Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dress Code for All Saint's Day

This morning we had a Halloween hangover. The house, once pristine from 4 days of nothing electronic to distract from creating a sense of order and a desperate need to find something to do when cards, cookies and books had lost their luster in the 48 hours sans power, now was littered with wings and hats and socks and masks, wrappers and mummy wrap, traces of pumpkin goo and all the goodie bag rejects from parties on October 31st.   It took three times to wake each child for All Saint's Day...a mass uniform day.   It seemed cruel to ask this of children drunk from chocolate the night before, not to mention the parents, also somewhat punchy from snatching the occasional snickers or almond joy.  

So we were running late.  My ten year old always helps with the littles. I change them. She dresses her littlest sister.  Normally, I lay out the outfit. Today I had not.  "I'll get it." she said and she was off.  My beloved daughter is the most helpful kind heart I've ever met.  She also loves fashion that favors the Barbie/sparkle/Disney/24-7 rainbow style.  I admittedly felt a bit apprehensive when she joyfully volunteered, but agreed.  

My 20 month old was thrilled with the ensemble.  A silver tu-tu complimented the striped pink and white leggings, red socks and strawberry fruit patterned onesie in a clownish sort of way.  If it had been Halloween, I'd have added a red rubber nose and voila, instant Circus performer.  But it is All Saint's day.  My son is reading at the mass.  I'm fully planning on attending. 

"Doesn't she look great?" My daughter asks for a compliment.
Her sister twirls and beams.
"She loves it!" I admit. "Time to load the car."

We're off for the morning air craft carrier launch of schools, five backpacks, five lunch bags, five coats, five kids, two toddlers strapped in and all by 7:35 if we want to make it.  We get there. We unload. I discover we forgot one coat and one lunch box, (two different kids).  Not to worry, we'll be back for the All Saint's Mass. 

Back home before 8:20, the bus arrives to take her older brother away for his school and now it is just her and me.  The clown princess and I spend our morning organizing the house. I fret about how she looks but tell myself, if I change her, I will hear about it and I don't want to hurt her sister's heart.  I tell myself, she will wear what she will wear.  It will be fine, she's 20 months. You aren't going there to show off your daughter, you're going there to be at the mass. 

But the petty part of me wishes the outfit were at the very least, coordinated.

Fortunately my littlest girl is 20 months. Being 20 months, she solves the problem for me as only a 20 month old can do.  Without going into any unnecessary detail, she needed a complete change 30 minutes before leaving for mass.  From top to bottom. I'm not making it up.  Nothing was spared. 

Arriving at the church, my older daughter found me and smiled. She pointed at her sister, "Why did you change her outfit?"  "It got messy." I explained.  Satisfied, she took her baby sister off my hands to show her off.   I'm so glad she loves her sister. The touch of vanity in me is glad for the new dress too. My daughter then takes off her own sparkly headband and adds it to her sister's head.  "Now she looks perfect." she explains.

And she does.  

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