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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cinderella's slippers too small for the ball - and she's too big for her britches

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 By

AUGUSTA, GA - As Emerson gets older, she gets more opinionated about what she wears. I've never been a chevron-dress-and-hair-bow kind of mom. I'd rather she DID get dirty while playing. I don't want to give her any reason not to enjoy her childhood. Even so, as she grows, she has very specific opinions, and I'm usually fine with her doing whatever she wants, so long as it's age/temperature/functionally appropriate. But this morning was a trial.

Emerson wanted to wear short black booties with her capri jeans and sparkly dog t-shirt. It did not go, and within some rather expansive parameters, I do not care about that. But the booties have short little-girl heels, so she feels pretty and grown-up when she wears them.

"Em, I don't think those shoes are the best choice. Don't you want a pair you can run around in?"

"I like these boots."

"I know. But they're not really for playing. Do they even still fit?"

"We don't even have a playground at this camp. We're inside all day."

"I bet you run around in the fellowship hall."

"Mom. They're fine. Really."

[disapproving look] "...okay."

We got in the car and I had further second thoughts. "Em, do you want to grab a pair of shoes to put in your bag just in case you need them?"

"Mom, it's ffiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine-uh! Let's just GO!"

I side-eye her, but it is Friday and I am Picking My Battles. "Okay."

She curls up on the front seat with my phone and her headphones, listening to Tobuscus and Markiplier on Spotify. I try to engage her in a rousing sing-a-long to "Bohemian Rhapsody," to no avail. She just frowns and scootches away from me. Sigh. Fine. I can sing it by myself. ALL THE PARTS.

We get to the church and she grumbles her way out of the car.

"Em, honey... what's wrong?"




Aw, hell, naw.

I fold her into a hug that she returns by standing stick straight, arms at her side, face turned defiantly away from me. It was so awkwardly hilarious that I grin and held it a few extra awkward moments. But she knows better than to pull away or I'll do my Hunchback of Notre Dame impression behind her all the way inside, no matter who is watching. I have no shame.

I bent down in front of her and asked in Monster Voice, "Emmie sad?"

I saw the corner of her mouth twitch.

"Emmie mad?"


"Monstah Emmie mad at Mommie Monstah?"

"No-uhhh!" she whined. But failed to hide a grin.

"Monstah Mommie sowwy. Monstah Mommie lub Emmie Monstah." I gently bit her forehead. For those who aren't familiar with the sociology of monsters, that's a Monster Kiss.

She giggled and then sighed. "Emmie Monstah angry at... Emmie."

"Why Emmie Monstah haz a angry?"

She dropped Monster Voice. "Because these boots are really hurting my feet! And I didn't even listen to you, and now I have to wear them ALL DAY!"

I straightened and took her gently by her shoulders: "There's another pair of shoes in the car."

"No, there's ISN'T," she whined.

I opened the door back up, reached inside, and TADAAAA! Extra pair of shoes.

Monstah Mommy no fool. Monstah Mommy know what happen. Monstah feet very sensitive.

We walked inside, got a couple of band-aids from the office, and put on her socks and shoes.

"Thanks, Mom. You're the best mommy ever."

We hugged and said good-bye in Monster Voice.

And I floated back to my car on a cloud of self-righteousness.


  1. Good for you, and good for her that she let go of it so fast! That little bit of self congratulation is great, isn't it? Remembering it got me through an awful lot of frustrating tween behaviours.