The Dress.

Flea's school is having a party, and so this week, her teacher asked her to take some party clothes in to school in preparation.

Flea duly packed her Spiderman backpack with her favourite pirate jumper and skate trousers, along with the trainers that flash when she stamps her feet. Perfect.

Except her teacher disagreed. And when I collected Flea from school it was gently suggested that ALL the other little girls would be wearing dresses and Mrs E (the headteacher) would really like it if Flea wore a dress, too.

"I don't have any dresses," said Flea.

The teacher made a sad face and looked at me. Instantly I felt guilty – it's a reflex whenever anyone in a position of authority looks at me.

"I guess we could buy one," I mumbled.

The teacher smiled at me and nodded. "I think that would be lovely."


So after school we traipsed off to Mothercare and looked at some dresses. Flea chose five to try on and went into the changing room. Twenty seconds later something unexpected happened – Flea looked at herself in the mirror, twirled around and exclaimed: "Mummy, I look SO beautiful!"

This from a child who has not worn a dress since she was two years old. One day I'll share the photo I took of her on that day – her scowl could have wilted flowers at fifty paces. But today? Today she looked like this:


Quite the transformation, eh?

In case you're worried that the transformation into respectable girl-dom is complete, I can reassure you that Flea is still – well – she's still Flea. As demonstrated by my daughter's response (below) to the PERFECTLY reasonable question: "Can Mummy take a picture of you looking so lovely?"


The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 1st December 2010 / 11:54 pm

    Lovely dress, lovely Flea.
    PS. Do you ever think about changing schools?

  2. 2nd December 2010 / 12:06 am

    She looks beautiful Sally, but then she woould in a bin bag! The boys are so looking forward to seeing her again at the weekend (snow permitting), they think she is dead cool!

  3. 2nd December 2010 / 12:46 am

    Aww bless, she looks so pretty! 🙂 x

  4. 2nd December 2010 / 8:05 am

    I hated dresses too and never looked half so pretty. Flea that dress rocks!
    PS Glad you haven’t gone over to the girly side completely!!!!

  5. 2nd December 2010 / 8:21 am

    How pretty indeed. Mind you, I’d have liked to see her first choice of outfit. I thought that teachers were supposed to encourage diversity?

  6. 2nd December 2010 / 9:36 am

    Flea looks good in what ever she wears and Tops has this dress too!

  7. 2nd December 2010 / 10:21 am

    It’s the beginning of the end! My boy will only wear trousers to go out now! No more pink frilly dresses.

  8. 2nd December 2010 / 10:36 am

    such a pretty dress- glad she didn’t go completely over to the dark side and chose a pink one!

  9. 2nd December 2010 / 10:50 am

    The school tights will not feature in the final ‘look’ I am told.

  10. 2nd December 2010 / 10:50 am

    Thanks. And I’m of the ‘she’s happy, I’m happy’ school of thought. I’m just not cut out to be a good school Mum.

  11. LauraCYMFT
    2nd December 2010 / 10:51 am

    A lovely dress. My little girl has loads of pretty dresses but it’s just easier to put her in leggings and a top! Hope Flea has fun at the party!

  12. 2nd December 2010 / 10:51 am

    Aw, thanks! Flea’s very excited, too!

  13. 2nd December 2010 / 10:51 am

    Oh, I think we’re safe from complete girliedom!

  14. 2nd December 2010 / 10:52 am

    It’s true, she’s lovely in everything. Even taffeta.

  15. 2nd December 2010 / 1:03 pm

    what a dufus teacher! She does look adorable though and what a fab colour.

  16. Nikki
    2nd December 2010 / 4:07 pm

    What a ridiculous request from the school – what if you couldn’t have afforded one? I’d have knelt down in front of the teacher and asked Flea what SHE wanted to wear to the party. I’m surprised you caved Sally!!
    Who ever heard of a dress code at an infant school party. I understand they might not have wanted Flea to feel out of place, but she’s a bright girl and could have made that decision if it had been explained to her that most other girls would be wearing a dress, was she ok going in her choice of preffered outfit.
    Stupid school.
    Right, getting off the soap box now!
    PS She does look gorgeous though :-)))

  17. Crystal Jigsaw
    2nd December 2010 / 7:13 pm

    Gorgeous! She certainly does look beautiful. I remember the trips to Mothercare, Amy used to love that shop.
    CJ xx

  18. 2nd December 2010 / 9:41 pm

    Great picture-she does look gorgeous. Don’t think the teacher should have put it onto the girls that they must wear a dress. Where are all the 21st century feminist teachers hiding?

  19. Lorraine The Party Times
    2nd December 2010 / 9:53 pm

    Can’t believe how rude the teacher was…party clothes mean different things to different people!! anyway she does look beautiful in her dress x

  20. S.
    2nd December 2010 / 11:53 pm

    Aw. She looks fab! Is lovely she knew how great she looked, but I am sure she will still favour the pirate stuff.
    I however am so grateful you’ve posted this. On Una’s list to Father Christmas is a red dress that flows out. I think you’ve just been my virtual shopper… :o)

  21. Diane
    3rd December 2010 / 12:48 am

    I’m horrified the head’s so keen on reinforcing stereotypical gender expectations, especially at such a young age (wonder why girls grow up thinking the way they look is more important than anything else, eh?) On principle, I would have let Flea wear what she wanted. Of course, if I ever have a kid, their school is going to HATE me… 😉
    I’m really glad Flea loved her dress, though. And her expressions are priceless 🙂

  22. 3rd December 2010 / 11:41 pm

    Like they all say: feminist me outraged; she looks great so she was right; those faces made me calm down again.
    Go Flea Go!

  23. 5th December 2010 / 9:12 am

    what’s the name of your school? it’s almost worth registering my opionated shark. just to let them have a challenge.
    (and like most of us, i’m a sucker for a dd in a cute dress)

  24. Ouidad
    8th December 2010 / 2:46 pm

    She must be so fun to photograph! Thanks for sharing pictures of your amazing daughter and her lovely dress. Happy holidays!
    -Deb for Ouidad

  25. 8th December 2010 / 5:02 pm

    She looks so pretty bless her xx