Monday, September 22, 2008


At age four, my youngest child is already so mischievous that I am afraid what is going to happen as she gets older. Yesterday, I went into her room to get her clothes out for church. I selected an outfit from her closet amid her protests and laid it on her bed. It was a really cute pair of bib overalls and a little pink shirt, but she instantly registered her dissatisfaction with my choice as soon as I had pulled it from the closet. It was one of Maggie’s old outfits, and I remember Maggie looking so cute in it - - for some reason or another, Aleita has decided she hates it and never wants to wear it. I have only endured her grumbling and made her wear it one other time, and yesterday, I was determined to have her wear it at least once more before she outgrew it. I told her to go use the bathroom and that I was going to get myself dressed and that I would meet her back in her room in a minute to put her clothes on for church.

After getting dressed, I returned to her room to find her on the floor playing with her cars. “Did you go potty?” I asked.

“Yep,” she replied.

I turned to get her outfit off the bed and it was gone. I glanced over at her dresser which is where I sometimes set her clothes before getting her dressed and it wasn’t there either. I retraced my steps back into my own bedroom to see if for some reason I had carried it in there with me when I went to get myself dressed. The outfit was no where to be found.

I returned to Aleita’s bedroom and asked her if she had done something with it. She looked at me and then immediately looked down and just shrugged her shoulders. “Aleita,” I said, “where is your outfit for church?” She responded, “it’s not here.”

“Yes, I can see that,” I answered. “Do you happen to know where it might be?”

She begrudgingly set the car down she was playing with and pointed at the dresser. “Did you put it one of the drawers of dresser?” I asked. She shook her head no. “Then where?” I asked her.

“Back there.” she answered.

I got down on my hands and knees and looked under the dresser, and sure enough, the outfit was behind the dresser. “How did it get back there?” I questioned her.

“I think maybe I throwed it a little,” she admitted. Yes, she had indeed thrown the outfit behind the dresser in a feeble crack at not having to wear it. Her dresser is quite tall and at an angle in the corner of her room, so it required some effort for me to move the dresser and retrieve the outfit.

She was disappointed that her attempt to avoid my choice for her church clothing had been thwarted. She whined as I lotioned her up and dressed her in the aforementioned dreaded outfit. She had a pouty look on her face as I said, “step back and let me look at you.”

Now wouldn’t you know it - - - after all that, the outfit was too small. The pants were just a little too short and the belly just a little too tight. When I told her I would have to change her, she did a little dance around her bedroom saying, “woo hoo! Get it off! Get it off! Get it off!”

She ended up wearing another lovely little outfit to church that day - - a skirt along with a shirt that she sometimes grumbles about wearing, but today, she happily put it on if it meant not having to wear the original outfit selected.


uncle doug said...

When I was in my 20's, my mom and dad went to Hawaii --- the first "big" vacation they had ever taken. Along with the requisite macadamia nuts, Mom brought me a couple of lovely "Don Ho" style shirts. Mind you, these were not the fun, colorful Hawaiian shirts good for a summer party, but something truly evil. (Try googling for photos of Ferdinand Marcos). I wore each of them once, so as not to appear ungrateful, but a couple of years later, quietly donated them to Goodwill, my more mature version of throwing them behind the dresser. That was about 30 years ago. I still feel guilty.

Becky said...

Uncle Doug -

Imelda would have loved those shirts I bet.

I don't think the words "guilt" or "remorse" are in Aleita's vocabulary yet. We need to work on those.

uncle doug said...

Give it time. Living in a small town may help her to develop some of that guilt. It certainly helped me. Then again, so did some of my behaviors....

papadale said...

Intuition, how else could she have possibly known the outfit was too small? Oh, and Uncle Doug, what is it with you and Becky and Grandma Mary? I think Hawaiian shirts are pretty cool!!

Julianne said...

I was just about to suggest that Uncle Doug pass his shirts on to Papa Dale. They sound like something he would get a great deal of wear out of. Then I read that Uncle Doug donated them. Bummer.