The Yellow Slip

On a rare day without the yellow slip!

Katie was in Kindergarten. We lived down the block from her school, and her little sister and I walked her to school every morning.

Since she was five I had been letting her dress herself, and she was doing a pretty good job. She loved colorful clothes and with a little guidance from her mama, she was getting the hang of how to put on clothes that were appropriate for the activity and the weather and which coordinated well enough.

Katie’s favorite article of clothing was a yellow slip I had purchased at a garage sale. It wasn’t a subdued pale yellow, it was lemon yellow and intensely ruffled; like the slips worn under the skirts of a Mexican dancer. It was so ruffled that it stuck out straight from the elastic waistband.

Katie loved her slip so much that she wore it day in and day out. In her mind, it complimented every outfit. The best way to wear the slip, in Katie’s mind, was on the outside of every outfit. I mean, why cover such a beautiful garment with a skirt?

I got my money’s worth (a full nickel) out of that purchase, and my little fancy girl felt beautiful when she wore it.

The problem with this slip was that I could not pry it away from Katie. I let her wear it until I felt blinded by yellow. I put up with the obsession until one snowy day when Katie dressed herself for school and came out of her room in blue sweat pants (appropriate), cowboy boots (ugly but sufficient for a snowy walk to school), her favorite sweatshirt (white with a pink and silver sparkly lightening bolt across the front – also appropriate), and you guessed it, the yellow slip. She was quite pleased with herself, and ready for school.

I said, “Honey, everything looks great, but you have to take the slip off before we leave for school.” 

A battle ensued of epic proportions. Katie proceeded to melt down into shrieks and hiccups, and unfortunately I did not handle it well. I ended up keeping her home for two hours of that morning just to settle her down.

It wasn’t a good morning.

With a throb of guilt, I threw that little yellow slip in the dumpster and the problem went away. It was as simple as that.

Katie was five years old and I was 30. She wasn’t old enough to know that wearing a garment as odd as the slip (as beautiful as it was in her eyes) would cause others to look at her and judge or make comments behind her back. I made the decision to throw the slip away because it was causing problems and eliminating it removed the issue.

Katie asked where it was, and I said, “I don’t know.” She moved on to the white sweatshirt with lightening bolts and we repainted those lightening bolts two times before she outgrew the sweater. 

The moral of the story is that parents have to make decisions for children who are not mature enough to make decisions for themselves.

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