FireCracker often says things like “I promise I will be very careful,” when emptying out the bottom of the Dorito bag into her mouth while wearing a white shirt. Or “Not ever, ever.”
Since I’ve learned that absolutes – words like always and never – can be harmful in an instance like discussing trash-taking-out habits with my husband; and since I want her to understand the value of her integrity (try explaining that to a three-year-old), I’ve been trying to have conversations about the importance of choosing our words with FireCracker.
And then came the dress.
Since her three-year-old Parent’s Day Out program is tonight, last night at bed time, I casually asked her if she wants to wear a dress that was handed down by one of my cousin’s kids. Well, it took a whole ten minutes to talk her out of waiting until morning once I showed it to her.
(I should mention that she is the kind of kid who doesn’t forget anything, and thinks an impromptu tea party is the perfect occasion for sparkles, a skirt and some jewels.)
Fast forward to today, I put the dress on her. After calling Daddy, spinning around enough to wear a hole in the kitchen floor, and attempting to FaceTime with Grandma to show off the dress, her excitement wore down a little.
And by a little, I mean she only dubbed it “the most beautiful dress in the world.”
She even happily obliged to wear a bib at lunchtime, two years after swearing the things off as evidenced by her daily throwing them across the room. I just thought the bib would be easier than the alternative … changing out of the dress.
Until it happened. The dress caught a glob of ketchup. I calmly explained that she had to take the dress off so I could wash it, and she couldn’t wear it for her nap anyways.
“But you said I could wear it to the program. You said. You promised. You said I could wear it forever.”
(We’re working on the exaggeration, too. It’s not like she learned that from anyone she spends any time with. There was just that one time I heard “for better … or for a copper farmhouse sink,” in the pause of our wedding vows.)
Anyways, enter some WWF-style combat wrangling to get the dress off (And there was that time when the chiropractor asked me if I’d been in a major accident to mess my spine up. Nope, I just have a three-year-old.), and you’d never guess she can be shy.
“Nooooooooooo. It can’t get wet. You will ruin it. But, but it’s the most beautiful dress in the world. Did you hear me say that? I said it’s beautiful.”
So in case you’ve been wondering what wonderful mothering/spiritual insight I’ve been gleaning in my blogging sabbatical, here it is:
I would really like to start a list of volunteer recruits to take this girl wedding dress shopping.
And while you’re at it, please discourage her from serving ketchup at her wedding.
Although at the rate we’re going, if we have any more weddings to pay for, it may serve as a cheap vegetable.