Those of you who have or are raising little girls know how many times in a day they change clothes. With the twincesses, I try to keep a tight reign on that behavior because it creates massive amounts of laundary. By the end of the day, though, weary from battles and reinforcing boundaries pushed to the breaking point by two strong-willed children, my guard often goes down and rules go limp.
We live at the bottom of a cul-de-sac and often walk to the top of it, around the corner the length of one house, and back home again. It's a good change of scenery without the committment of a long walk. All summer long, Ella has been practicing running to the stop sign on this corner and twirling around it. After the first time earlier this summer when she flew around it and landed flat on her back in the neighbor's yard, she has gotten talented at - pole dancing I guess you'd say. It's the best way to describe it.
She jumps onto the pole and spins down it, her legs in the straddle position she learned at gymnastics. Or she kicks her legs out to the side and slides down, body almost parallel to the ground. I'm not making this stuff up. The kid is strong. Every gymnastics teacher she has is amazed by her strength, the tone of her muscles, and her ability to hold difficult positions the older girls have difficulty mastering.
Tonight after dinner, we decided to take a little walk. I had mowed the lawn and was in no mood to battle the girls on what clothes they wore. "It's just around the corner," I thought to myself.
Ella had her swimsuit on.
And her Snow White high heels.
The moment she shimmied down the pole I realized I hadn't thought this whole thing through very well. As I look up, my fear of the how this looked was confirmed as I see the neighbors pulling up, laughing and pointing at my young hoochie mama look-alike doing a strip tease on the corner.
"Make no eye contact," I told myself, "and pretend this is all totally normal."