It's fairly obvious that most little girls love to dress up. Well, okay, I should say it isn't strictly limited to little girls. It starts when we're little, and then it seems as women, we never quite get over the desire, no, the need to dress up, and wear something pretty.
My children are no exception. I don't know where it comes from. There is some innate force that drives girls to loves all things pink and princess. The same mysterious force that makes my little boy want to wrestle with anything that moves, burp in your face, and ask me to pull his finger, so he can fart. It's weird, really. Where do these interests come from?
I used to be convinced that certain gender-specific tendencies are learned. We treat our little girls like princess, and we treat our little boys like future pro-athletes. They learn to behave accordingly. I've thought that all my life. Until I had children of my own. When KJ was born she was a girl. (She still is, don't worry). But C was hell-bent on turning her into a tomboy. He didn't want me to dress her in pink, we bought at lot of "neutral" outfits for her. He would come home from work bearing gifts like footballs, baseballs, and trucks for her. He would hold her on his lap all day every Sunday, and have her watch football with him. When she learned to talk she would beg him to "watch the Jazz bear with him." We thought we had her trained.
We were wrong. When KJ hit about 18 months old she learned the words "pink" and "dress." And suddenly they were her only words. All she wanted to do was to put on twirly pink dresses, pretend to be a princess, and dance around. Believe me, she was never told about any of these things by us. I've never considered myself to be much of a girly girl, and I was perfectly fine having a tomboy for a daughter.
But, somehow, she figured it out. Maybe it came from her friends, although at 18 months, she didn't have much of a social life.
Since then, we've been watching her majesty live her life in one big fashion show. Although, she'd never admit this to anyone outloud (because apparently she's too cool, or too mature to play dress up now), but she still hasn't grown out of it.
Recently, one of KJ's friends, a little neighbor girl was over playing. At some point in their play, they decided to go downstairs, where we have a toy room, and a box filled with different dressups. We have a few rules in our house, when friends are over: stay out of the exercise room, stay out of the storage room, stay out of Mom & Dad's room. Simple rules that my kids know well (after being nagged by me alot), and are pretty good at following.
I don't remember exactly what I was doing at the time, but I wasn't watching too closely because I'd figured the girls had gone downstairs to play.
Next thing I know, KJ and her friend have come upstairs all decked out in their dress ups, and they asked me for something (a snack, to go outside--something I don't remember---it's not important).
Here was KJ, in last year's dance recital costume. Cute little sparkly turquoise short dress. Perfect for dress up after the recital was over. And then there was her friend. She was wearing a hot pink silky number, with spaghetti straps and lace, which was clearly made to fit an adult. I couldn't help thinking to myself, "Now, where have I seen that dress before?" It certainly wasn't from the dress up box.
And then, with horror, it hit me. This was no dress up. This was one my "special outfits" from my "bedroom attire" collection. Granted it hadn't been used since probably my first year of marriage, but still, it was hanging in the back of my closet, collecting dust. That is, until this day.
And now, my neighbor's little girl was wearing it. Somehow they had sneaked into my room, and found it in my closet.
My eye is twitching just recalling the whole ordeal. I was mortified, but tried to keep my cool. Clearly, the girls didn't know they had swiped my negligee, and I certainly wasn't going to let on what special uses their new found shiny pink "dress up" held. But, how do you gently say, "you can't wear that", without drawing attention to it.
So, I suggested the girls get dressed and go outside and do tricks on the tramp. Lucky for me, they bought into that idea.
As for the silky hot pink number, it's number is up. It is being retired. I'm thinking something like a cleansing bonfire....to burn away the memory from my mind.