Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Princess Dress

My daughter, Alice, is off the chain. For real, you guys.

This past weekend, my mom was in. When my mom is around, we tend to do two things and two things only: 1) Eat vile, disgustingly bad for you food and 2) Go to Target where we walk around aimlessly. It is glorious. We try on things that look interesting, drink Starbucks and sometimes, buy a bag of that uber-salty popcorn they sell JUST BECAUSE.

Alice really adores my mom because my mom indulges her crazy, wild and go-go-go spirit. She knows that when Memaw is in town, there will be no quiet night at home. There will be full on, tires on the road, fun. This is best illustrated by the fact that whenever she talks to my mom on the phone, she will say, "Where we goin', Memaw?"

So we were walking around Target on a Saturday afternoon, and take a turn by the toddler girls clothes. Alice really has nothing for spring, except for a few things I picked up at the outlet malls to take to Jamaica with us. I was looking at the play-clothes table--you know, that table they have that has $4 tee-shirts and cotton shorts (all my children have had a LOT of those things)--and all of a sudden, I hear, "MOMMY, PRINCESS! I WANT PRINCESS!"

Now, if you know anything at all about me, you know that hearing that was kind of like hearing, "MOMMY, MITT ROMNEY!! I WANT MITT ROMNEY!" Princesses are just not my bag. I don't like the antiquated ideas they give girls about femininity and relationships, and well, I have a deep, inexplicable hatred for the Disney corporation that is borderline hippie and also borderline insane.

I turn around, and Alice is standing there with this amazingly fluffy pink carnation of a dress. It, even in a size 18 months, which is a few sizes down from what she actually needs, was much wider that she is. It was this pinky silk look top with a huge crinoline skirt. For real, ya'll. Go to Target and look for something that looks like cotton candy on a hanger. That is what she was holding.

I say, really noncommittally I might add, "That is a pretty dress." Alice replies by squealing with all the joy of a sailor who just received shore leave and finds that he is at a Girls Gone Wild party. "THEY HAVE A BOW MAMA!!! A PINK BOW!!!"

Gabby was not like this. Gabby was dressed like I dressed--she wore jeans and corduroys and t-shirts and little sweaters. She has been opinionated with her clothes from the very beginning, picking out her things when she was barely old enough to talk, and none of it was ever overtly feminine. Even when she went through a pink phase, it was tempered--her favorite tee had a sparkly skull and crossbones on the front. Even now, with Alice, Gabby and I tend to pick out things that are bright shades of color, not just pink. Alice doesn't like jeans--says they are "hurt-y"--so we buy jeggings and lots of black leggings to layer with dresses or t-shirts or whatever. Left to her own devices, though, Allie goes to the pink. And this is new, weird territory.

By this time, my mom is standing with Alice, and is rustling through the rack of dresses to find a 3T. And Alice is still jumping about, and somewhere in the middle of this, Mom puts a white Easter bonnet on her head. So now she is looking for a mirror and people are starting to look and and remark about the sweet little girl in the hat. One man leans down and says something to her about being cute, and she replies plaintively, "I am getting a princess dress!"

Mom gets excited about buying the dress; Gabby and I stare in disbelief. I do see her point, I guess, when she remarks that between Gabby and myself, she never got to buy pink dresses. This is new for her too, and she is happy about it. She talks Alice into the hat rather than the bow and throws the dress in the cart. I try to talk Alice into a neon yellow cardigan and skirt combo instead (so on trend!), but she's having none of it. Pink princess dress it is.

Mom reminds me that she can wear it for Easter and then around the house to have fun. Truthfully, we don't do anything for Easter outside of our house--we make eggs, and I usually buy a humongo leg of lamb that we slow grill and eat with spring-y things like asparagus and herby tabbouleh. That is Easter to me. Perhaps this year, I will be forced to find some sort of worshipful event so that Alice can wear her dress.

When we got back to the car, Alice had to call Matt and let him know about the dress, and then when we walked in the door that night, she happily eschewed the Dora MagnaDoodle that Mom had also bought in the dead run to get the dress out and show it to her daddy. He was excited, a lot more than I thought he'd be, and oohed and aahed at all the correct moments.

The next morning, Sam and Allie were laying in bed with Matt while I got ready to go to breakfast. Alice climbed on Matt's legs which were bent under the blankets and slid down them like a slide. She bounced around the bed, hitting Sam a few times and causing all manner of mayhem. Matt remarked to her, "You are awfully rough to be such a frilly girl." Alice responded in a booming yell, "I am SUPER PRINCESS!"

Super princess. Couldn't have said it better myself.

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