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The Princess In Black

Back in Weevy’s younger days — those halcyon days of pre-K, mostly — she wore regular clothes only when she was in school or when she was sleeping.  Other than that, it was costumes, all day and every day.  And not just one costume a day.  She’d go from Elsa to Rapunzel to Strawberry Shortcake (known for some reason as “Strawberry Shortcut”) to Ariel back to Elsa… Her record for costume changes in a single day, if I remember correctly, was eleven, but it may have been more than that.  I think we spent as much time changing costumes as we spent actually playing.  She’d wear her costumes out, too, creating quite a stir among the Upper West Siders who had the good fortune to encounter a real live Disney princess in their midst.

Nowadays, she’s a hip, sophisticated third grader whose fashion tastes run to, as she calls them, “tight butt pants” (heaven help us when she hits puberty), unicorn sweatshirts, and sneakers.  Costumes?  SO passé, dah-ling.  But there’s still a little bit of Little Weevy in Big Weevy.  For Christmas she asked us (well, she asked Santa, in whose existence she apparently still believes, which gives this secular Jew very mixed feelings) for a Ladybug costume, referring to the character in the TV series Miraculous, which I haven’t seen.  No shell or anything, just a bodysuit (complete with gloves and feet in red with black polka dots.  But sure enough, on Christmas, she wore it to her aunt and uncle’s house, where it beautifully complemented her cousins’ pajamas and football uniforms.  She wore it the entire next day as well.

Today was “Dress Up As A Character From A Book You Love” day at school, or something like that.  And magically, as if she was four again, her excitement grew steadily by the day until yesterday, when we went shopping for the black shirt and face paint she required, she could barely contain herself.  It’s the first time all year she was actually looking forward to school.  So much so, in fact, that at 10:20 last night, when I was still getting ready to go to bed, she got up, blew past me, and sat down at the computer.  “What are you doing?” I asked.  She looked at me like I was a fucking moron and said, “It’s time to get up.”  I pointed her to the clock and back to bed, where she stayed until… 5:00.  “Good morning!” she chirped.  Cranky Mommy & Daddy made her go back to sleep, but by 5:30 she could no longer be contained.  Fuck it, we said, and got up, got her bathed and dressed and made up as The Princess In Black, whose costume she also wore last year.  But hell, she’s in a new school now, so a repeat performance was called for.

This was, I think, the best day of school she’s had all year.  Between staring at her classmates’ costumes (none of whose were as awesome as hers, in my opinion), staring at her teachers‘ costumes, and staring at her own costume, of course, she was totally in her element once more.  I guess costume-mania is like riding a bike or something, you never forget how to do it.  “I wish every Friday could be costume day, Daddy,” she told me on her way to school.  Me too, Weevy, me too.  Although my tune may change once I have to wash off all that black face paint in an hour or so.  I can’t say I miss the multiple daily costume changes, but… oh, who am I kidding, I miss it all.  Hell, if I could go back and do it all again — the pacifiers, the diaper-changing, the deathly-dull, hours-long princess games — I’d do it in a heartbeat.


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