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vintage plaid Mom gave Toddler two dresses for her third birthday. Beautiful dresses. My dresses. Dresses I wore once upon a time when I was a little girl.

Yesterday morning, I put Toddler in one of them for school. An orange plaid smock dress. She looked adorable. And hated it. And tried to pull it off. I told her it was Mommy's dress and that it looked good. She started to cry. I told her that it would mean something to Mommy if she wore it. She cried a bit more. So I bribed her with some Scooby fruit snacks.

Done.

vintage plaid pose

After school and before the nap that never happened, I told her that I wanted to take a picture of her in Mommy's dress. And then she did that weird concave, hands-on-hips thing that only supermodels do. And this baffled me and alarmed me and made me laugh. When I laughed, she and her sister laughed too.

And then she put on her matching Diego Rescue Pak. Her trademark tote that she fills with new things each day before heading off to school. Wait, that's not true. Sometimes, a bit too often, we find petrified English muffins in said bag. And then we rescue them. Anyway, she put on her orange backpack with her orange dress and hopped around like some kind of Frankenstein bunny and laughed so hard I thought she might choke.

vintage plaid rescue

And then my little Einstein realized that she could get a way with quite a bit with a Mommy stuck behind a camera. So she ran and scaled our infamous chocolate-clad white chairs in her "slippy tights" to get a closer look at Max & Ruby. And, yes, she almost slipped. Which was apparently hilarious. For everyone but Mommy.

scaling white chairs

Later, we had a tender moment while she went potty.

"Do you like Mommy's dress?" I asked in a soft, soothing tone.

"Yes," she said.

"Do you think it would still fit Mommy?"

"Noooooooooo," she said, laughing. "It is way too little."

I told her she was right. Mommy was too big.

What I didn't tell her was how amazing it was to see her in my childhood frock, making silly faces, doing silly things, twirling with priceless abandon. I didn't tell her how that little dress and her big laugh brought me back to a time I didn't think I remembered.

Who knew a little old orange dress, a bit of vintage plaid, could make a Mommy's day? Who knew?

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Footnote for Fairness: I just read Husband this post. And he laughed and said he loved it. But then he said, "What about my rainbow hat? It gets no air-time?" Okay, to be fair, Toddler has fallen madly in love with a rainbow pom-pom hat that Husband wore when he was a little boy. She does not even need to be bribed with sugar to wear it. So stay tuned for the Rainbow Hat Post. Happy now, Husband? :)

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Do you or your kids have any meaningful hand-me-downs that conjure past times and fond memories? Do your kids ever exhibit weird behaviors that make you wonder if they've been sneaking bits of reality television? Do you ever bribe your kids with snacky-snacks? Do you ever feel bad about bribing your kids with snacky-snacks?

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