dress-up · slice of life

Everyone’s a Comedian

“Mommy, look at me!”

I anticipated the ridiculous. The ridiculous delivered in the form of this:

“You have ten eyes,” I said.

I could sense Ari skip counting by twos.

After a few beats he declared, “I do have ten eyes!”

dress-up · Jewish · slice of life

Things I’m Pretty Sure of Today

It’s late and I’m falling back on a format I use when I’m short on time.

Isabelle wore a clown wig on her bus ride home in an effort to get into the Purim spirit. I have no idea where she got it!

Things I’m Pretty Sure of Today: Having your baby sleep through the night again is better than a new piece of jewelry; My heart filled with pride when Isabelle’s teacher lent me her drawing and writing book, which is filled with her Kid Writing; Isabelle is much more into Purim than I ever was as a kid; My father saved the day (yet again) by stepping in to help Isabelle with her Purim costume; I need to pull back from a project that got forced upon me. This became crystal clear when Isabelle walked into my office and said, “You’re working at your computer again?!!?”; I enjoyed going out for dessert with several Kindergarten moms tonight, but I was delighted to return home in time to put Ari to sleep.


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dress-up · physical appearance · raising strong girls · self-esteem · slice of life

My 5 year-old was makeupless for her dance recital. #sol16

Isabelle’s first dance recital took place last night. If you’ve talked to me lately (or read this blog post I wrote in March), then you know I haven’t been that excited about the recital. Some of my lack of enthusiasm had to do with the emphasis on performance rather than acquisition of discernable ballet and tap skills. Some of my lack of enthusiasm surrounded the fact that the rehearsal and recital went beyond Isabelle’s bedtime. And some of my lack of enthusiasm revolved around the idea of five-year-olds being requested to wear makeup.
So, about the makeup. If you read my March post, you might remember makeup was encouraged, but not required for preschool dancers. Seeing as it was optional, I opted not to put any on Isabelle. I figured I’d cave and allow her to wear lipstick if she really wanted to wear makeup because her peers were. In reality, I felt strongly that she didn’t wear it since she’s only five. (Believe me, I have nothing against makeup. I’m rarely out without it. I just don’t think it is for little girls.)
Isabelle either didn’t care or didn’t notice she was the only kid in her dance class without makeup. None of the other moms questioned me about it. (Note: We changed to a different class in early April.) And you know what? When asked, my husband said Isabelle’s lack of makeup didn’t make a lick of difference to him sitting in the audience. He was able to see her face the same as every other kid in her class.  (I was back stage so I was able to see all of the girls exactly the same.) 
I’m feeling slightly triumphant now about the makeup thing. But despite all of my disdain for everything that revolved around the recital (which also included the fact that the preschoolers’ moms were required to stay backstage rather than being allowed to watch the performance from the audience), I am pleased Isabelle had the courage to get up on stage, in front of hundreds of people, to perform without stage freight. That is a huge accomplishment! 

End of the tap routine.

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.


These are not your typical toddler girl Halloween costumes!

Last night we met up with friends for dinner and for Pumpkin Glow at the Hershey Gardens. [If you’re ever in Hershey at Halloween, you have to check out Pumpkin Glow. it’s one of my favorite events in Central PA. Essentially there are over 150 Jack-o-Lanterns around the Gardens, which are open to Trick o’ Treaters. Kids walk around the garden path and receive an assortment of Hershey candy (which their parents may or may not eat while they’re sleeping) to enjoy.] I was pleased-as-punch when I heard what my friend’s daughter was dressing as for Halloween: a pirate.  Why? Because my two and a half year-old was dressing up as a med student in scrubs with the words “Doctor in Training” on the back of them.  Not your typical toddler girl costumes for Halloween.

“I love that you’re dressing her up as a pirate,” I told my friend as we wolfed down our salads at Panera.

“I’m trying to avoid the whole princess thing as long as possible,” she said.

“Us too!”

“She already has friends who are into that stuff,” my friend told me.

I nodded knowingly.  I know my days of keeping Isabelle in the dark about the existence of the Disney princesses is fleeting.  (Seriously, she has no idea who they are!) Once she goes to pre-school next fall, it is possible princess mania will be alive and well in her classroom and then I’m really going to have a situation on my hands.

But until then, I relish having a like-minded friend who dresses her daughter in purple shirts with flowers, but doesn’t go overboard with the girly-girl thing.

But most of all, I loved watching the pirate and the med student rock their costumes last night.  Here they are:

It was REALLY cold last night, which is why the girls were wearing jackets. You can see Izzy's scrub pants, on the right, but not her scrub shirt. Poor thing had two layers of clothes on underneath the scrubs, plus a coat, hat, and mittens!
It was REALLY cold last night, which is why the girls were wearing jackets. You can see Izzy’s scrub pants, on the right, but not her scrub shirt. Poor thing had two layers of clothes on underneath the scrubs, plus a coat, hat, and mittens! (Though she didn’t want to sport the mittens until she got really cold.)


dress-up · OBSERVATIONS · picture books · pretend play

Giving Her Wings

20130621-151305.jpgSo the fear of things that buzz and fly is still going on. It’s been reduced since the first time I blogged about it in May, but it’s still present. I think the fear of bees is real. (For instance, we went strawberry picking earlier and she froze in the field when one buzzed around her. I dropped my basket, held her close for a moment, reassured her, and we moved on.) I’m not so sure the butterfly fear is real. Well, maybe it’s real, but I just don’t understand it because it seems irrational to me since butterflies cannot sting or bite. (Sigh!)

I asked Isabelle if she wanted to visit Hershey Gardens this past week. She said “yes.” When I asked her if she wanted to go into the Butterfly House, she said, “no.” I asked her if she was sure. She was. We didn’t go.

Therefore, I went to the next step of trying to work through this butterfly fear since this is more than literature and simple observations of butterflies can handle. I bought her wings. That’s right. Butterfly wings. With glitter. (A little piece of me felt like it was dying when I saw the glitter on the wings. It felt a little princess-ey to me. Considering Isabelle still doesn’t know who the Disney Princesses are, that kinda made me shudder.)

I strapped the butterfly wings on to her back last night and read her select poems from Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More: Poems for Two Voices by Carole Gerber and Bruce Yelchin. She was content to sit with the wings on for a few minutes, but didn’t want to fly around the house.

This morning, we tried the wings again, talking about butterflies. She enjoyed flitting around the house in them for about 15 minutes.

Perhaps a few more days of wing wearing and she’ll be ready to tackle the Butterfly House again.

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.