My 9-year-old Dressed Me For a Week



It’s been months since my writing voice has been heard.  My writing inspiration fell right out the window (as well as my clean house) when I went back to work full time in October. But, inspiration or not, Little Miss dressing me for a week must happen EVERY YEAR and I must write about it.

Now Little Miss turned 9 in February and has talked about dressing me on and off since then but wouldn’t commit. I was willing to wear whatever she came up with whenever the time may be. I don’t get judged at work as my clientele is a room of 5-year-olds who, by the way,  thought the vintage 1989 poufy sleeve magenta extravaganza I wore on 80’s day made me look like a princess. So the months passed and she’d mention “the week” and I’d say OK but it wouldn’t happen. Until it did. Here we go.


sunday cropped

Sunday #1

Sunday can be a 2 outfit day as we often go to church. This Sunday started out with a burgundy animal print dress topped with a cropped white sweater. Accessories included white dangly stone earrings (my hair is tucked behind my ears so you can see them), a sterling heart necklace and grey platform sandals. I was not dressed with my watch but asked if I could wear it as I kept looking at my empty wrist for the time. I taught the littles in Sunday school this morning and the dress was casual enough that I could get on the floor to sing songs and read books if I tucked my legs to the side.

Sunday 2

After church I changed into my casual outfit of a white tank covered with a pink and red tunic-y top. On the bottom I’m wearing capri denim and my feet are in Little Miss’ favorite pair of shiney silver flats with patent leather toes. I’ll be hanging around the house this afternoon and meeting friends for a casual dinner.

Both outfits were fine, and while the shoe choices are not quite to my liking, I can deal.


 Monday 1 Little Miss is on a swim team so there is no sleeping in for her this July. We have to be at the pool by 7:30 am. Some of this is my fault. As part of the swim team, parents need to volunteer so many hours at the pool. As a girl with a retailing and marketing degree (pre-teaching) I earn my hours by running the snack shack in the mornings during practice. This is the outfit that I wore to the pool. So far pink is the color of the week. I’m in a pink t-shirt that has flowers on the bottom, paired with black cargo capris and white sandals with orange and turquoise stones. I have small circle medallion earrings and am holding my brown shoulder bag as that’s the purse Little Miss picked out.Monday shoes

 This is the shirt she picked out for me to change into after working in the snack shack. I had a little mishap with chocolate syrup. I was seen in this outfit at a pizza place Little Miss and I went to for lunch and at the grocery store.

I’m going to call this pink Monday as both tops were in that family.


Tuesday 1Monday shoes (2)Tuesday 2Little Miss picked out my outfit for today on Monday evening. She layed the outfit down on the floor like a Flat Stanley and put many combination of shoes next to it until she got just the right ones. She then went through my earrings holding each pair up to the outfit assessing whether the pair was appropriate or not. It was very meticulous.

To the pool this morning (without a snack shack shift) I wore a knee length black flowy skirt paired with a pinkish t-shirt covered in seqins. I glittered and glided onto the pool deck. The shoes were pink flats with a snake toe accent and my earrings were large silver hoops. I wore a necklace of a small silver circle that “matched” the hoops. I felt overly glamerous next to all the other parents in shorts and t-shirts.

In the afternoon we had a sudden change in plans (as is no plans to actually having plans) to meet up with some friends to hike at a local park. Little Miss deemed the sequened concoction too fancy for a little hike so I got to change into a purple t-shirt  and some khaki shorts. She had me wear my “very bright” sneakers to give me some added color.




Wedwed2On Tuesday evening Little Miss picked out my outfit. It may look familiar – she also picked it out for me to wear when she was six. After picking it out she had a big discussion with Buddy about how my entire outfit was only black and silver. Buddy  asked lots of questions about exactly which parts were black (dress, leggings and shoes) and which were silver (earrings, bracelet and necklace) and Little Miss explained the entire thing to him. Little Miss picked out a pair of kitten heel black shoes. I normally don’t wear heels just for errands and stuff but it looked fine.

Little Miss has been my photographer this week. For Wednesday’s photo shoot she wanted me to stand in front of the window. I think it’s hard to see my outfit but she liked how the light shone behind me.









ThursOur day consisted of our morning at the pool for swim practice followed by a trip into Washington, DC to visit the National Building Museum. The kids LOVE riding the metro so that’s how we made our way into the city. Our ride took us right past where My Man works so we hopped off the train,  met him for lunch, and hopped back on to head to the museum. Usually when I’m meeting my man for lunch I like to dress nice. Everyone around is in suits and their working clothes. I like to blend. But, Little Miss was looking out for my comfort.

LM – Mom, we’ll be doing a lot of walking today so you are going to wear your grey sneakers.

Me – OK

LM – And you need to be comfortable.

Me – OK

So comfortable I was. Today marks the beginning of the 3 day denim capri run. Today’s denim is a pair of cargo capris. This was paired with a purple t-shirt with birds on it. On my feet are my trusty grey Converse sneakers.

And, I’m very glad I was comfortable. The reason we were headed to the National Building Museum was for a temporary exhibit called The Big Maze. This life size maze will be at the museum until September 1, 2014. It was very fun to navigate –  we ran around like to get back in line to go through the maze just like we were running to ride a big roller coaster at an amusement park again and again. We ended up going through 8 times! I had never been to this museum before. If you like architecture, the museum itself is gorgeous. There is also an exhibit on natural disasters and how architects are designing buildings to withstand earthquakes and high winds. If you are in DC, the museum is worth a visit.




FridayOn Friday we had a lazy summer day. Little Miss dressed me in a blue and white striped top, denim capris with a big cuff, and black flats. I wore this outfit to swim practice and back home again. Sometime in the afternoon we headed to the pool to swim and lounge around in the sun. I didn’t ask Little Miss to pick me out a bathing suit for our trip to the pool. It’s not that I didn’t think she’d pick out a cute one… and for a 40-something year old woman I’m pretty OK with my body in a bathing suit… I just don’t know if I can handle putting a picture of myself in a bathing suit on the internet! Maybe next year…

LM – Mom, lift your foot up I can’t see your shoes.

Me – This feels weird. Does it look weird?

LM – A little, but not bad. It looks like you’re walking.








IMG_1679This morning I had yoga. Little Miss said I could pick out my own outfit. When I got home I mowed the lawn, weeded the garden and washed the dog. Again, Little Miss had no interest in dressing me for those activities. But, for date night, she dressed me. My Man and I are lucky enough to have some good friends nearby who trade baby sitting with us. We get to actually watch their baby (and get our fill of sweet baby times) and they get to see what it’s like hanging out with a couple of big kids.

Our date night was pretty casual. My Man and I were headed to dinner (Okras– Cajun food in Manassas, VA. You can sit outside to eat),  a trip to Lowes (seriously – shopping without kids is a gift), and ending with a trip to an ice cream shop (Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot in Clifton, VA – seriously delicious). For our date Little Miss had me wear a white top covered in tiny black polka dots, dark denim capris, white dangly earrings and black flats. It was a well chosen outfit for our evening.







Today is Sunday. The week is over and it actually felt a little weird to pick out my own outfit.

What I learned:

  • Little Miss is a careful planner. She’d think about my accessories and clothes combinations very deliberately.

    Little Miss - wet from the pool.

    Little Miss – wet from the pool.

  • Little Miss likes the colors pink and purple.
  • Little Miss likes to dress me in denim capris (and I own many variations)
  • Little Miss likes the familiar. Most of the clothes I wore this week I’ve owned and worn for years.

As always I enjoyed spending time doing an activity with my girl. I trust her style and her taste and I’m looking forward to doing this again next year… if she wants to.





Cranberry Brown Sugar Cookies – Like Little Fruity Cakes

I found the recipe for Cranberry Brown Sugar Cookies on the back of a package of Domino Brown Sugar. I cut it out and put it in my to do pile of IMG_3021recipes for a good long while. I finally got around to making them and they are delish. The cookies are not too sweet and are more like little mini fruity cakes than cookies. I also decided that the raisins and cranberries in them gave me a serving of fruit for the day so I completely chowed down without regret.

Here’s how you make them.

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (although I used Vanilla Yogurt)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  1. Heat oven to 400 F and lightly grease your cookie sheets.
  2. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and sour cream (or yogurt); beat until creamy.
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl. Gradually add to sugar mixture beating until well mixed.
  4. Stir in cranberries and raisins.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets (they don’t flatten out so you can put them pretty close).
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.

Who do they Favor?

My children spend a lot of time with me. When they were babies and toddlers, as a stay-at-home mom, this was to be expected. But when my children reached school age I began to have a lot more time for myself. While school break in the summer is wonderful… no schedules, warm days, swimming, biking, grilling… my kids and I have reached the point where we may need a little break from each other. Day camp is next week and I think it may make us all a little kinder to one another.

I don’t know if any of you (and when I say you I mean full-time parenting as your only job people) experience this phenomenon, but sometimes My Man is invisible to my children. Now My Man is a super dad. When he’s home from work he’s involved with any kid related thing. Yet, Little Miss and Buddy could be standing right next to him in the kitchen and still shout to me in a far off place of the house to see if they can have a drink. My Munchkins will even ask, while standing next to their dad, questions like, “Mom, why do you think Daddy likes pickles so much?” and expect me to know the answer when they could just go to the source.

This past weekend we went to the mall (or as I like to say: the maul) for Buddy to spend some of his birthday loot at the Lego store. We did our shopping and needless-to-say were starving for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel after all that Lego looking.

We waited in a line, got two pretzels to share 4 ways, and a large lemonade with 4 straws.  Nearby was a stage that wasn’t in use and there The Familywere many mall patrons sitting on it. We joined them and began to scarf on our pretzel feast.

As I’m people watching and enjoying my snack I say, “I wonder what was on this stage?” and Little Miss, without missing a beat, says, “Feet.” Totally cracked me up and was even more funny because it is just the kind of joke My Man would say. I look over to Buddy to see if he heard how funny his sister was and he didn’t . This stage was near a big glass elevator and Buddy was intently studying the mechanics that made the elevator move up and down. Have I ever mentioned that My Man is an engineer?

At that point I realized that I was sitting between My Man’s children. His daughter was cracking silly jokes and his son was trying to figure out some mechanical gizmo. The only thing that made Little Miss and Buddy my children was the fact that they were enjoying the pretzel and lemonade so enormously.  Really though, these little kids that live with us are not his or mine but their own little people and I love that they are a mixed up mash of My Man and I.



My 8-Year-Old Dressed Me For A Week

Little Miss’s birthday has begun to become more than just a special day for her. Each year we plan what fun events to do to celebrate, special treats to make, and what kinds of gifts she might like to receive. And while I’m busy planning a special day for her… she’s busy planning a special week for me. Months before she turned 8 she explained to me that she would be dressing me for a week again, and since her birthday fell on a Saturday, my fun in 8-year-old inspired fashion would begin the very next day. So here we go….


Little Miss Cut My Head Off

Little Miss Cut My Head Off

Today we are doing one more fun thing to help Little Miss celebrate – and this just goes to show what a great dad she has – we are taking her as a family to the American Girl Doll store to have lunch. She wanted us all there – Sunday Shoeeven the boys. Buddy is excited to see what all the fuss is about (he didn’t go with us last year) and My Man is just a good sport. After lunch she’ll be able to shop a little with her birthday money at the mall where the store is located.

My outfit for the day includes a pair of dark denim boot leg jeans that I’ve owned for YEARS, paired with a striped sweater with a gathered bow thing in front. I am wearing a white tank top under the sweater (it is sheer and she did not want anyone to see my bra – so kind), striped multi-colored socks, silver flats with black patent leather toes, tiny amethyst Mickey Mouse earings (which normally I would think were too corny but since we just got back from a trip to Disney I have a bit of Mickey fever) and my big chunky Timex watch.

The top, pants and shoes I would totally put together. But the socks… that is where the 8-year-old sense of fashion (striped top, striped sock) shines through today. I am glad she picked flats for some mega mall walking!


Monday (1)


“Where’s that black dress you always wear with this sweater?” Little Miss is holding up a grey, short sleeve long sweater that I have NEVER worn with a dress. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t wear that sweater with a dress. I wear that sweater with skinny jeans because it’s long and hides the plumber butt I always have when I wear skinny jeans.” “No mom,” she answers. “You always wear this sweater with a black dress.” Little Miss has gotten things a bit wrong – but I humor her and start pulling out black dresses. I own a few too many I think.

  • Is it this sleeveless dress with zippers and a black belt?
  • No.
  • Is it this short sleeve dress with a little tie around the waist?
  • No.
  • Is it not actually black but this dark grey sweater dress?
  • No. Forget it mom. Do you have a plain black shirt?
  • I have several… how about this one… oh this is actually a little cotton dress with 3/4 length sleeves.
  • Yes – that’s the dress you always wear with that sweater!
  • Seriously girl, I do not.
Heart Necklace

Heart Necklace

So, I found the dress. She’s paired that with the sweater and I’m wearing black leggings. She wanted me to wear tights but I wouldn’t because the dress is SHORT and I was heading out on an adventure with Buddy’s Cub Scout den to the local PBS station and I didn’t want to show the local news personalities my personalities. I’m wearing simple black flats with no socks. It is February and I do not live in the south but I can handle cold ankles for the sake of Little Miss’ yearly fun. (I did get a “cute shoes” compliment from a fellow mom in the school pick up area)  I’m also wearing a heart necklace, pink drop earrings and my one and only watch.

Little Miss definitely has her favorite things. I wore the sweater I have on today last year and am even sporting the same pink earrings with the sweater. For the photo she insisted that the sweater be buttoned. Two days done and counting….


Today I have a job. I don’t work every day – but a few days a week I am a substitute teacher. My goal is to be like Peggy Hill and win substitute teacher of the year, 3 years in a row! Since this is my first year I

Buddy Cut My Head Off

Buddy Cut My Head Off

have a lot of work ahead of me. Because it is a work day I told Little Miss she must pick out something that is work appropriate. “Can you wear jeans?” she asked. “Yes, if they are dressy-ish. It’s not Friday so I don’t Tuesday's shoewant to be too casual,” I answer.

I am wearing dark denim trouser jeans with an oxblood (as all the stylists are calling burgundy, maroon, dark red) shirt with a front ruffle. On my ears are dangly white beaded earrings and on my feet are a very old pair of black ankle boots with a buckle on the side and white stitching. This outfit is just perfect for a day in the classroom. Although, I do think I need to stop having my children take the photos. Buddy did today’s and the top of my head is missing yet again.


Wed shoes

8-year-old’s love FUN socks.

Little Miss is picking out many of the same clothes I wore last year when I let my 7-year-old dress me for a week.  I swear Wed soutfitI’ve bought new clothes in the past year but I guess my old familiar stuff is what she likes. Today I am wearing a grey sweater that ties in the front with a pair of jeans. She has matched this with the same shoes I wore on Sunday.

  • LM – You’ll be wearing these shoes a lot this week.
  • Me – Why?
  • LM – They’re my favorite.
  • Me – Why?
  • LM – Because they are all silver and shiny.

I think I still must think a bit like an 8-year-old as I too like things that are silver and shiny.


Thurs outfitToday I thought I’d be spending my day in my underwear. Little Miss forgot to pick out my outfit the night before. When I woke her up for school I was wearing my bathrobe. “Is this what you want me to wear today?” I asked. She popped out of bed and ran to my closet. She quickly pulled down a grey and black striped top and a pair of jeans. On my feet were a pair of casual grey flannel loafers. My accessories are my watch and the pink dangly earrings I wore on Monday.

  • LM – Would you wear this?
  • Me – Yes, you’re really not mixing things up very much. You must like the way I dress.
  • LM – Yep

I put the outfit on.

  • Me – Does it look OK?
  • LM – Yes!
  • Me – You don’t think my stomach flabs over the jeans too much (seriously a VERY nice case of muffin top)
  • LM – It doesn’t matter. That’s not what people look at.
  • Me – What do they look at?
  • LM – Your face.

What a wonderful reminder from a little kid that what I wear doesn’t really matter that much.


friday feet FAncy ButtAll week Little Miss has been asking where my jeans with the fancy pockets are. For most of the week they were in the laundry – but today they are Friday outfitclean and I am wearing them. Those fancy pocket jeans are paired with a plain black shirt and some knee-high grey suede boots with a great lug sole. After Little Miss went to bed last night I got a phone call to work today (substitute teaching is always last minute). It’s Friday, so the jeans are fine to wear to work, but I wasn’t sure if the jeans tucked in the boots were just a touch too casual. I tried on the outfit with the boots and Little Miss decided that we needed to make a shoe adjustment. My feet were switched to the black flats I wore on Monday, but this time were paired with a pair of polka dot socks. In my ears were silver dangly earrings that looked like leaves and around my wrist was my trusty watch.

I liked this outfit and I was perfectly comfortable wearing it to work. Good job, Little Miss!


Little Miss decided that she was done with this project. It could be that she was bored with my clothes. It could be that it was Saturday, a day of leisure for her. It could be that she had a sleepover last night and was just too darn tired to dress anyone but herself. So today, I picked out my own clothes.

Observations of the week:

  1. Little Miss often chooses the familiar
  2. I own a lot of black and grey clothes but I swear I own other colors too. Just about every day ths week I was wearing either black or grey.
  3. Fun socks are a must regardless of the shoe choice.
  4. If it’s shiny it’s better.

This was another fun week for me and my girl. Let’s see if she jumps at the chance to do this project again next year!IMG_2564

Squeezing Into Skinny Jeans

I hate skinny jeans. When the trend is gone forever I won’t be sad in the least. I don’t like how tight they feel all over. I don’t like that most styles are so low waisted that when I have to bend down or even sit I’m sportin’ a nice plumber butt as an accessory. I just don’t feel cute in them and am self conscience the entire time I’m wearing a pair.

And yes, I just said “wearing a pair”. Even though I despise the style, I own a few pairs of skinny jeans, and I wear them. I may feel like a flubbery thigh girl in them but I have to admit that they look fabulous with a great pair of boots.

The other day I was wearing a pair of these jeans so I could sport my grey swede lug sole boots. When I was out and about (with the kick-ass boots on) I felt fine. For some reason the boots elevated my skinny jeans and made me forget that I feel a bit sausagy in them. Then I came home, kicked off my boots, and was making dinner….

Me: My thighs look chunky in these jeans.

Little Miss: That’s just how your thighs always look.

Me: You mean chunky?

Little Miss: No, they’re just your legs. They’re just like mine.

And then I paused…. my other name for Little Miss is Little Miss Long Legs. She’s all 7-year-old skinny with bean pole legs that are all knobby knees and very cute. They are her legs, part of her body, and I love them as I love every inch of her. And she looks at me the same way. My legs are just my legs, they are part of my body, and she loves every inch of me…. skinny jeans or not.

I often forget that my kiddos really listen to me. I want Little Miss to always think that her legs are just her legs so from now on when I sport my skinny jeans with my kick-ass boots I’ll keep my mouth shut about how I feel about my thighs and love my legs because they are part of my body and I’m pretty happy with me.

Suxy Lady

Suxy lady.

Gangnam Style by South Korean pop star PSY. It’s everywhere – and all the kids at school know the song, know the dance. Heck, even the teachers at my children’s school did a spoof of the video that was HILARIOUS and super cool. But when Buddy, my six-year-old, is singing suxy lady in the back seat of my car I realize I’ve got some explaining to do.

Me: Are you saying suxy lady?

Bud: Yep.

Me: Do you mean sexy?

Bud: No, I said suxy. That’s what the kids in my class say.

Me: I think the word is sexy. Do you know what that means?

And then I realize that in my quest for my kid to use language correctly and know what he’s talking about I have to figure out a way to explain SEXY to a 1st grader!!! AHHH!

Bud: It means stupid lady.

OH NO!!!! I have to fix this!

Me: I think you’ve got the wrong definition. Is this what the kids at school says it means?

Bud: No, it’s just what I thought.

Me: Well, the word is sexy, not suxy. Sexy means that you like someone so much that you want to hug them and kiss them all over. It’s really a grown up thing – not a kid thing at all. When you’re 18 you can think people are sexy.

I threw the 18 part in there for my benefit. Wishful thinking that my kid won’t do adult things until he’s legally an adult.

Bud: Oh, OK.

I think he got it. I think I explained it in a little kid way. Exhale – yay for mom!

A little later he grabs my leg and hugs me tight and kisses me a bunch and says – is this sexy?

AHHHHHHH!!!!! I screwed up!

Me: And I do this as calmly as possible as I peel him off me. Uh, no. You don’t ever think sexy with your mom. You think it about other people when you’re a grown up.

Bud: Oh, OK.

I really try very hard to be matter of fact with all my kids questions. I want them to know all the words – good and bad – and know what they really mean. I want to be the one to explain what words mean to them so they don’t get the wrong definition elsewhere.

Even though I tried I don’t know if Buddy quite got the sexy thing – I’m not sure he’s ready to grasp it – and I know this because he continues to sing suxy lady as he does his Gagnam Style dance around the house.

Ginger Snaps, Cookie Belly, and a Minor Freak Out

My Cookie Baking Spree

My Cookie Baking Spree

I’ve spent the last 3 days packing up Christmas. There’s a sticky spot of sap on my right hand from taking the ornaments off the tree and I’m sitting here writing this because it seems like a better idea than hefting our now de-ornamented tree out to the curb.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I like the sparkle and the lights and the hope and joy and songs… it still holds that magic for me that it did when I was a child staring out my window looking for Santa and it gives me the calm peace I always feel after singing Silent Night in a darkened church while holding a lit candle. But this year I had a hard time finding my spirit. My cat Ruby became suddenly ill the second week of December and in a matter of 3 days time went from being perfectly fine to dead. She was only 5. At the same time there was the awful shooting in Newtown, CT that I connected with so deeply as I’m the mom of a 1st grader and a teacher. I felt cracked, sad, disjointed and not fully involved. My Christmas spirit was there but only in hints and whispers and quick moments. At the same time it was a very THANKFUL time. My Man was supposed to be shipping off to parts across the world on December 21 for 6 months away – that trip was cancelled. I can imagine the alternate universe we three would have experienced without him and I know we were blessed and lucky and so fortunate to be the 4 of us. By Christmas Day I did find my joy. The pageant at church, the tour of tacky Christmas lights we took, and my children’s excitement lit my heart and allowed me to be present and happy and glad for the holiday.

I went on a bit of a baking spree this holiday. I made many, many, cookies and I ate many, many, cookies. Which leads me to a phenomenon I call Cookie Belly. I watch what I eat, I exercise regularly, I’m no super fit firm mama, but I’m at a good healthy weight and I think I look pretty all right for an almost 42-year-old. My goal is to stay like this for the rest of my life. My baking did not help that goal. I developed a nice little 5 pound cookie belly from all my sampling and snacking and enjoying. By the end of January I’ll lose that belly – but if anyone who knows me wonders why I’m wearing the same jeans all the time it’s because they are the only ones that fit! My Grandma G’s Ginger Snaps were worth every pound of that Cookie Belly. Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy.

Ginger Snaps

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. Mix together shortening, sugar, molasses and egg. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Roll into balls and roll in granulated sugar. If you were my grandma you’d make very small balls, if you are me you will make biggish ones.
  3. Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes until set when touched lightly. They begin to crack on top and are usually set a minute or two later. They need to be lightly browned on the bottom and not jiggly on top.

If you make these I guarantee you will love them.

The day before Christmas I was getting ready for family to arrive. I began to become a small freak out mess as I got overwhelmed with all the tasks I wanted to get done. My family heard my little tirade about chores and they said to me – no worries and they all chipped in. Buddy picked up toys and organized and put everything in its place. My Man vacuumed the entire house. Little Miss cleaned the bathroom. And my self-induced freak out mess stress just melted away as I felt the love of my family. Christmas morning I opened my present from Little Miss. There was a paper in a box that said on it, “do not go into the hall bathroom”. My sweet 7-year-old explained that I actually could go into the bathroom because I got my present early – she was going to clean the bathroom and she had already done it the day before. She knows me so well – a gift of cleaning is always appreciated – and I also got a hug.