The Pirate bounced and wiggled and danced in front of me as I tried to put on her clothes.
“Why won’t you just be still for a minute?” I complained.
“What? I’m just happy, Mommy.”
“I know that you’re happy, but I need you to stand still. I can’t get your clothes on with you moving so much.”
“Do I need to focus?” I could tell Daddy had been having the same frustrations with her. She even asked the question in his annoyed staccato.
“Yes,” I blurted out with an exasperated sigh.
“Do I need to stand up straight like a soldier?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what you need to do.”
The Pirate stood stark still and rigid with arms glued tightly to her sides and knees locked. I pulled the sweater over her head and tried to lift her right arm.
“You’re messing up my soldier, Mommy!” she yelled.
“Okay, now you’re just too still. Let me put your arms in the hole.”
“That’s not like a soldier, Mommy.”
“Fine, Pirate! Just let me get you dressed.”
She snatched away from me, tiptoeing backwards, insisting, “I can do it myself.” I watched her struggle, missing the arm of the cowl neck sweater.
“Is this right?” she questioned with her right arm and shoulder bared by the mistake.
“No, let me help you.”
She walked back to me, letting me remove her arm from the neck of the sweater. Then she started bouncing, wiggling, and dancing again.
“Would you please be still, little girl?”
“But why, Mommy?”
“Because I can’t do this with all that movement. My goodness, you’re driving me bananas!”
“And you’re driving me grapes, Mommy!”