Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sometimes, You Have to Negotiate with the Terrorist

Spinning dresses are ruining my life. 

If you are a person who does not have a girl child under the age of five, then you are about to ask me what a spinning dress is.


Sorry.  Let me back up a little.

You see, Iris has a closet full of clothes.  And I don't mean ordinary-full.  I mean stuffed-to-the-gills full.  I mean no-toddler-should-have-this-many-clothes full.  But, in the last four or five months, Iris has decided that the only clothing she will deign to wear are dresses.  Which means she will not wear 95% of the clothes in her overstuffed closet.  Of the remaining 5%, only about half of them are weather appropriate.  And of that half that's left, she will only wear about a third of them. 

Because only a third of them "spin," that's why.

Which leaves me with maybe four dresses to choose from, assuming all four of them are clean.

Now those of you who do not have girl children under the age of five are thinking "Iris is a child...why don't you just make her wear whatever you think she should wear, even if it isn't a dress?

Seriously?  You're seriously asking me that?

Okay.  Let me tell you what happened yesterday morning when I had to put her in a shirt and pants for her Saturday morning gymnastics class.  I thought because the shirt had two layers of ruffles around the bottom that it might pass muster.  But, then again, it's a shirt.  Which means, of course, it's not a dress.

Iris: Can I wear a spinning dress to 'nastics?
Me: No, sweetie, a dress would get in the way when you're at gymnastics.
Iris: (starting to whine) But I want a spinning dress!
Me: Iris, you're going to have to wear a shirt to gymnastics.
Iris: (giving me the stink eye) No!
Me: (showing her the shirt I've picked out) But, see, this shirt spins!
Iris: (pushing at the shirt and starting to cry) No, it doesn't!  That does not spin!!
Me: (showing her the ruffles along the bottom) Look! It's like a tutu!  Tutus spin!
Iris: (losing it altogether) It's NOT A TUTU!!!! NOOOO!!!!!!!!

And then we entered tantrumland wherein I dressed her in the shirt and pants while she laid on the floor sobbing and did everything she could to make dressing her as uncomfortable and difficult as humanly possible.  Followed by ten minutes of her snatching and pulling at the shirt while it's on her body and saying she doesn't want THIS, that THIS isn't a DRESS, that THIS doesn't SPIN.

You're about to suggest that I offer her two or three options and let her choose which one she wants to wear.  Oh yeah, smartie-pants?  What do I do when she decides that NONE of the options spin???  What THEN??

Which brings us back to your original question: what, exactly, is a spinning dress?

Well, for starters, as you saw from the example above, it is not a shirt.  Not even an A-line shirt or a shirt with ruffles that will clearly twirl up if Iris should decide to spin around the room.  Nope.  Because a shirt is too short.  Clearly a shirt will not spin.

After that, things get a lot fuzzier.

For example.  This dress spins:

This dress does NOT spin:

Yesterday, this was a spinning dress:
Today?  Not so much.
This dress is consistently a spinning dress.  

However it is not always clean.

This dress might spin.

However, to make it weather-appropriate, she would have to wear a long-sleeved shirt under it and God forbid I make her do that because it will RUIN the dress and then, you guessed it, it will not spin.

This dress?

Was designed and sewn by the devil himself and shall never ever ever ever ever NEVER touch her body.

There are rules.  They are complicated.  I will never learn them all.  Even if I were to learn them all, I have no hope of ever understanding them, despite my law-school education. 

Meanwhile, I'm tempted to just let her go naked.

*NOTE: Because someone is going to ask: all the dresses pictured are available at the Hanna Andersson website


  1. No disrespect, but I would seriously be like "Fuck it, wear what you want. I don't care." - Rob.

    1. When she is older, undoubtedly, I WILL take that attitude. But, right now, she's not quite three. Which means that, if I took that attitude, she would be naked most days.

  2. Our grand-daughter only wears pink and purple so makes it so easy for Grandma. I only buy an item of those two colors, and apparently, pink and purple are marketed to death..

    Where did she get that idea? I know her mother doesn't wear or did she ever wear those colors so it's not coming from family counsel.

    Of the dress pictured...I love this show-and-tell blog. I can really see the situation. Well, only the first spinning dress and the last the unspinning dress are sure things. The wide-striped, I would give a "maybe" due to grey top and the floral, a "maybe plus". I think I could give the latter a pretty good sell...whether she buys it is another story. I am sure you know what I mean.

    And, incidentally, GD loves ballet in spite of the fact I don't see a long future in the art. She will probably be tall and not a ballerina build, but she ♥ ballet, her friends in ballet, the teacher, the routine, etc. The spinning criterion has not arrived in her wardrobe vocabulary but we'll alert you if it does. Then we'll know that Iris spell has a long reach from NC to CT.

    @Rob, one of my dearest friends who has passed on said she should have learned that and used your theory when her son was in high school and she insisted that he NOT wear jeans to some family function. A wedding? At any rate, in retrospect, she said, "What a waste! I just should have saved my energy for something really important."

  3. Spinning dresses...maybe this is where she learned about that.
    Hanna Andersson ad emailed to me this am says:
    "Take a new spin on dressed and capris." Have they been listening to Iris' cries from NC to Portland, Oregon? Iris has quite a reach. Keep you shouting, I say!☺☺☺