The day my daughter wore a dress.


I think I’ve always wanted a girly girl. I am not sure why, I myself am not a girly girl, so I’m not sure why I had these grand illusions of pink tulle and butterflies. I think it was just THAT. The pink tulle and butterflies – girls things are just so cute, aren’t they? Flowery, fluffy and soft – one cannot deny that little girls clothing and related items far outweigh their male counterparts in the cute department. Then Hannah was born and I spent her first year living my dream. All the pretty outfits, all the pink bows in her hair, she had more pairs of shoes than all three of us in the house – almost. It was lovely! Then Hannah started to talk, and she made it abundantly clear that she didn’t like dresses or skirts or leggings. She didn’t want her hair loose and flowing down her back and she most definitely did not want cute sandals or sparkly shoes. She wanted shorts and tees, jeans and tees and tracksuits and tees. And ONLY takkies. Even in the heat of summer, she wanted takkies on her feet. Even if we were just at home, she was either in her takkies or barefoot. In other words, she wanted to dress like her brother. She didn’t mind pink at all (even though dark blue is her favourite colour) but she didn’t want to dress like a girl.

This bothered me at first, we used to beg, plead and sometimes force her to wear the dresses hanging in her cupboard. And she would CRY, boy would she cry. One day I said to my husband that I was done fighting over clothes. At the end of the day, what she wore made no difference to the little girl that she was, and if she didn’t want to wear another dress in her life, I would be ok with that. And besides, if someone had to force me to wear something I didn’t want to, I’d probably punch them in the throat.

So that’s what we did. And we’ve been happy ever since. She wears her shorts and tees, her hair is always in ponytails unless she is swimming and I’m happy with the fact that her brother’s hand-me-downs are not going to waste. We were in Woolies just last week, doing a bit of summer shopping for the kids and both hubby and I pointed to the many cute dresses on display and asked if she wanted any of them, and she insisted that she wanted shorts only. Not even leggings, just shorts. I did buy her quite a girly pair of sandals which she only OK’d because they were blue.

On Tuesday, she came home and announced that she would be wearing a skirt tomorrow (Wednesday). Liam and I made big eyes and said nothing else. On Tuesday night she pulled out a skirt and a t-shirt AND a pair of leggings to wear under her little skirt. I was like ooookkkkk? And yesterday morning she WORE her skirt to school. EVERYONE at school was like “oooooooohhhhhh HANNAHHHHHHH! LOOK AT YOUUUUUUU!”

Last night she took out another skirt and leggings for this morning. So I asked her how come she wanted to wear dresses all of a sudden? She said that all girls wear dresses, don’t I know? And it is summer and she is hot. Her words, not mine. This morning I was brushing her hair into the usual pony tail when she announced that I must leave her hair open. I may have choked on my saliva. I didn’t even hesitate and I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it either – I mean I don’t want my daughter to think that she has come of some socially accepted age and now I love her for it. No. Secretly I was thrilled, my girly girl was emerging from her cocoon (!!) but I, in no way, wanted her to think that she HAD to wear dresses and have her hair down just because she was a girl. I had learned almost a year ago that forcing this issue was just cruel to her. So I made a high pony and left the bottom half loose (come on, we are Coloured, I was not about to let Diana Ross out wild on a school day and deal with crying and knots later tonight). And she went to the mirror and just beamed at herself and I told her what a Pretty Polly she was – which I do every day after hair brushing and she told me she likes her hair down! And Liam went on and on about how AMAZING she looked and how she must wear dresses EVERYDAY!

I’m guessing some of this stems from the fact that she is in a class full of girls – only 4 boys in the class. But that is not conclusive – I don’t know if those other little girls are girly-girls. And she has not let on in any way that this change of heart has come about because of what so-and-so said or what so-and-so wears. It’s like she just woke up and decided she wanted to wear dresses.

Perhaps it’s just a phase, perhaps she’s just testing out this whole ‘girl thing’ and she may still find it overrated and revert back to her shorts and tees and that will be fine. But I cannot deny how my heart was pumping in my chest and how my eyes welled up with tears when I saw her with her hair down and her little skirt on this morning. Guys, look away now if you don’t want to see me get all marshmallow mushy and sentimental for a minute: It was like how I imagine my parents felt when they saw me in my wedding dress. I swear I had the same look my mother and father had on their faces 6 years ago!!! I don’t know why – a girl in a dress means nothing, or at least it shouldn’t mean anything – but it just did. I can’t explain it any further than that. My Hannah in a dress. Who would have thought.

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4 thoughts on “The day my daughter wore a dress.”

  1. Aah! My Hannah girl! She must have looked BOOTIFUL in her dress, with her hair down! Gorgeous girl! Enjoy this stage…. Hope it lasts! 🙂

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