Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I really messed up this morning. I know this because of the way I was shouted at by my very disappointed 5-year-old daughter.

Ordinarily, part of Claire's pre-bedtime ritual involves picking and laying out the next day's outfit (which can go one of several ways depending on how contrary she's feeling), but last night the evening kind of got away from us all and she went to bed late without doing this. So when I woke her up this morning I said, "Are you cool with picking out your clothes and getting dressed on your own or should I help." She hadn't opened her eyes yet and just mumbled, "I'll do it" before rolling away from me onto her side and trying to delay waking.

A little bit later I was cleaning up around the house and trying to get ready to leave. I grabbed some things in the living room that needed to go into Claire's closet and when I walked through the open door to her room (she hasn't reached the stage of wanting it closed yet) she was instantly apoplectic. "Daddy!" she yelled-growled in a Exorcist voice. "You weren't supposed to come in yet! Ughhh!"

See, what happened was that I ruined the effect of the surprise. She's been dressing herself for a while, but it's still cute to me when she does and we share a "Ta-da" moment when she emerges from the bedroom fully outfitted and blinged out in toy jewelry. I guess in this instance, the stakes were even higher since she was not only dressing herself but selecting the outfit without any adult consultation - and I just had to go ruin the moment. Because I suck.

"I'm sorry!" I barked back. "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to come in." I scampered out of the room in a hurry and she slammed the door shut behind me.

After about 10 minutes I was ready to go and Claire had yet to emerge. Her door was still shut and I saw light under the door and heard bustling and singing inside. I knocked on her door and cracked it and said, "Claire, we really need to get g--"

"Daddy! I'm not ready yet!" She shouted, scaring me into hurriedly shut the door. In that instant between opening and closing the door I could see that she had completely changed outfits, which I guess was her way of getting some of her power back, as well as the element of surprise. Shit, I thought, now that I've seen her new outfit before the unveiling she's going to want to to have another wardrobe change again - I know it.

Yeah, she did.

"I'm not sure which outfit I like the best," I said as we drove to her daycare. "The first, second or third... it's a tough call."

"Guess which one I think is the best?" she asked, grinning.

"Gee, I don't know. Number three?" I answered.



Joy said...
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Joy said...

I loved reading this story. I know in the years to come there will be many more stories like this one. Please share them. :D I will love reading them and they will give Mike a heads up with Lila. hehe