Before I launch into this tirade, I must state for the record that I thank God every day that I have a daughter. No offense to boys, but I would have been really disappointed if I’d had a son first. Actually, DadJovi would have been even more disappointed because there would have been no talking me out of two (or three, four, etc. However many it took to get there).
I just always knew that I was meant to have a daughter.
Now that I’ve said all that, let me just say — OMG, girls are a disaster. My darling daughter is 5 and already, there are days when I wonder how we’re going to make it through the next 13 years of living under one roof. (of course, then I immediately start to cry when I imagine her heading off to college)
Today is the big day in the life of a young girl — it’s class picture day. E. has been talking about it for weeks. She’s been practicing her smile, demanding I learn to braid (I didn’t) and strategizing her outfit.
Mentally, I’d narrowed the dress option down to three choices. The pictures are pretty casual so I didn’t want her to wear anything too frouffy. And there will always be a series of photos taken in her Pre-K graduation cap and gown (hold me now), so the outfit isn’t THAT important.
We opened the negotiations last night after bathtime because I knew waiting until the morning would be a disaster. After a full-hour of
yelling at each other going back and forth, we finally settled on one. It wasn’t easy since E. kept demanding to wear a “dress that ties in the back.” How on Earth did that become a prerequisite??
It’s a lovely pink dress with white, maroon and blue birds that our family friends sent her for her 5th birthday. She’s only worn it one other time (to the ballet) and likes it a lot, even if it doesn’t tie in the back. Point 1 for Mommy.
For reference, here’s the dress at the ballet.
I even talked her out of the braid when I showed her pictures online of other kids in cap-and-gown photos to show how a braid wouldn’t work with the cap (thank you Google).
“Oh, so people would just think I don’t have any hair if it’s pulled back,” E said.
Sure, let’s go with that.
I got E. up earlier than usual today and she didn’t even fight me. We flew through breakfast and I got her dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed, face washed and looking perfect for her pictures. We’re dog-sitting Toby again this week so I told her that we even had time to take him on a quick walk before school.
“OK, Mommy, I just need to run into my room real quick for something first.”
I got the leash and plastic bags ready and before I could even yell for her, she came bounding out of her room, face smiling from ear to ear and beaming with pride.
And looking like Belle Watling.
She decided she needed one more finishing touch — makeup. She’d dug out of her play makeup that her Gigi got her for Christmas and covered — and I mean covered — her entire face in it. It was beyond pink cheeks. They were practically purple from the heavy application she’d settled on.
And I flipped. Especially when I looked down and noticed that not only was her face covered in makeup, she’d somehow dumped half the contents of her blush compact down the front of her dress and in her attempt to get it off had smeared it all into the white birds.
The dress could not be worn.
Within moments, I was yelling. She was hysterically crying and her cheeks were even redder from my aggressive washing.
I can’t say that it was one of my finer parenting moments. It wasn’t even a good blogger moment — I didn’t think to snap a picture.
Once I got her face scrubbed, I turend to the dress and said it couldn’t be worn. That started World War III over the other two options I’d originally given her for the dress.
She was NOT going to wear either of them.
About this time, DadJovi stepped in and got her to stop crying and me to calm down.
“You can hardly see the blush on the dress,” he tried to assure me.
“YOU’RE COLOR BLIND!” I yelled back.
“Well, that’s true. But does it really matter?”
How do dads do that? They can just cut to the chase. He was right; it didn’t matter, especially since we’d made no headway on the alternate dress front.
I gave the dress the best scrub I could, and even briefly tried to have her wear it backwards. Finally I figured screw it, we’ll just get the cap and gown photos if they’re good, and I sent her off with her dad.
Of course, by this point, I was nearly 30 minutes late to work.
Later, after he’d dropped her off at school, I called DadJovi to see how she was after they left the house. He assured me so was fine and went into school happy.
“She’s just so frustrating. Why must she be so stubborn?” I whined to him.
I swear I heard him laughing, but I kept going.
“And must she argue about everything? She’s such a contrarian. She just argues for the sake of arguing.”
This time, his laughs were clearly evident.
“What?” I demanded.
“Oh, nothing. I’m just wondering when you’re going to call your mother to apologize. You realize you’re raising a child exactly like you, right?”
Ugh, he’s right. She is me. Dear Mom- I AM SO SORRY! But the good news for you is you’re getting the last laugh now. Just sit back and enjoy the show!
Please tell me some of you saw this as an episode of a reality show that I’m unaware I’m starring in. If it was for entertainment purposes, that would make the whole incident easier to swallow. I hope when E. and I hugged it out before she left that some poignant music played and we even got the live studio audience slow clap to fast clap.
That would make me feel better about one of my less-than-shining moments.
And next time, I promise to take pictures.
Make me feel better. Who else’s kids either pulled something similar on class picture day or habitually makes them late for work too?