Hand in hand, I lifted the latch and we entered the tot lot. All around were tricycles, plastic ride on cars, balls, plastic playhouses, and a small playground. I saw the tooth fairy, a bat, Snow White, Anakin Skywalker, a super hero, a baseball player, and numerous other children dressed in their favorite costume. They were all having fun, riding and running, laughing and shrieking. Orange, purple, and black balloons tied to the gazebo greeted us as we walked in. It looked and sounded like a fun birthday party.
Alice, dressed as the most adorable version of one of our favorite characters in Alice in Wonderland, clung to me for dear life. To her the party looked intimidating. Everyone already in play mode, after a long crying fit at home, we were walking in thirty minutes late. After several attempts to ease my daughter out of her shell, I stopped trying. I socialized with the other parents, periodically trying to pry itty bitty fingers from my own. Looking around, all the other children were behaving like "normal" children at a birthday party. Adults were standing around, children were playing together. Not Alice. She bounced from my leg to Hatta's leg, holding tight. Her friends from school called to her.
"Alice! Alice! Come play!"
I encouraged her to play. I reminded her we arrived late and the party would be over before she knew it. I walked with her to the playhouse where her friends were climbing and chatting together. She ignored them and hid further behind my leg. I talked to her friends, hoping she would see me having fun with them and join in. That plan was not successful. Finally as a last ditch effort, I took Alice aside.
"Alice. You know how I tell you that sometimes it's okay to be stubborn and sometimes it's not? How sometimes it gets in the way of you having fun? This is one of those times. You're being stubborn, refusing to play, just because. You know that if you just allow yourself to play you will have fun. These are your friends. You play with them everyday at school. So stop being stubborn and let's play or we are going to have to leave the party early."
I walked with her, holding her hand so she had no choice, to the playground. I made us walk up the steps to the top. And there I encouraged her to go down the slide, promising I would go down right behind her. And finally, just like that, she did it and all was right in the world again. She ran to the steps, climbed to the top, and happily slid down the slide again. She was playing. Upon her insistence, I took my turn down the slide and waited for her at the bottom.
OH! EM! EFFING! GEE! My daughter was dressed head to toe in sparkly tulle, sliding down the slide on her naked ass. I swear, only my child would be devasted because her black bow headband wasn't completely centered on her head but could care less that she was out on the town with her naked parts out there for the world to see. In her crying fit of rage at home, we had neglected underwear. You may remember how my daughter has a fondness for going commando. She wasn't wearing underwear when I helped her dress into her costume and I, just wanting to get out of the house, completely forgot.
Luckily I'm a prepared mom and I had a skort in my bag. I grabbed her hand and walked a bit out of the way of the party, all the while scolding Alice for going out in a dress without underwear. She's four. She has to be aware of these things. I can't possibly be in charge of everything! With the skort slipped discreetly under her costume, Alice was free to run and play.
I have to say, I am a teeny bit worried about Alice's naked vagina showing up in some unsuspecting mother's photo stream. There was this one mom that was blasting her iPhone like she was the paparazzi. Please say my daughter is not on the Lindsay Lohan track.