Bursting into Costco last Tuesday morning, on a covert mission for one gallon of milk and a rotisserie chicken, we definitely looked like some weird trio of Dick Tracy comic book villains: Jeremiah, aka Pukeface, was still decked out in his feety frog pajamas at 11 a.m., a little bit of spit-up and just a touch of snot covering his arms and neck; Me? I was like The Shadow, no one knows where I go when I'm completely concealed by my post-pregnancy uniform of all black sweats. And Erin "Tutu" Mahoney, in a pair of sunglasses, some way-too-tight purple leggings and her ubiquitous hot pink tutu - well nobody wants to mess with her.
Our evil powers? The baby could probably puke or poop all over any copper who tried to ruin our mission for giant packages of paper towels and toilet paper. I could evade all line-jumpers with my camouflage attire and cat-like reflexes. And Erin, well she could spin for hours in that tutu, grabbing free samples of yogurt and tiny pieces of pork on toothpicks with some serious ninja-like ballerina moves.
It was definitely a sight. But then again, we look like that wherever we go.
"I'm gonna wear this today, OK Mommy?" That was yesterday when she pulled some random polka-dot socks from the back of the drawer, paired them with a pink halter top and green shorts and completed the look by clipping her hair into a "Snooki." (Yes, I know, I have to stop watching Jersey Shore when she's in the room.)
The tutu, of course, was the piece de resistance. Some silly mistake I made last year, buying this stupid dime-store dress-up Barbie thing for her to spin around and play in which somehow made it into the daily rotation. No outfit is complete without it. When I say she wears it with everything, I mean it. Even pajamas get the tutu treatment before she goes to bed. I can usually pry it away from her once a week in time for laundry day and I've enforced a strict "no tutu at school" rule but other than that, it goes everywhere: The Supermarket, the bank, the playground - even Christmas, Easter and a couple of family parties. I'm starting to get creative with my explanations just to change things up.
"She was drunk when we got dressed this morning," I told some woman at the park last week.
I must remember that not everyone gets my strange sense of humor. I must remember to go to another park.
"She's drunk right now," I told someone else as I ran after her in the frozen food section of Pathmark, trying to prevent her from knocking over cases of pizza bagels with her pirouettes.
Maybe I have to lay off of this drunk thing. Or start going to Stop and Shop.
I think it would be OK if the tutu wasn't completely shredded from an excessive amount of trips in the washing machine. It would probably be even better if there weren't two more tutus that she layered under the first ratty one. (I bought them in the hopes that we could get rid of the first one...didn't work. Yes, I am an enabler, I know.)
But as I was 30 minutes into an argument with her recently over why she shouldn't wear tights and tutus on a hot May day, she had a very real retort.
I honestly did not know what to say. Why shouldn't she wear what makes her feel pretty and comfortable and sort of like a superhero? Don't I do the same thing with my slimming black sweatpants? (I tried to wear them to that wedding, but apparently there's some sort of "rule" about that.)
And if spinning around in a bank or the frozen food aisle makes her happy then why shouldn't she do it? After all, there's only so many years you can logistically get away with stuff like that. I think once you turn eight or nine it's sort of frowned upon.
So I'm putting my own hang-ups aside and celebrating my three-year-old's fashion joie de vivre. You might even see me sashaying through Target or on the school pick-up line next week in something less safe than my comfy sweats. Think they sell tutus in my size?