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October 31, 2008

Dorothy Vs. The Ballerina

7 I have a Halloween-related dilemma.

Halloween is a big deal in my house, thanks mostly to me. I am Halloween-obsessed. I love the costumes, the candy, the pumpkin-carving, the decorations. As a result, my four year-old twin girls have gotten pretty excited about it too. We start talking in August about what they want to be for Halloween, a discussion that continues for at least a month. Then I wait until I have had a consistent response from them for a few weeks before I invest in costumes.

This year, both girls started out saying they wanted to be ballerinas for Halloween. Great, I thought - we're drowning in tutus and tulle in this house, so I won't have to buy anything! Then one of my daughters decided she wanted to go as Dorothy the Dinosaur from the Wiggles instead of a ballerina. Fine. We went online, found a cute costume, and ordered it with plenty of time to arrive before the 31st.

Dorothy came in the mail, but it was too small, so I sent it back and ordered a new size (paying shipping charges each way). Meanwhile, my other daughter decided that she wanted a NEW ballerina costume, since her sister had gotten a new costume. Off to eBay to find a tutu dress. We were successful, and it arrived a few days later. Once the Dorothy daughter, who is even more ballet-obsessed than the other, got a look at the eBay-procured tutu dress, she instantly changed her mind and now wants to be a ballerina for Halloween.

So, what to do? I have reminded her that I asked her several times before I ordered the Dorothy costume whether she was sure that's what she wanted, and that she said yes. I have told her that Mommy spent money on the Dorothy costume. I have also told her that it is too late to get a new ballerina costume before Halloween. She knows all this. And she promises that she will wear the Dorothy costume next year. But this year, she wants to be a ballerina.

I could take this opportunity to teach her a lesson about making decisions, committing to them, and living with the consequences. In these lean economic times, we need to get our children used to the idea that we have to make choices about what we can buy.

But she's four. And while she loves Dorothy the Dinosaur, she loves ballet more. Simple as that. She'll enjoy Halloween so much more if she's wearing a costume she loves (and not staring longingly at her sister's costume).

I think I am going to let it go this year. Dorothy will have to wait until 2009. I just hope the girls still like The Wiggles when they are 5!

Gayle blogs about books at Everyday I Write The Book.

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