This week I picked up Jessica from school aftercare. She already wore her jacket and was ready to go. Under her jacket I saw a dress I'd never seen. Thinking it was very pretty, we were walking to the car, when she said 'I am wearing my beach cover-up'. Recognizing the beach cover-up then - pink, with a ruffle at the below-the-knee-point - I asked if her mother knew she was wearing it. 'No', she answered.
'All right' said I, 'let's call her and tell her!'
So we call her mother, I handed her the phone, and hearing just one side of the conversation, Jessica tells her mother that she is wearing her beach cover-up. 'I didn't want to!' she says. Hmpf.
She hangs up, and I ask what her mother said.
'She'll have a talk with my dad when she gets home.'
I just had to grin. We get home, and her dad hears she talked to her mother. 'I thought it was going to be a secret' says he. 'You were going to take it off when you got home, and no one was going to know!'
'But I didn't want to wear it!' says the five-year-old.
Her mother got home about an hour later. 'Jim', she says, 'in what universe is it all right to let a girl go to school in her beach cover-up?'
'It was the only way I could get her to eat her breakfast' was the answer.
And Jessica got even stricter rules on what is okay to wear to school.