, having her wear jeans and leggings and t-shirts kind of fit the tom-boyish vision I have of her in my head. 

My mother, however, was deeply dismayed.  There are few things she enjoys more than buying cute clothes for her grandchildren, and the "no dresses" dealio severely limited her efforts.

Anyhoo, Josie's standard uniform is a pair of jeans (skinny or straight leg) or leggings, with a short sleeve t-shirt over a long-sleeve t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers.  That's what I put her in this morning.

Then as I was puttering around drinking my morning smoothie and getting Zeke ready for school, I noticed that Jo had taken one of her little toddler-bed-sized fitted sheets and was draping it around herself. 

"I'm a girl, Mama!"

"You are a girl.  And is that your pretty dress?"

"Yes, I wear a dress!"

"Well, you look very nice.  That's a beautiful dress."

She twirled and pranced around.

When it was time to go, I took the sheet from her and started to fold it up to put it back in the laundry basket.

Josie lost her shit.  She cried and cried and cried.

"I want my dress! I want to be a girl!"

A light bulb went on over my head.  I kneeled down and gave her a hug and a kiss.

"Honey, do you want to wear a dress to school?"

"Yeeeesss..."  she sobbed on my shoulder.

"OK, then.  Let's go find you a dress!"

Luckily, I had a couple hanging in her closet that were the right size (I'm assuming they were gifts that people had sent or hand-me-downs from friends, because God knows I didn't buy them).  She was wearing a pair of dusty pink skinny jeans and a light pink long-sleeved t-shirt, so I found a cute little pink dress with butterflies on it and put it on over what she was wearing.

She's still recovering from the trauma at this point and wiping away tears, but the beginnings of a smile are starting to show.  Plus the light in the hallway is bad and she rarely stands still long enough to snap a picture that isn't blurry, so this was the best I could do.
The transformation in her appearance and her demeanor was immediate.  Suddenly she just looked so pretty to me (not that I don't think she's gorgeous, but she looked girly-pretty), and she was so, so happy.  She kept twirling and checking herself out in the mirror and grinning from ear to ear, saying, "I'm wearing a dress!"

"Well, let's get you to school so you can show all your friends your pretty dress!"

When I told Jessica, her teacher, about it, she said that Josie has been playing a lot of dress-up lately, and saying that "she wants to be a girl" and wear a dress.  So I guess that's where we're headed.

Which is fine with me.  Maybe she'll even let me do something with her hair.

And of course, my mother is thrilled.


  1. So cute! I love little girly dresses. I wouldn't wear them to save my life as a child, but I hope my little girl will. I just love all the pink cutie-cute deliciousness.

    1. I didn't think I was into it, but when I saw her this morning, and particularly her excitement about it, my heart melted. And I can see your little bean being very stylish.

  2. She looks adorable! And I laughed at the post-trauma picture. I love how they get so indignant and when they're calming down there's an element of, "I'm still a little pissed but I'm getting over it."

    1. Ha! Exactly. Plus she's at that age when everything is either a source of great joy or of extreme trauma. There is no in-between.