Emma loves to wear “party dresses”. A party dress can be any dress if it’s fancy enough, but the kind she seems to like best are the fairy princess variety you find in toy stores or costume shops -–frilly, bright, colorful, shiny, sequined. When she gets one for a present her typical reaction is to squeal with glee, “OH! It’s so PRETTY!”
Every dinner party we have is an occasion for her to dress up in one of her favorite dresses that she will pick out herself without any suggestions from us. When guests arrive she will prance and skip and whirl around, making sure everyone notices her glamorous attire. If she doesn’t get the “oohs and awws” she’s looking for, she isn’t above fishing for compliments, walking right up to the insufficiently impressed person and shouting, “PRETTY DRESS!” while displaying her ball gown to its best advantage. All the preening will usually be accompanied by an impromptu concert performance, with Emma belting out a medley of her favorite Sesame Street songs.
Emma definitely has her tomboy side, but she is very much a girly girl too. When I see how happy and excited she gets dressing up and admiring herself in the mirror, I always think of Maria in West Side Story, singing “I feel pretty!” And she is, of course — a chip off Ariane’s block.
Ariane has often talked about the sadness she has felt in not having had the kind of mom/daughter relationship she had dreamed about with Emma – going shopping together or having a manicure side by side. But that is starting to change a little bit at a time. Emma loves it when Ariane paints her toenails now. Next thing you know – Canyon Ranch.