We headed over to Shelby's dance studio before the annual parade to put on her costume for the "Sleeping Beauty" float. Well, actually there was no float, just a walking sign and a plan. Shelby's teacher barked orders and directed the "Hail Aurora" theme song as we wedged ourselves into the tiny lobby of her studio. Arriving late, as usual, we were hard pressed to locate a princess dress to fit Shelby's tiny frame. Knowing full well that my little girl would not agree to a frill free paige's costume when all her preschool cronies were decked to the nines in full length gloves, tiaras and Snow White look alike gowns, I gathered the larger dresses and found one I could "alter". We slid on the red frilly gown and tied the shoulder straps with a ribbon, then gathered the four feet of lining and tied it in a tight knot under her bum. Last was the gauzy overlay which I grabbed into a train and tucked into the gap behind her neckline. She looked like a giant red, fluffy chicken with protruding tail feathers. She turned around in disappointment as I plunked a shiny tiara on her head and exclaimed, "Oh honey! You look beautiful!" She stared at the floor in silence and murmured, "But mommy, I can't move." I had tied the knot so tight around her knees she had to waddle, appropriate for the Little Red Hen, but not a parade. "Oh crap," I said, and hastily scoured the floor for an alternative as the crowd of princesses shouted, "Hail to Aurora, Health to the Queen..." BINGO, I pulled a pink leotard with a fluffy cream tutu out of the overflowing costume basket and Shelby's eyes lit up. "Gabrielle, don't you want to wear this gown?" asked our neighbor mom, Sue. I turned around to meet a red velvet dress stretched to the max from her middle to her ankles. She was dripping in Mardi Gras beads and had topped off her masterpiece with a giant gold Burger King crown. She looked like a floozy mermaid about to explode. Oh, dear. She raised a fuchsia satin thing in the air and persisted, "Come on, ya know you want to!" I nervously shook my head and grabbed something purple off the floor, "Oh no, I'm just fine wearing this, uh, this little paige boy sack thing." I quickly slipped the purple and green stained material over my cute flowered tank and perfectly fitted denim shorts. There goes my style. Am I really going to walk through the streets of town waving to people wearing this boxy poncho thing? The alternative was to leave my 3 year old alone to walk amongst the throng of dancing gowns clipping along to the tune of, "Hail to the Queen". No, I'm wearing this silly getup, I'm waving to the onlookers, and I'm even screaming, "Health to the Queen, wealth to the queen" while my husband is getting it all on video. Awesome. Shelby's look of shock was a perfect compliment to her over sized tutu and flip flops as we hurried along with the screaming princesses. Wave to daddy, honey!