Monday, March 18, 2013

My Little Ladybug

Have you ever had something start out one way and then take a total U-turn and turn out completely different than you originally thought?

This is the story that I thought I was going to write when I started the "In the Trenches" post.  A cute little anecdote about my 2 1/2-year-old daughter, and a decision I made "in the trenches" that I had pretty much sworn I would never do.  Then that post turned into something totally different and I couldn't seem to make this story fit in, but I still wanted to share it.  It was one of those moments that both made me laugh, and also made me feel like I needed my guardian angel from Meijer right there in my living room to tell me "You're a Good Mom" because I wasn't really feeling like one at the time.  So, here it is.

You Think You Know Your Kid...

In November, we went to Florida for my cousin's wedding.  My 2 1/2-year-old daughter, who is by no means a "girly girl," was super excited to wear her "twirly dress" to the wedding.  For weeks leading up to the wedding, she would ask to wear it.  When she did actually get to try it on a couple of times, she would twirl around the house (hence the name she gave the dress...) and would take great joy in watching the skirt billow out like a bell around her.  The night of the reception, she spent every second she could on the dance floor running around the dance floor and twirling in her dress.  

Following the wedding, we drove over to Orlando and spent 3 days at Disney World before heading back home.  The princesses were most definitely a high point of the trip, and we heard all about Cinderella and Belle and Tangled (aka Rapunzel...) for weeks and weeks after that.  Who am I kidding...they are still celebrities at our house.  

On our last day in Disney World, we let each kiddo choose one toy as a souvenir to take home.  My daughter chose a set of 6 little plastic princesses, which often watch her eat her breakfast in the morning, cuddle up with her in bed at night and accompany her on many adventures in the hours in between.  

Shortly after we arrived back home, we visited some good friends at their house, and the kids all played for the awhile.  They have the most amazing, awesome assortment of dress up clothes, and my kids dove right in.  They loved putting on costume after costume and funny accessory after funny accessory.

Armed with these three observations, I created my own formula for the perfect Christmas gift for my daughter...  

Twirly Dress + Princess Love +  Dress Up Fun = Merida (Princess from Brave) Dress Up Dress

Genius, right?  I was glad I was putting that math minor to good use.

I have to admit, I was pretty darn proud of myself for coming up with this one.  She had loved the movie Brave and was getting the DVD for Christmas also, so I figured she could wear the dress and watch the movie.  I would be able to witness what I imagined could only be described as sheer glee and pure joy radiating from the face of my only daughter, and be filled with the satisfaction of knowing that I had provided this for her.  

Worst $20 I Ever Spent

I could not have been more wrong.

It is now March.  The dress is still hanging, untouched, in her closet.  She put it on for 5 seconds one time, and that was the extent the dress has been used.  We have watched the movie countless times.  The dress...not so much.

Last week, my son had a Super Hero party at preschool.  We borrowed a SpiderMan costume from a dear friend.  Come to find out, I have apparently been depriving my only son of a right of passage of all toddler/preschool age boys by not providing such apparel earlier in his little life.  He absolutely loved the SpiderMan get up, fake muscles and all.  When he got home from school that day, he would not take it off until bedtime.

Please note, the irony of this situation is not lost on me.  I have a son who wants nothing more than to dress up, and I have not provided him with this simple opportunity.  I have a daughter who refuses to put on a costume I bought for her.  Utter Mom Fail.  Times two.

The silver lining in all of this Super Hero guilt, is that a lot of the girls in my son's class chose to dress up as Princesses that day.  I instantly wanted to hug all the Moms and Dads of those girls that had sent their daughters to school in Princess dresses that day.  My daughter loves anything and everything about her big brother's preschool class.  She wants to do everything they do.  I thought this is it...this is my big chance.  We talked about the Merida dress the entire time he was at school, and how fun it would be to have them both dressed up when he got home, and how special it was to see all the girls in his class in their dresses.  She was psyched.  She was totally on my team.  

Until it actually came time to put the dress on.  My son was already in his SpiderMan get up, and I pulled the Merida dress out of the closet, to which I was met with a firm "No, Mommy!"  

Never Say Never

I'm not gonna lie.  What I did next I am not proud of.  But it happened, and so I will share it with you, because honesty is what this blog is all about.  These were the next words out of my mouth...

"If you put on the Merida dress, you can have licorice."

There it was.  Straight up bribery.  There is no sugar coating that one...plain and simple, that's what it was.  This is one of those things I was "never going to do" as a parent, but in that moment, those words rolled surprisingly easily off my tongue.

Because my daughter speaks the language of candy, she perked right up and agreed.  I pulled the dress over her head, she asked for the licorice, I handed it to her, and she promptly asked me to take the dress off.  When I say asked, I should say her body suddenly went boneless and she acted as though she needed it off with such urgency you would have thought I dipped the thing in acid before putting it on her.  I tried desperately to quickly snap a picture of her in the dress just to document that it had actually been worn.

[Insert darling picture of darling daughter in darling dress.}

But that picture does not, and I fear, will never, exist.

What does, exist, however, is this picture of her in her ladybug costume she wore for Halloween 1 1/2 years ago, which she can barely fit into any more.  She still wanted to get in on this whole dress up thing that her brother was taking advantage of, so even during the 3 minutes she was wearing the Merida dress, she was already asking for the ladybug costume.

Oh, the look on her face as she chows on the bribery licorice.  I will admit it...I was outsmarted by my 2 1/2 year old.  I fear it will not be the last time.  

You may be seeing a "like new" (because it's never been worn...) Merida dress on eBay in the near future.

Even when you resort to things you never thought you would, You Are a Good Mom.  Cut yourself some slack, take a deep breath, and be thankful you no longer have to worry about being "perfect"..."real" is so much better.

**This is the first time I've included pictures of my kids in a post.  Let me know what you think...  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Thanks!**


  1. Oh, listen. I have offered candy more times than I could ever, ever count. Henry eats about 7 foods on a regular basis, and all the experts say not to bribe with cookies and candy, but I will do ANYthing to get healthy food in him!

    1. Always so good to hear from another mom and be reminded you're "not the only one!" Thanks for your comment! :)

  2. Oh children, why do they torture us so?!! :) And such a pretty dress! Kid stories are the best - and yours are cute... I like the pics :)
    And thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such an encouraging note! I really appreciated it!

    1. They are so darn good at it, aren't they? It's just a good thing kids are cute...saves 'em every time. I appreciate your input on the pictures, too.

      Thanks for checking out my blog, Jodi! I'm excited to keep reading more of your posts, too!


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