Daughter’s love of dress causes issues for parents
We have an issue in our house these days. At least that’s what I’m calling it, dare I utter the real word and ignite the flame.
I’ve been dealing with the “issue” moderately successfully for the past few weeks, but last night it raised its voice loud and clear while I was chained to a phone with a cord, trying my best to have a professional conversation as the last human on earth who still owns a landline and my daughter let out a series of loud, desperate and relentless cries that only got louder and more inexorable as my poor husband worked to remove her from the room.
Did she fall and hit her head? I didn’t hear a thump, but maybe she’s bleeding. Did she need stitches? An ambulance? Or maybe she saw a ghost – you know, like one of those supernatural phenomenons that only innocent children can spot?
That’s a thing, right?
“Do you have to go?” The now-concerned voice on the other end of the phone asked me as I tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to pretend that nothing catastrophic was occurring in my household.
Which turned out to be true, despite my worst-case-scenario predictions. I hung up the phone and opened the door to my daughter’s room where she sat on her daddy’s lap, in her jammies, tears streaming down her face.
“What on earth?” I asked him in the best version of the mom voice I now possess.
He looked me straight in the eyes with an expression as defeated as any strong, healthy man can possess and simply replied, “The dress.”
Yes. The dress.
He dared suggest she wear anything else and there were not enough bribery lollipops in the world …
I blame my sister-in-law for handing it down – this floor-length, checkered, floral and quilted little number with just the right amount of twirl to bring a toddler the high she needs to become addicted.
But I think it’s also a hereditary thing. Because I wouldn’t wear anything but a pink leotard, purple tights and legwarmers for my entire second year of life, God gave me a daughter and then introduced her to “the dress.” Needless to say my mother is loving every minute of my peril.
She wakes up and it’s the first word my daughter says, and she will say it — “dress, dress, dress, dress” — until I retrieve it from my unsuccessful hiding spot in the hamper.
The other day she wore it out to the pasture where the guys were building corrals, and I suddenly became sympathetic to the prairie girls who came before her as I watched her unsuccessfully try to run and frolic, making it only a couple steps before getting tangled up and pummeled to the ground.
“Well, maybe she’ll want to take it off now,” I thought as I hoisted her up for the 50th time in five minutes. But I knew better. Judging from her smiles and squeals of delight, I realized it was quite clear the challenge of the dress only made living more fun.
And, according to my darling girl, infinitely more beautiful. Proving that the only ones who have an “issue” are her parents.
Jessie Veeder is a musician and writer living with her husband and daughter on a ranch near Watford City, N.D. She blogs at https://veederranch.com. Readers can reach her at email@example.com.