Easter Diva

For a family Easter dinner on Saturday night, I let Hadley wear an over-the-top dress.

A hand-me-down, floor length, white gown layered in ruffles and tulle. With three lavender flowers and cascading ribbons in the front, and a thick sash in the back. Hadley looked liked the flower girl who hadn’t been told that the wedding had been called off.

Had didn’t own shoes that were remotely nice enough for this dress, so we brought her to dinner barefoot. With a white bow clipped in her hair.
What’s the harm in letting her dress up? I thought. 
The next day, Easter morning, she wanted to wear the dress again. On our muddy, grass-stainable farm. Not a chance. That thing is dry clean only.

“Sorry Hadley, you’ll have to wear one of your summer dresses from last year,” I said.

And that’s when the diva lost it. At 8 am she threw a monster hissy fit. She screamed and cried and collapsed in a puddle on he floor.  
“I can’t wear last year’s dress! I NEED A NEW DRESS!” she wailed inconsolably.
“I’m actually sleeping here,” a voice muttered from the top bunk. 
“Sorry Cayden, I didn’t even know you were up there,” I said. “Hadley! Go cry in the hallway, your brother’s trying to sleep. And pull it together! You like these dresses!”
Who is this kid? I thought. She can’t be mine. Thirty six years ago my Mom waged a similar battle. Only she was trying to get a 3 year old into a dress. I hated dressing up and refused to wear anything but boy clothes. Jeans and tee shirts. My winter jackets always came from the boys’ section of the store. There’s a photo of me in pink corduroys, smiling in my father’s arms. “That’s the closest we could get to a dress for church,” my Mom recalls. “Pink pants.”
Now I’ve got a kid who’s freaks out from the mere thought of last year’s fashion.
In the end Hadley begrudgingly put on a sundress from last summer. I reassured her that she looked cute. But when I tried to clip the white bow in her hair, she ducked out of reach. 
“Not that bow,” she said flatly, with teenager disdain. “That bow is too fancy for this dress.”