Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Dress

I admit it: I probably enjoy adding to Seven's wardrobe a little too much. When Jo was little, we were so destitute that she wore whatever was given to us. As a matter of fact, the child didn't own a pair of pants intended for a little girl until we moved to WA and lost out on my cousin's generous hand-me-downs from her son. Then I had four boys in a row, and stripes, solids, and plaids ruled the day. Would you like that in blue or green? Wanna' get crazy and put a screen printed puppy on that?

So yes, Seven has been a welcome diversion in the clothing department. Oh, the options. The colors! The fabrics! The styles! I've thrown myself into making things for her. Skirts, dresses, and even an adorable little hat that stretched my knitting skills to the limit. I've not tried socks yet, but they're on my radar, trust me. I just can't help myself.

I also find myself trolling sales racks when I'm out and about. That's how Seven got the shirt that she wore on her birthday--the one that announced that she was the Birthday Girl. Yup. $3.99 on the sales rack. As if I could pass that up.

I still only buy things that I truly, truly love. The Birthday Girl shirt, for example, makes me smile every single time I see those photos. I knew it would. So $3.99 was an investment well worth the return. Other items that have found their way into Seven's closet have been just as irresistible. The girl owns nothing that I don't absolutely adore. If it's simply a cute item on sale and it doesn't make me grin at the thought of seeing her toddle about in it, then I pass it by.

As such, she doesn't have a closet bursting at the seams with more dresses, skirts, and shirts than one child can wear in a lifetime, let alone the three months it will all actually fit. She has a wardrobe of about ten outfits. Ten outfits that show off all her cuteness, that make me smile like crazy, and that suit her sparkly little personality.

Hanging in the back of the closet are the retired clothes. The outgrown treasures that I have no idea what to do with just yet; my heart is still deciding. There are only a few things there, special things that I'm not sure would ever look right on anyone but Seven. Among those limbo clothes sits my all-time favorite dress. It's a sweet little babydoll number in blues and browns from Naartjie. I bought in on clearance for $7.50 about 8 months ago. The colors weren't typical of the palette I generally choose for my baby girl, but the patterns gave me heart a little tug. So I bought it. She wore it. And she wore it. And she wore it.

Seven in The Dress at 6 months

It became such a favorite that I found myself neglecting other items in her closet, simply because I loved that little dress so much on her.

But of course, the day came when the dress no longer did what it was intended to do. Meant to be a below-the-knee little number, it crept up until the whole of her (admittedly large) cloth-diapered bum was visible. The seasons changed, anyway, and the dress came out of rotation. I remember putting it on the hanger for the last time with a knowing sigh. It was like saying goodbye to a friend. Unable to simply slip it into a bin, I left it in the closet, where I could visit it from time to time and relive the dash that the last year has been.

This morning, as I selected something for Seven to wear, the dress caught my eye. Could it possibly .... ? I wondered. I had seen other people do it. Sure, it's might not be the sweetest look ever, but maybe, just this once ...

Seven in The Dress at 14 months

You know, it works for me. Tomboy meets sweetheart, maybe? Patterns and prints and jeans. Rickrack and denim cuffs. I think she pulls it off.

Seeing Seven in that dress reminded me of how big she is, how quickly she's growing, and how much I adore the 14 month-old phase. And while I'm having a blast with the little things--like outfitting my baby girl--it's the big things that really keep my focus. Time is fleeting. Soon enough, this adorable little dress will head back to the closet, this time forever. Before I know it, she'll be drinking from a big girl cup, then writing her name, then asking if she can take horseback riding lessons. She'll have very definite ideas about what she wants to wear, and in what colors. 

And you know, I'm o.k. with that. Today, I'm just happy that I got a peek into how much she has grown, but how little she still is. And yes, I'm happy that the favorite dress got one more chance to shine!


Jennifer Jo said...

Dresses over jeans: definitely cool. Heck, even I wear dresses over jeans!

(P.S. Her little ponytails are beyond cute.)

Michelle said...

Yay! I love that look! I always wanted to do that as a child and teen, but my mother hated the idea and wouldn't let me. I could have been a trendsetter! Like you, I've seen others do this in the past few years, and I love it!!!

Fatcat said...

So cute! What a good idea you had!