Welcome to Cleveland.
Today outside of waking up to a complete reversal in climate change, there was a little added glitch into the morning routine. Add to that the gale winds and rain, and I've had a just delightful morning...
Instead of my daughter waking and donning her uniform, she was to get 'dressed up'. Today, you see, is a big day. Today is no ordinary school day.
Today, is picture day.
Now, my daughter has been photographed. Alot. I normally have some sort of camera, motion or still, with me at all times. So we've boxes upon boxes of excellent photos of her doing just about everything you can imagine. I also have a close friend who is a professional photographer, so add all those photos to the collection as well.
So picture day? When they quickly snap a photo of your child in front of the obscure 'waterfall' background? It's really not a big deal.
At least to me.
In my daughters book? It's a big deal.
I filled out the obligatory forms to allow her to participate, full well knowing that we probably aren't going to be prominently displaying this photograph in the home. But she will have all those wallet size photos to share with her classmates. If I think back, it was probably a big day for me as well when I was 10.
Fact is, my mother kept most of my school photos. All the ones where I tried to cut my own hair just the night before. I gave my mom warning, she just didn't know how much I wanted my bangs cut. She did try to hide the damage, but it's pretty obvious. Baby bangs weren't the rage then. Or the one where I got into a scuffle with Tom Zander who lived across the street at the bus stop prior to school. That one shows a torn and tattered peter pan collar on my pressed dress. I believe he was teasing me because of said peter pan collared pressed dress, if my memory serves correctly. And then there is my favorite...nothing like making breakfast for yourself right before school and showing up with grape juice stained mouth. I look like a grinning purple clown.
With those memories firmly implanted, there isn't going to be any of those school picture snafu's if I can help it.
She's right on that cusp of really caring about what she wears. To go over to a neighbors to play after school, I'll enter her room after she's left and find about 6 discarded shirts on the floor in front of her mirror. Personally, I don't see the difference between them...but apparently one makes a statement while the others don't.
I pick them up and put them back away. Only to go across the room and find 3 pairs of ballet flats. One made the cut, the other ones didn't. Granted, each pair is black. One patent, one suede and one a croc print. I'm obviously a firm believer in multiples. Ask anyone who knows me.
My daughter is also not a girlie-girl type of dresser. We love Old Navy and Gap. Even she likes black and gray tee-shirts. Last evening right before dinner she informed me that the capris and argyle tunic that she was planning on wearing "Just won't do!". I was a little disappointed since it would have been perfect, but she wanted a dress. Apparently her peers are wearing dresses. Argh, the beginnings of peer pressure...
I decided that maybe she was in need of an occasion dress, not the separates that she normally would don for a more dressed up affair. So we headed off to find her a 'dress'. The one she chose is very cute with polka dots, slight crinoline and a shrug sweater. Quite darling, but definitely a far cry from our norm. Add a pair of white gloves and she might be having high tea at the Ritz later.
But that's what she wanted, so that's what we got.
The mirror got a workout this morning. As did my patience.
"Not those black shoes, these shoes. Not that headband, this headband. Do I have to wear hose?"
You learn to pick your battles when dealing with children. She did agree with me on the headband and hosiery. She chose the shoes. But since they are mostly black or silver, those were a win/win for me. She just didn't know it.
But it's a horribly nasty day today in Cleveland. No sunshine. No outdoor photos before school. And it's raining. Hard. That beautifully pressed dress got crunched under a coat and the perfectly straightened hair got smushed under a hat.
"Wear the black coat, it's water proof."
"No I want to wear the green one."
"But it's wool. And it doesn't match your dress."
She wore the green one. Before I pushed the black I remembered, 'Pick your battles...It's not a big deal.'
And in my true optimistic form, in a way this rain is a blessing. The school will have indoor recess today. Otherwise I can only imagine what the dress would look like after recess outside.
Because my daughter may be presently dressed for the Ritz, but she's not a girlie-girl. I can guarantee you she would play at recess in her little frock like a football player on the field.
"Crinoline interference!" the ref would call.
Bah. That's not going to hold her back.
I'll pick her up at 3. I wonder how her hose are going to fair today. Or even the dress.
Thank God for the dry cleaners.
I'm sure we're going to need it.