Saturday, March 18, 2006

Boys might be noisy, but...

I’m traumatised. Today, after ballet rehearsal, J and I went into town.

Of course I’ve been into town with her before, but today was different. We met with one her godmothers, so they could choose J’s belated birthday gift together. That went well as the godmother opted for a book store, and J left smiling and skipped along to the coffee house where we ate lunch and said thank you to the godmother. But after saying goodbye, I made a mistake.

I didn’t know it was a mistake at the time, and even now my words sound innocent enough ‘Would you like to go to Next and spend the birthday voucher your Uncle gave you?’

She asked if she’d be allowed to choose what she wanted, as she had in the bookstore. I nodded with the naivety of a woman used to girls under five. But she’s no longer an itty bitty, pliable, angelic four year old.

Can you believe for the first five minutes, I thought it really cute the way she led me around the racks of clothes, squealing at all the choice? I was busy thinking how much fun it was, to be on my first shopping trip with one of my daughters who was now old enough to know what she liked. I was imagining the years ahead, and sighing with the hopeful daydream that J, S and I would be doing this lots in the future.

Stupid, stupid, stupid woman! Why on earth would I want to do it lots? If I’d thought shopping with female friends was hard work, then why hadn’t I worked out shopping with a daughter would be even more stressful!

She saw a dress. A totally unsuitable summer dress. With a ridiculous price tag too.

I don’t think I have the energy to explain the experience in full, but it went something like this:

J pointing to the dress: I want that.

Me: Yes, it’s very nice, but look at these jeans J, they’ve got fairies on them.

J: I want that.

I took a closer look at the dress: It’s pretty, but you wouldn’t have many opportunities to wear it. Jeans and tops are what you need. Look at this top, isn’t it a nice colour?

J: I want that.

Me: What about this skirt?

J: I want that.

Me: Have you seen their shoes? They’re very nice.

J’s got a bit of a thing for shoes [no doubt a reaction to me not having a thing for them] and did have the grace to take a good look.

J, pointing to some summer sandals: Can I have them?

Me, wishing she’d consider the trainers, or even the court shoes: Well, if you really like them, I suppose…and you'd still have enough for trousers if you wanted.

J, looking back at the dress: As well as that.

Me: We don’t have enough vouchers for everything.

J: Okay, I’ll just have the dress.

This went on for twenty minutes with me trying to persuade her away from eye catching and back to practical, and no doubt you get the idea.

But it seems my daughter isn’t like me, least not yet, and practical just doesn’t have the same appeal. I was finally defeated in my efforts when she refused to stand with me any longer, she said she wanted to look at her dress but I wasn’t saying anything nice. She actually wanted me to go away!

I know I’d indicated that she would be able to choose her own thing, but seriously? She’s five! What do five years olds know about clothes?! At this age, they really shouldn’t care that much! I mean, sure, they’ve got things they like and favour, and my girls have always liked their dresses, but to refuse to consider anything else?? Especially when you’ve only got two pairs of trousers and like to run around like a mad thing…oh I feel so worn out!

A part of me seriously wonders if this is normal, or whether I’m to blame with my avoidance of shopping and wearing dresses and skirts, as maybe it's a reaction? It’s not that I don’t like them as such, but things are cheaper at eBay and jeans last and are easier to move in…

Anyways, it’s over now (hopefully for an entire year!), and I’ve proved I’m a wuss who can be brow- beaten into submission by a five year old with a determined attitude, and after all that, you may as well see the dress which has caused my daydreams of the delightful shopping trips of the future, to evaporate.

And I’ve decided. It cost that much that we’d better get good wear out of it! We’ll keep it for special this year, but next… she can wear it night and day, riding her bike and trekking in the woods, climbing rocks and rolling down the lawn, on the slide and feeding the ducks…

Hope your weekend proves a little less stubborn!


Blogger mm said...

I'm with J. It is a pretty dress!


Saturday, March 18, 2006 3:19:00 pm  
Blogger Who is this Dave? said...

And when she grows out of it, you can sew the bottom up and use it as a peg-bag.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 7:44:00 pm  
Blogger Amanda Matilda said...

At least you have a daughter who will consider dresses. Mine will wear nothing but jeans. Believe me, you'd be just as unhappy this way, but at least she's happy with her choice. And you kept your word in letting her pick it out. I think that's a good thing.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 10:55:00 pm  
Blogger Tim-tambolini said...

The dress is beautiful. I would never wear dresses when I was a girl. I hated them. For that matter, my mother had a hard time making me wear underwear, so once when she put a dress on me she was quite upset to find that I had no panties on under it. Thank goodness she noticed this fashion "DON'T" before we left the yard.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 11:04:00 pm  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

But, but, but. You should have given up right away. It was HER money and YOU said. What could be simpler???

(Besides, it's REALLY pretty.)

Saturday, March 18, 2006 11:39:00 pm  
Blogger Sam said...

I LOVE that dress!!!
Your daughter has great taste!

Sunday, March 19, 2006 7:10:00 am  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

You told her she could pick what she wanted, you did what you said. Children understand that and learn from it.

Once I did the same thing when I went out shopping with a girlfriends 9 year old daughter. She wanted this pair of totally inappropriate red high heeled shoes. After I bought them, I was kinda worried about gettting in trouble. But I didn't. It's been years now and last I heard, the shoes still fit and she still loves them.

You did the right thing, like always. The dress is beautiful too!

Sunday, March 19, 2006 12:35:00 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

It is very pretty and I guess you bought it big enof to last a couple of years.

Monday, March 20, 2006 2:39:00 am  
Blogger No_Newz said...

Sometimes they inherit things from their father's side. ALWAYS blame Dad. LOL! It is a cute dress.
Lois Lane

Monday, March 20, 2006 5:49:00 pm  
Blogger g said...

Oh it's a pretty dress! And not at all practical if she is wanting to run around in it like a mad thing. But I'll bet there will be an event or two, where that dress will be just perfect.

What is a mistake? Do we ever really know?

Monday, March 20, 2006 11:32:00 pm  
Blogger Ang said...

It was a good learning experience for both of you. Never give a child a choice, a promise, or a warning of discipline if you are not prepared to follow through and accept their decision.

Good luck if the dress even fits by the end of the year!!

It is really pretty. Like something I would have chosen wear when I was five if I had the choice.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:15:00 am  
Blogger Undercover Angel said...

What a beautiful dress!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:18:00 am  
Blogger Meow said...

Gorgeous dress !! She has great taste. Have you ever considered making a memory quilt, out of pieces of favorite clothing your child has grown out of ??? I have seen some of these, they are patchwork (obviously !?!?) and are really pretty. That way, when she has grown out of the dress, you can put pieces of it into a quilt, and it will be there for ever to remember and talk about. Just a thought ....
Take care, Meow

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 8:21:00 am  

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