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A Lesson Apparently Well-Learned

Halloween’s coming up soon (and yes,
I have very mixed feelings about the holiday, but that’s
another blog) and we’ve been having the big Costume
Conversation with both girls. Cora was relatively easy – she
decided somewhat early on that she wanted to be Thomas. Maddie made
a fast decision as well: she wanted to be Cinderella.

To be precise, she wanted to be the Cinderella pictured on page 7
of the One Step Ahead catalog.

For sixty bucks.

Let’s be clear here –
Maddie’s never seen Cinderella. She’s never met the
girl, seen the movie, watched a video with her, anything. But
Maddie saw that picture and wanted to be that girl. I saw that
pricetag and said heck, no.

At least, I said so in my head, in true cowardly fashion. Out loud
I said, “I’ll go shopping and see what I can

The next day I hit my favorite consignment store, which had
advertised a huge load of costumes recently. Right away, Cora found
a Thomas costume, complete with conductor’s hat, for seven
bucks. Thank you, Kid 2 Kid. I didn’t have any luck finding
the “real” Cinderella costume, but I found a beautiful
pink-and-cream princess costume for ten bucks, and crossing my
fingers for luck, I bought it.

When we picked Maddie up from school, I told her we’d found a
costume, but not a Cinderella one. “But this one is
beautiful, Maddie, and we can buy a crown and very cool shoes to go
with it,” I said, knowing my girl loves to shop for
accessories. Maddie was skeptical but willing to look.

Maddie fell in love with the dress, and couldn’t stop
fingering it, running her hands over all the detailing and soft
satin. Then she turned to me with a frown and said, “The only
thing is, I need to be a character – a specific person
– for Halloween, and this isn’t a specific

“Well, hon,” I improvised beautifully, “This is a
princess dress! You can have a sparkly tall crown and go as a

Maddie looked at me with withering scorn, all but rolling her eyes.
“Mo-om,” she said dismissively, “I already AM a
princess – I’m God’s princess! So I can’t
go as myself, can I?? I need to go as a DIFFERENT person.”

I should say here that Maddie has a series of books based around a
character named Gigi, God’s Little Princess. The books are
all about how every girl is God’s princess, and a child of
the kingdom. They’re funny and wonderful and full of
self-esteem, and apparently Maddie had gotten the message loud and

The crisis was resolved relatively painlessly; we decided the dress
would work well as Cinderella’s wedding dress. Whatever.

But for the record, she IS God’s princess, and I’m ok
with her knowing that.


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