dress-up · holidays · Jewish · self-esteem · slice of life

The Tutu: An Unexpected Purim Costume

The little ballerina is ready for the Purim Carnival.
The little ballerina is ready for the Purim Carnival.

You know those girls who attend music class or go to the supermarket in a tutu?  That’s not my daughter.  I’ve never bought her a skirt that even resembled a tutu since I fear turning her into a diva by running around town in a tutu.  In my mind, tutus are for ballerinas.  I have the utmost respect for ballet dancers.  I’ve taken ballet as a child and again in my early 20s so I know it’s challenging!

My friend Lauren, who danced ballet for years, made Isabelle a tutu for her first birthday.  She asked me what color to make it (I said lavender.)  It was for playing dress-up. The tutu sat in Isabelle’s closet for over a year since it was too big for her.  Today it made its debut — for Purim.

Isabelle was going to wear her Halloween costume (ladybug) for Purim. However, in the middle of the night I had a NEW idea for her Purim costume.  It wouldn’t cost a cent (Yea!) and would be a good photo opp.  What would she be?  A ballerina, of course.

When I woke up this morning, I searched for a pair of black tights in the sock/tights drawer of her room.  All I came up with were a pair of black 12-24 month sized tights from the Baby Gap that she wore for Rosh Hashanah in 2011!  Would they fit?  If not, no tutu!  Then, I looked for a black onesie since she doesn’t have a leotard.  I found a black turtleneck onesie in her drawer.  Yea!  But would the tutu fit?

After breakfast, I brought Isabelle upstairs and bribed her with the Maccabeats Purim video while I put the tights on her.  (She hates tights!)  I got them on her without so much as a grimace.  (Yea Maccabeats!)  Surprisingly, they weren’t too small.  I guess they have a lot of spandex in them.  Next came the onesie.  That was a cinch to get on.  Finally, the big test came when I stood her up to put on the tulle tutu.  One leg in, then the next.  I shimmied it up to her waist and it didn’t fall.  It fit!  She would be a ballerina after all!

I pulled her hair back into a slop-knot ponytail, which is the only kind she’ll tolerate.  However, I didn’t want all of the pieces flying around since she does have curly hair, after all.  So I did the unthinkable.  I found my hairspray and began to spray it in her hair.  It was the first time she’s ever come into contact with hairspray.  I shuddered each time I misted it over her toddler hair.  Was I creating a diva or was I just getting my daughter dressed up for a Purim Carnival?  I decided not to beat myself up over the hairspray since it was for a special occasion.  So, I moved on.

There she was, dressed as a ballerina in her purple tutu.  She looked darling as I had her spin around the room.  Much older than the two year old she is.  And while she looked very pretty, I must admit, I was delighted to put her corduroy pants back on her after the Purim carnival was over.  Corduroy pants are everyday play clothes.  At least that’s how we roll.


26 thoughts on “The Tutu: An Unexpected Purim Costume

  1. Great idea, but you’ve now joined the tutu craze. Ingrid has one, but her mom says that some of the little girls at pre-school wear one every day! They are everywhere! I’m glad you returned to the good play corduroy pants. However, she looks darling & every female likes to dress up once in a while, right?

    1. @Linda: Your comment made me chuckle. That sucker went right back up in her closet and is staying there. No way is that a preschool outfit. Ack! (Let’s see how strong my tutu resolve is!)

  2. So adorable! Glad the costume worked out for her and for you! The most important thing is to find joy in these moments and go with your gut. Don’t worry about the diva thing …life is too short!

  3. My daughter tried ballet lessons for a couple of years…I think it was because she wanted a tutu! I don’t know whether it was the tutu or the pink ballet slippers she loved most. She played in them at home a lot. It was a passing phase, and she moved on to other, more long lasting pursuits…and outfits.

  4. Oh Stacey, the tutu stage is like a blink to me. I miss when my own girls went through it. I say don’t fear the tutu …. embrace it and enjoy letting Isabelle’s explore her inner diva (if she wants to). Happy Purim!

  5. My son wore a cape, ala “Superman / Batman” for about 6 months – every day – even though there were very, very few cartoons – even – in our home and he had NEVER seen either movie as the “magic” of dressing up overtook his preschool self one year. Don’t worry, as an “adult” he no longer sees himself as a “superhero”!

  6. I’m with the others. Let her have her inner Diva if she wants once in awhile. Eventually, she’ll go back to her comfy clothes that let her play in nonDiva ways.

  7. You know me, I totally get it. Last time we were at the dr., we wound up in the princess room and A squealed in delight when she spotted the Tinker Bell doll across the room (I’m not making that up). Seriously, are they just wired this way? Sorry I missed seeing Isabelle in costume, I bet she was adorable!

    1. @Rachel Z: I knew you’d understand where I was coming from.
      Would you believe Izzy doesn’t even know who/what princesses are. I’ve shielded her from it completely. Wait ’til preschool. You know what is going to hit the fan when the princess world is opened to her.
      BTW: Our pediatrician’s office always puts us in the Dr. Seuss room. Makes for a happy mommy!

  8. I think children figure out who they are over and over again, just as adults do. The outer wrappings and physical trappings are just fun to explore -for all of us. I still do this – will I wear makeup today? Or not? Your post reminded of a time when I worried a lot about having a “princess” daughter. Now I worry about raising a “superhero” son. Same worry really.

  9. Isabelle does look darling…lovely photograph, Stacey! Dress up clothes are fun…my very-serious-now oldest daughter fell in love with her I’m Really Rosie hat, and wore it every where for a while….my son and his Harry Potter glasses seemed bonded for life at one stage…and my youngest wore the heels off of a pair of red cowboy boots she discovered in an antique store. I look back on those dress up days with misty eyes now that they are all grown up and have left that sort of magical make believe behind. It was fun while it lasted, though!

  10. She looks adorable! I didn’t know there was a carnival during Purim! (In fact, I don’t know much about Purim, but now I’m intrigued to learn more!) I love reading your posts about holidays because I always learn something interesting!

    1. @Pamela: it’s okay as long as her San Francisco townhouse is in a fun neighborhood and has an extra bedroom so I can visit a lot. (I don’t want her to grow up that fast, but a mom can dream about the best case scenario, right?)

  11. What a photo! Your daughter looks like such a deep thinker and ponderer as she gazes through the slats of the railing. I love how dressing up is about becoming someone else for an evening and than back into the coziness. That’s how I roll, too!

  12. A lovely post – lovely photo. So many are writing about the memories we make with our children. Such a special time – cherish this time. My daughter is 28 – I really do miss those times when she dressed up, or danced or just wanted to be hugged and read to.

  13. Sweet post. I hope that it’s not the last time Isabelle gets to wear the tutu. Your friend made it with care and thought. With the help of the tutu you can start sharing the world of ballet with Isabelle. Whirl and dance together. Have fun.

    1. @Terje: She is just starting to get into wearing my shoes, which I think means playing dress-up will come soon. I’m really looking forward to playing ballerina, as well as other things, with her once she expresses more interest.

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