"We can't be late today!" yells Saia as she shifts into Speedy Gonzalez mode with a sense of urgency I have NEVER seen her use. "We even have to be early today..MOM!!"
[Come to found out later that was an outright LIE, but she's evidently already picked up on Amy's technique of fudging the actual time of events to me so that I'm ready before we're running late. Yes, I know, very sad. Back off. My denial of the existence of absolute time and space has always been good to me and keeps me sane in an insane world, and it just is not something I'm ever willing to change or give up on without...you know...an equal exchange of prescription meds or morning martinis or a permanent vacation on the Riviera.]
But the struggles with outfits was on the very top of the no-fun list this morning, let me tell ya.
As part of their Mother's Day Tea event at school, they were required to dress up. That, in and of itself, is not a problem. Our kids love to dress up. [Both kinds.]
The problem enters when we have to factor in the next 3 hours after the event during which they were also still going to need to snack, exercise, lunch, and play in their clothes, and that, hey, they are still only SIX YEARS OLD and not, therefore, stain resistant in any way, shape, or form, making wardrobe selection a particular challenge.
And Chago, of course, was just determined to go all out -- full on pin-striped pants, longsleeve button down, tie, and fedora. Ultimately, we had to ditch the fedora at the last minute when we realized there was a no-hat rule today. I, personally, don't think it applied to him because he just looks too freaking adorable in fedoras for words. Nevertheless, the hat stayed in the truck because, I guess, I have to abide by the rules, too. Or at least in front of my kids.
For Saia, I laid out 3 outfits, two dresses (one fancy, one casual) and one pantsuit. She's very much into this "I'm not a girly girl" thing, which of course, being a bit of the girly-girl myself (there's really no need to roll your eyes), is such a slap in the face to my walk-in closet, my drawers full of make-up, my jewelry armoire, and my handbag and shoe collection that I grimace every single time she shoots down my offers of "can I do your hair today?"
But to my pleasant surprise, she chose the casual dress over the pants, and, biggest shocker of them all, even let me do her hair up in a beautiful bun. You'll notice, however, in the picture to the right, that, alas, there is no bun. Halfway to school, you see, the not-so-girly-girl had a minor panic attack about her hair being pinned up, and by the time we pulled into the parking lot had successfully jostled it loose and flung all barrettes and clips into the back seat.
But we made it on time, and it was the cutest little performance, with the kids singing "You are my sunshine" in sign language, and serving us breakfast and drinks. I did happen to notice that the mother next to me got a full plate of fruit and pastries and a side cup of coffee, while I got a single strawberry and a half a chocolate donut with sprinkles and a mini-Elmo-juice box.
Then one of the teachers read the story "I'll Love You Forever," which, if you haven't ever read it, you sooo should. It, along with Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree and Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go, are three of my favorite you-can-give-these-gifts-to-anyone-at-any-age-for-any-occasion-and-make-them-cry gifts.
And this was apparently the whole goal of the day. Because throughout the entire hour-and-a-half-long event, not including the past couple of days leading up to this and the commute in this morning, and in between the food and the songs and the stories, every chance they got to come around and whisper in my ear, they would sing-song, "You're gonna cryyyy." Which then, as the event came to a close, quickly turned into "Are you crying yet? Are you crying yet? Are you crying yet?"
And when we finally did, because how can you not at the end of that story (and yes, even Amy's eyes welled up, too), those damn monsters just stood there, pleased as punch, pointing and giggling and grinning from ear to ear, saying "Mama's crying! Mama's crying! Mama's crying!"
But you know, making a girl melt and cry was really something I thought Amy would be teaching them, but, God, not until they were well into their teens.
Geez, can't a girl a break around here? Now I've got three of them.