For the past 10 days I have been working on costumes for the girls.
Their (Catholic) school celebrates Shrove Tuesday every year by having a fancy-dress day. Each year or class gets their own theme, and then the older years run a contest to determine a winner. For the younger kids (pre-school), it’s not supposed to be a big competition but it inevitably becomes one.
The theme for the pre-school last year was Pyjamas – easy right. This year is was any Disney character or Superhero. Their logic being that most kids will have something along these lines already, and if not, it won’t take a huge amount of effort to come up with something simple.
Unfortunately the parents don’t get to wing it. The pressure is huge to come up with the perfect outfit for your little star!
My eldest wanted to wear her Elsa dress, but when we tried it on we realised it was about 20cm too short. So my youngest said she would wear it. Perfect. Sorted.
Then my eldest decided that she wanted to be a Disney Fairy, but not Tinkerbell … oh no! She wanted to be Rosetta!
Okay. *deep breaths*
I went to the sewing shop to buy the pattern but they didn’t have one so I had to come up with my own. I’m a very beginner sewist so my skills are very limited.
Nevertheless, I think I did okay creating a petal skirt and a halter neck style top.
Once I started constructing the eldest’s outfit, the youngest decided she wanted mommy to make her an outfit too … also one of the fairies. I gently encouraged Silvermist because she wears a dress and not tights and shirts and all sorts of difficult things.
Fine. She pushed her luck a little by asking to be Rosetta also but I said no, you can’t be the same, so she seemed happy with Silvermist.
So I went back to the material shop, bought her material etc, and set about constructing her dress complete with flowing chiffon (she is a water fairy).
Last night I took stock of my achievements and was really quite proud. Two beautiful outfits, compleley hand made with love, two seemingly satisfied children eagerly anticipating the next day’s excitement.
I even prepped them to make sure they were happy that I would send them to school in their normal clothe and then come later and dress them up for the parade, making sure they understood that their friends would most likely be dressed up already but they should wait so their satin and chiffon outfits weren’t destroyed by yoghurt and wooden combing frames! *Can you feel my pain?*
They heard me, understood me, and were happy when I dropped them off.
I had a million things to do this morning but I got it done and got there 45 mins before the start to get them ready.
I took my youngest to get dressed first and as soon as I put her dress on her she threw an almighty tantrum. Screaming, kicking, pulling at the dress trying to rip it off herself. Her words “It’s ridiculous! I look ridiculous! I’m not wearing this!”
I was horrified. Where had this come from?
Now under normal circumstances I’d have taken none of her nonsense, dressed her in the required outfit, and dragged her back to her classroom.
I was so hurt. I could feel the tears welling up inside me. All because this child of mine (refer back to previous post on threenager) didn’t like the special outfit I had made for her. Not only that, but I really was proud of it. I thought it was stunning. Also though, a slight sense of panic as I had no alternative for her, it was far too late to go back home and fetch the Elsa dress.
I was very hurt. I helped her take it off. She wanted to wear her dress she’d been wearing all day (pink & grey – not blue) and her blue fairy wings. And that was that. No arguing, no fighting. Whatever she wanted because, quite frankly, after the day I’d had, this was the last thing I needed, wanted, or deserved. I had no fight left in me.
I finished dressing her, she skipped off back to her class. I explained what had happened to her teacher who also tried to persuade her, to no avail. So I gave up.
I went to find my eldest, and dressed her up. She was so happy. So proud. So beautiful. It renewed a little of my self-esteem and happiness.
I left them there and headed for the pool where they were to parade around. I sat by myself hiding my weepy eyes behind my sunglasses. Eventually a few other moms I know came to sit with me and conversation changed so I was distracted from my personal wounds.
The parade started, and my youngest trotted past me while I sat in the front row. She was grinning, smiling, waving, happy as anything dressed in her old pink dress and blue fairy wings. What could I do but smile and wave and take pictures like all the other mommies. Like nothing was wrong.
Then came my eldest, waving hysterically at me, as beautiful as always.
And then it was over.
A week of work, stress, love and care going into this, and it was over in 15 minutes.
I collected them, we went to the shops, my eldest wore her outfit for half the afternoon too. Youngest didn’t even show one flick of remorse, or apology. She didn’t even give a sh*t that she had knowingly hurt my feelings. I know she’s 3, but she knows!
The rest of the day progressed fairly normally. Nothing exciting to report on.
But I still feel deeply hurt. My job as a mom though is to brush it off … isn’t it? I mean, what’s the alternative? Continuously harp on about it? Rub it in her face? Hold it against her? No. I can’t do that. She’s 3. I’m 35! I should know better. I do know better.
Did I learn any lessons today? No, not really.
Will I make as much effort next time? Probably.
That’s ‘momlife’ for you.
No doubt she will wake up tomorrow like nothing happened, I will have to put it out my mind.
Again … that’s ‘momlife’ for you.