Sep 26, 2013

Fall, Finally

Hello!  Welcome to my first foray into blog writing, as opposed to blog reading and/or commenting!  If you haven’t already, please pop over to the About Us section so I can introduce myself and my family.  
Fall weather has finally hit our little section of Northern California, and we are loving it.  It’s actually cool enough to go outside in the middle of the day.  I know I know, small beans to some, but a real luxury around here.  We’re planning (and arguing over) Halloween costumes, (and I’m secretly already more excited about Christmas).  Slim, with her shorty short short bob hair cut, wants to be Katniss Everdeen, whose most defining characteristic is naturally her long braided hair.  A wig I guess?  We’ll just have to find one that doesn’t break the bank, and is comfortable enough for her to wear all night.  I think wigs are itchy, and won’t go near them myself, but if she’s really committed to her costume she might keep one on.

Mister was going back and forth between Sonic and Indiana Jones.  I was secretly rooting for Sonic because I found a sweet costume on Amazon for $14, and I’d really like to keep Halloween costumes easy this year. (I want to start working on Christmas!)  I thought I was being a good parent, keeping my opinions to myself and letting him pick on his own, but ever since he decided on Indiana Jones I’ve been kicking myself.  It seems to be working out, though.  I bought a pretty cool felt Indiana Jones hat at Good Will for $2, and I think we can wrangle up all of the other pieces around the house and in the dress up bins.  

My little Dear seems happy with her vampire costume, for now.  Sometimes I think she tries to make things difficult for me on purpose, because it makes her feel loved and special when I expel the effort on her.  All of my children are sensitive, but Dear is like an exposed nerve walking around on two legs.  She’s insecure, and struggles with trust and attachment.  I don’t blame her, it’s just her way.  I’m pretty emotional, too, and after what she’s been through it makes sense that she would doubt people and need them to prove themselves over and over and over again.  Knowing and understanding all that doesn’t mean it doesn’t drive me nuts sometimes, though.  
I like to sew, and I’ve probably made more for Dear, (skirts, doll blankets, bags, dress up clothes, etc...) than anyone else, just because she asks for the stuff, and I don’t mind.  So when she said she wanted to be a vampire for Halloween and wear her new gold and red cloak I’d made her, I was ecstatic.  But after further discussion, once she discovered that I wouldn’t sew her an entire new dress to wear under the cloak, she wanted to change her mind.  What’s worse is, she said she’d rather be a prom queen.  I have nothing against being a prom queen for Halloween, but I’ve spent the last 3 Halloweens with Dear and every year she’s been a variation on girl-in-a-dress-with-a-crown.  And in addition to vampire being convenient for me, I was excited that she was branching out.
If I was a “good parent” at this point I probably would have said something like, “Let’s not decide just yet, there are pro’s and con’s to both, blah blah blah.”  But I’m a person, and some times I just blurt things out.  I believe what I said was something more like, “You’re always a girl in a crown, you’re going to be something different this year.”  
To which she replied, “Well I’ll just make my own costume, then.”  
So I said, “Fine, so long as it’s not a girl in a crown.”

It wasn’t an especially productive exchange.  Later, after I’d had time to think about why she was changing her mind I was able to think about what I might have said differently.  We had another conversation about it, this time focusing on ways we show Dear we love her and why I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on Halloween costumes this year, and so far she’s back on being a vampire.  Honestly, I’m not sure which conversation convinced her to switch back.  It’s totally possible she just figures if she can’t be a girl in a dress with a crown then she doesn’t care what she is.  

Since the moment it came out of my mouth I’ve wrestled with whether it was right or wrong to flat out forbid a costume just because she’s done it so many times before.  Do I want her to broaden her dreams beyond being a pretty girl?  Of course.  Do I want her to try new things?  Definitely.  Are there more supportive and encouraging ways to expand her horizons?  Absolutely.  Does it really hurt her to essentially be a princess every Halloween?  Probably not.  Does it really hurt her to say she can’t be a princess every Halloween?  Probably not.  I’m not sure, what do you guys think?  

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