dress-up · self-esteem · slice of life

Tutu – Part II

Flashback to 2013 when Isabelle dressed up as a ballerina for Purim.
Flashback to 2013 when Isabelle dressed up as a ballerina for Purim.

In my mind, tutus serve two purposes: professional wear for ballerinas and dress-up clothes for little girls.  I’ve never been a fan of little girls wearing tutus out of the house.  (Quite frankly, I don’t care if your kid wears a tutu out of the house.  I just find it impractical for my child to wear tulle around her waist when I have to load and unload her into her car seat multiple times a day.)

Two years ago, I wrote about the lavender tutu my friend Lauren made Isabelle for dressing-up. But lately (Read: Now that she’s in preschool!), she’s been asking to wear it to school.  I guess her friend Grace wore a tutu to school. Now she wants to wear one too.  This morning, just as we snapped-up her jacket over her pink dress, the subject of the tutu came up again.

ISABELLE: Can I bwing my tutu to school?

ME: No, it’s for dress-up.

ISABELLE: Gwace’s mommy let her weah a tutu.

ME: But I’m not Grace’s mommy.

ISABELLE: I know. You have diffent wules.

ME: That’s right. All families have different rules.

ISABELLE: Why we have diffent rules?

ME: Because we do. Everybody’s family is different. Do I let you eat cookies?


ME: Maybe Grace’s mommy doesn’t let her eat cookies.


ME: Grace’s mommy lets her wear a tutu to school, but I don’t let you wear one to school. It’s for dress-up.  Your tutu is special. It wasn’t bought in a store like most girls’ tutus. Miss Lauren made it just for you, in your favorite color, so you can wear it at home for dress-up.

ISABELLE: But I wanna me like Gwace.

ME: And I want you to be like you.

ISABELLE: But Gwace is my friend.

ME: She’ll still be your friend even if you aren’t wearing a tutu.


ME: What if I let you bring your tutu to school on Friday and you can wear it in your classroom for dress-up?  But you can’t wear it for snack, lunch, or at circle time.  And you can’t wear it out to recess.

ISABELLE: That would be good.

ME: Okay, so you can bring it to school on Friday.

ISABELLE: {Long pause.} That’s okay. My tutu can stay at home.

I’m not sure if I should declare this a “win.” I don’t know if Isabelle understands she isn’t going to wear the tutu all day long, in place of a skirt or pants, to school — at least not if I’m in charge.  Somehow I have a feeling we’ll be having this conversation tomorrow night or Friday morning before preschool.  We shall see…

Head over to http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com  for more slices of life.
Head over to http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com for more slices of life.

25 thoughts on “Tutu – Part II

  1. The saga of the tutu. Now that’s a wild idea for a PB. I belong to a group of crazy women who love to wear tutus to races, of all things. Maybe we all once wanted to wear them to preschool, but our mommies said no.

  2. I don’t have girls, I have boys but I have nieces and little girlfriends that I’ve bought a plethora of GOOD tutus and just play tutus. There is a difference! I like how you illustrate that with the feeling of tulle on mommy’s arms and honestly if it’s a good tutu, it is not meant to be worn like clothes all day. I love the conversation here. She’s a smarty and a sweetie here.

  3. I would most definitely declare this a “win”. Compared to the conversations I have with my daughter, you should be considered a champion!

  4. I love this…because I think it is a conversation that happens all over the world. Sammie’s preschool has uniforms and believe it or not, they have the ‘princess dress up discussion’ almost every day! xo

  5. As a former wearer of a few tutus…yeah, i was a toe dancer in my younger days… anyway…I like that you had this discussion about wule diffences and that she totally “gets it”. It still doesn’t make her want to wear it any less. She may have suddenly wemembahed something that happened to Gwace’s tutu that day and decided, now that she could weah it for a time, it wasn’t worth the wisk of damage to something so special! Wuv it!

  6. Cute. I can picture that conversation happening just as you wrote it.

    I look forward to your follow up slice Friday afternoon. Will she wind up wearing it all day? What will the teacher let her do? Will your daughter even remember?

  7. I hear you and I apply it at my school to leggings. My 8th graders wear leggings without covering the necessary things (you know). So, I might welcome a tutu to cover some of them!

  8. I agree. I think this will be a LONG conversation… possibly going on at different levels and about different types of tutu’s (symbolically), until she goes off on her own to college. Stay strong! Other mom’s of girls who are strong and determined are behind you.

  9. When my daughter was three she wore her tutu downhill skiing on a day we thought was a costume day. It turns out that it wasn’t any so many people paid attention that she started insisting on the tutu whenever she skied. Now if she doesn’t wear it (4 years later) she gets all sorts of grief from people she knows at our local resort. They even started a Tutu Tuesday! The power of the tutu!

  10. I have lived this conversation as well … talking about our family rules and other family rules. I think for the most part, my girls forgot or accepted the family rule. However, they also have each other, so they are never alone in the family rules … My girls started dance a couple weeks ago and I had to buy the outfits. One of my girls spotted a big pink sparkly tutu. I would never and told her that was more for dress up. I opted for the soft flowing skirt. She agreed with no major meltdown, but still reminds me how she really liked that big pink sparkly tutu. What is the obsession? Hopefully a phase … We’ll see how Friday goes!

    1. I really don’t know what the obsession is all about. Tutus weren’t a thing when we were kids (at least, I don’t remember anyone ever wearing one outside of a dance studio).

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