The Blue Dress
For the briefest second I had this flare of tantrum energy where I just wanted to throw myself on the floor of my study and scream
I WANT ONE I WANT ONE I WANT ONE!! until I was out of breath and sobbing.
Because I went to Target yesterday --- yester-very-day, yes, ter-day -- and all I bought was excessively grown-up things like Murphy's Oil Soap and bleach and batteries and kitty litter and I did not buy myself even one little teeny tiny present, no , not even a Barbie lunchbox (I have a "Bewitched" one anyway). Not even one fun pair of socks, or even a throw pillow. We were all business.
I had the same tantrum-y feeling when I went to Disney World a few years ago and saw in the gift shop that they had perfect replicas of all the Disney heroine costumes that any little girl could buy if her parents had the cash for it, and if she wheedled hard enough. I mean, I would have killed a peer for one of those costumes when I was four years old. I actually held up the Snow White costume to my own body, just to have it against myself. "Doesn't this come in an 18?" Little PeaceBang sobbed inside me. She almost made me buy it anyway, but I knew there would be a terrible fight when I tried to give it away to any of my little goddess-daughters.
The whole thing reminds me of this one beautiful blue fairy princess dress we had in the Dress Up Trunk at my nursery school. I used to rush like a rabid demoniac from my car pool to the trunk to get it every morning, since whoever got the blue dress got to be Cinderella when we played make-pretend.
I had such a steady monopoly on that dress that it became a Serious Problem at the Robin Hill Nursery School. My little schoolmates never said anything to me about it but they complained to Miss Louisa and Miss Barbara, who gently inquired of me if I would like to share the blue dress. Being three years old and fairly literal-minded, I didn't get the hint. I responded honestly that I did not want to share the blue dress. They spoke to my mother about it and I got a comment on my report card about having having "issues with sharing."
In case you should think this an unjust persecution of a 4-year old, I must confess in all honesty that it was none but I who slammed the car door on Stacy Wainhouse the day that she and her rotten, curly-headed friend Rachel plotted and planned in the back seat how one of them was going to trip me while the other ran to get the blue dress.
I've always had preternaturally good hearing, and a strong right arm.
Note to parents, and those who work with pre-schoolers: don't ask them whether or not they want to be good, unselfish children. Tell them that they'd better be, or else. Children are savages, for God's sake. Stacy Wainhouse is lucky to be alive today, and you heard it here.