As in "psychological operations." See, I'm at war here, with a little girl who thinks that there is no single outfit better than her striped red dress. This one (except red, and with perhaps even a bit more ruffle):
For me? It's all Suzanne Somers in Three's Company. No offense Suzanne, but really, not what I'm going for*. So, with the first day of school fast approaching... (and said first day followed by a parent picnic, so, you know, I would have to stand next to my mini Suzanne for the world to see) I embarked on "Operation Cute First Impression."
Phase one was announcing out of the blue one day in August that, with fall around the corner, her summer dresses will soon be gone and, hooray! new fall dresses to come! I left it at that.
The next week I did a very casual, "So, do you want to see some of the new fall dresses we have for you to wear to school?" "Yes, please," so we did a little meet and greet with 2 Daily Tea dresses I got on sale last year**. The one in the middle here was option #1:
And this was option #2:
In this phase, #1 gained a strong starting position, being deemed "favorite-y" based on the light blue, which is best "after pink and red and yellow and purple." Right.
Then, on to phase 3: last weekend I very casually suggested, "Let's try on your fall dresses to see if they fit! Since, you know, if they don't we might have to wear (gasp) pants on the first day." She was in total agreement and naked in five seconds flat.
Dress #1 was instantly declared "too big." So I moved quickly on to # 2, so as to not lose focus. (Okay, my total, total fave was number 2, I admit it.) So I gushed "Oh, my goodness, you are soooo perfect in that perfect dress!" And swooped her into the bathroom to gape at herself in the mirror. I may have even slipped sparkly purple headband on her head while she stood there.
We then exclusively referred to this as the "First Day of School Dress."
Yeah. I manipulated a 4 year old. You'd do the same if you had the time.
*No offense if this is what YOU are going for. It's the maxi length, the bust ruffle, and the off-the-shoulder thing that I object to, for my particular 4 year old. Suzanne, I'm quite sure, would rock this thing.
**I tend to shop ahead. If I like something, and I am all set for that particular year, I'll buy it several sizes up. This has worked well...up until now...Since kiddo suddenly has very strong opinions I may well be screwed with drawers bursting at the seams with size 6's and 7's which may not pass muster. Sigh. Anyone need a sailor dress in a 6x?