My daughter wore her pajamas to church this morning. Saturday night, she’d mentioned that she intended to wear them, the Carter’s footie-jammies with horizontal lavender and baby blue stripes, but I didn’t really believe her. (Actual pajamas not pictured, but boy, what an outfit that is, huh?) She’d also picked out a yellow and blue dress with gauzy ruffles around the hem.
But this morning, when she woke at 8:35 a.m. (which in her uninformed brain was only 7:35 a.m., but now it’s Daylight Savings Time, SURPRISE!), she told me she would wear her pajamas. And I said, “Okay.” We had to leave by 8:45 a.m. . . . well, really, we should have been at church at 8:45 a.m., but let’s not quibble over details. I tucked her dress, tights, shoes and sweater into my bag, just in case.
I taught Sunday School to three preschoolers and then my daughter and I headed upstairs to claim our rightful position in the second pew on the left side, right behind my boys who, judging from the greasiness of their pre-teen heads of hair, failed to use shampoo again last night during their showers. A lady behind me noted my daughter’s unusual attire and said, “You’re a more relaxed mom than I was!” and in the pause between that and her next statement, I wondered if I should take offense, but then she said, “Good for you!” I said, “Well, I figured, what does it matter, really?” As I said to my husband tonight, if you can’t wear your pajamas to church when you are three years old, when can you?
We lasted through all the stuff that happens before the sermon begins, then headed to the fellowship hall where we could see Daddy preaching on closed-circuit television while also running around in circles (her, not me). My daughter is seemingly ravenous on Sunday mornings . . . but the truth is, she knows that the kitchen holds loot, desirable loot like cookies and brownies and sometimes, cake. This morning, she feasted on Hostess “donettes,” those small chocolate covered ones. She also brought a cookie to our table, a snickerdoodlish cookie.
The cookie sat. I sat. My daughter sat. Then my daughter, wanting to shake things up and shake things out, asked if she could put pepper on the cookie.
“No,” I said.
She asked again.
She said, “But I want to put pepper on the cookie.”
“I said NO!”
She asked again.
I enunciated very carefully, “Look . . . at . . . me. I . . . said . . . NO.”
She added a little whine to her request and asked again.
“Listen to me. The answer is NO!” I used my most stern voice, the one just short of screaming my head off, because after all, I was wearing pantyhose, sitting in the fellowship hall at church.
She paused, smiled sweetly and said, “I love your dress.”
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(These tiny cut-out pictures are her handiwork. They are the actual size . . . my daughter is good with scissors. I’m thinking she’ll either be a hair stylist, a surgeon or, maybe she’ll operate first, then style her patient’s hair.)
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A Note to Clarify:
She had rejected the cookie already. She merely wanted to make a huge pepper and salt mess on the table, using the cookie as an excuse. I did not want to clean up a big mess, so I told her no. I have no objection to peppering cookies under other circumstances. (What? I personally do not pepper my cookies.)