Winter sales are wonderful. I bought Bella some new clothes for preschool. I love them. She doesn’t. She doesn’t want to wear new purple sweatpants from Cotton On Kids. With a matching hoodie top. No, she wants to keep wearing the pink pants with holes in them from TnT KidsWear that she’s been wearing for over a year now.
“No mama, these are my favorite. I don’t like those new pants.” She pleads. Stamps her foot. Yells. And generally acts like a spoilt brat. But I am emphatic. I don’t want my daughter wearing pants with holes in them. I don’t want her wearing the same freakin pants she’s been running wild in all year. Just For once, I want my kid to look like she stepped out of a catalogue. Just once, I want my kid to look like she has a mother who knows what fashion, style and color-co-ordination mean. And yeah, I’m well aware that this freakish desire is all about ME, but I don’t care. Because everyone has to think about ME sometimes. So why can’t this be one of those times? Let’s agree that today, we’re all going to think about ME…
So I am firm. Calm. Composed. Authoritative. I make that child wear her purple pants. And she looks fabulous. Which by osmosis, makes ME look fabulous. I feel good.
Until six hours later when Bella comes home from preschool. Wearing pink pants. With a hole in them. Looking like a child who’s mother dressed her in a dumpster. I ask her, ‘What happened to your purple pants?’ Because you know, there are any number of inexplicable events that can happen at a preschool. Things involving paint, playdo, playgrounds and/or pee. Yes, it’s entirely plausible that Bella could have fallen victim to any one of these things.
But no. She shrugs. Waves a hand at me with careless ease. “Nuffing. I was take my favorite pants in my bag to school. Then when you gone and you not looking at me, I take off the ugly purple pants and wear the pink ones.”
What-the-purple-pants-hell?! I stare at Bella in awed horror. I am speechless. You are FOUR years old. And you’re already sneaking alternate wardrobe options in your schoolbag so you can get changed when your mother isn’t looking?! The last time I knew someone who did that, her name was Lani Wendt. She was sixteen and smuggling a black mini-skirt to school so she could change out of the dork clothes from dorkville that her mother made her wear.
Bella stares back at me. She gets tired of waiting for me to speak. She runs off to play on the trampoline. In her pink pants with holes in them. Looking like she has a mother who dressed her in a dumpster. I shudder. Today, its ugly pants. What’s tomorrow? Stiletto heels, pink fishnet stockings and a spandex Dora bodysuit? If this is what my devious child can do when she’s four, what will she dare to do when SHE’S sixteen?
The future is flashing before my eyes. And it’s saying to me.
Lani, be afraid. Be very afraid.