photo of yoyoi kusama by shawn mortensen
Last night as we’re heading uptown for a barbecue at Grandpa’s, Thalia springs it on me: Today is Color Day at her camp (a decidedly non-Color Day type camp), in which each kid must wear the specified color of her group.
No problem I thought. We can pull together pretty much any color.
“Only,” she added, “this time they’re doing patterns.
And ours is polka dots.”
We don’t seem own any clothes with polka dots.
This morning, I ran through this frantic mental inventory of every garment in our house. There’s one cute hat although hats are not allowed. There’s a pajama bottom that we could disguise as leggings but Thalia insists they’re still too big. There’s a single outgrown red and white polka dot bathing suit in the Goodwill bag that in a pinch we could uh…stick over her neck like a cape? (No, that’s pathetic.) Aha! We own one adorable little brown dress with teeny white dots–but of course it was nowhere to be found. Because as we all know, the very things we need are the very things that go hiding when we need them most.
Inanimate objects my ass.
I had horrible flashbacks to her first day of Kindergarten, unable to find the one dress she insisted on wearing. I turned the house upside down in a frenzy, as if it were the deed to our house I couldn’t find, moments before some mustachioed bad guy accompanied by anxiety-provoking piano music, came to tear it down.
I am shaking my fist in the air, cursing the fact that she couldn’t have been in the plaid group. The stripes. The stars or hearts or rainbow. Or chevrons for feck’s sake! Who were the lucky kids who got to wear chevrons? And how much did those parents tip the counselors?
To make matters worse, Nate is screaming WE HAVE TO GO! through the entire ordeal. This is the one morning he’s decided that taking the girls out to breakfast before camp and actually spending quality time with them over pancakes is more important than getting Thalia dressed fabulously for Fucking Polka Dot Day. As I’ve come to think of it.
As I’m about to send Thalia out the door with her contraband hat and a huge apology, I had a revelation: Scarves. I own a ridiculous number of hand-me-down vintage scarves, all crammed into a basket in the back of the closet and currently serving as a makeshift cat bed.
And so I talked her into a single polka dot headband scarf.
It’s no Yayoi Kusama, but she seemed satisfied.
I just hope none of the kids in the group have cat allergies.