Monday, December 6, 2010

The Gift of Awkwardness: SGW

Because apparently, awkwardness is the gift that keeps on giving.

This post is so funny that I should issue some warnings: put down any beverages you're currently consuming because you might snort and if you have bladder control problems - brace yourself.  This is MommyShorts and she is awesome.

Just wait, you'll see...

I'm going to say this as tactfully as possible. For two reasons — 1) My mother-in-law is nothing if not well-intentioned. And 2) She may have a google alert out on my name.

DISCLAIMER: If you are reading this and you are indeed my mother-in law— Congratulations! You are much more internet savvy than I ever imagined. Secondly, I love you very much and you have been wonderful to the baby. Specifically in the wardrobe department. The beautiful faux shearling jacket you bought for her is the sole reason why she was named "Best Dressed" at the playground this past fall. So thank you. Also. STOP READING NOW.

(Editor's note: The update has to do with the fact that her mother-in-law did in fact find and read the post. - furckitty furckwad.)

Here goes.

My mother-in-law did a very nice thing. She bought the baby a dress to wear to her first birthday party. She presented this dress to me at the beginning of Thanksgiving dinner in front of the entire family. It was done in BIG REVEAL FASHION. Big reveal fashion is standing at the head of the table, holding up a closed garment bag and then dramatically pulling back the plastic to reveal the dress on the hanger underneath while practically shouting YOU'RE WELCOME!


My response was a pause so uncomfortable that the only thing that could have saved me was someone mistaking the beating of my heart for a knock at the front door.

But I needed a moment to TAKE THE DRESS IN.


It is not horrible. In fact, it is totally appropriate for the occasion. That is, if before the birthday party, the baby will be making a quick detour to accept an Academy Award.


It is also totally appropriate if I've entered my baby in the Little Miss East Coast Pageantry Circuit and her last shot at taking home the crown is to kill it in the "Evening Wear" category.

Either way, once the pause reached it's awkwardness potential, I had no choice but to fawn over it as if it were the perfect celebratory attire.

Here's the party dress rundown:
  • The top of the dress is BLACK VELVET with cap sleeves. Fancy. But fine.
  • The bottom, however, balloons out into something so GOLD AND SPARKLY that I fear only leprechauns and Donald Trump can truly appreciate it.
  • Underneath the skirt you will find a layer of CRINOLINE. Crinoline is a word so absent from my life that I had to do a google search in order to figure out what it is called and how to spell it.
  • Also meant to be worn underneath the skirt: GOLD SILK PANTALOONS. I may be alone in this but I believe that the fancy undergarment trajectory begins in college and peaks with your wedding night and only then begins it's steady decline. If you peak with gold pantaloons before you even hit toddlerhood, you are headed for nothing but disappointment and a very large bill from La Perla.
  • And lastly, there is a fake DIAMOND BROOCH in the middle of the bow around the waist. A brooch so large I am pretty sure it has a tracking device alerting Elizabeth Taylor that it is missing from her jewelry box.

Put all the elements together and it looks like an outfit that only Teresa from the Housewives of New Jersey could love.

I should mention that my party is not on a Saturday night, it is on a Sunday at noon. It is not a five course meal with assorted dancing interludes, it is a rather low key pancake brunch. And it will not be taking place at The White House, it will be taking place at my apartment.

But my mother-in-law has bought the baby this dress. She presented it to me on Thanksgiving. In front of the entire family. And in a state of panic, I fawned over it. SO. The dress is what the baby will wear.

All I am left to do is pick out complimentary accessories.

 I'm thinking some Suri-esque heels, a tiara and a bedazzled sign that reads "This was a gift from Grandma".


MOTHER-IN-LAW UPDATE! She found it.  She read it.  And it turns out she's awesome.  Mommy Shorts fills us in on the whole story right here

Also, we'd like to say to Mommy Short's mother-in-law that we think you're a total bad ass and we love you. We hope one day when we're in the M-I-L shoes, we turn out to be as cool as you are.

xo, Kate & Lydia
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!! Oh my, I don't know what I'd do!

  2. OMG, the fancy underwear trajectory chart is the bomb.

    Maybe you could have your daughter wear her pageant dress at the beginning of the party, take some photos, announce loudly to everyone in sight that "IT'S A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GRANDMA!!!!" and then discreetly get a few smudges of syrup and frosting on it. Then change her into a normal outfit.

  3. I feel for you. I have a well intentioned mother in law that caused my son to regress in his potty training by babysitting him twice! It took me a year to get him back to where he was prior to spending unsupervised by mommy time with her. I hope you have an awesome FIL like I do that reels in her well intentioned crazy when I mention it needs to be.

  4. I think a picture of said dress is completely appropriate for this post. I have a MIL that does things similar to this, but having a boy-child has spared me this kind of fancy. I'm grateful that my husband is happy to live 3.5 hours away from his own parents, sparing us all this kind of hassle, and is happy to live 10 minutes from my own parents, who are not like his.

  5. ohmygawdyouaresoooogoingtohavetowearthat...

    {big breath} Holy Cowabunga you're stuck aren't you? Is there anyway you can get a well intentioned but klutzy child to spill a glass of something on the dress? Therefore having to change the poor thing into something else? You'll have to reward the poor child because there will be shouting (lots) and laughter but it may help you out a bit.


  6. My friend had a similar incident with her MIL and one of those horrific, "festive" holiday creations and I came up with the perfect solution for her. Put the dress on the kid, take a picture while still in her room, then take the dress off. Tell MIL that your daughter had a poop explosion all over the Golden Panties (here in the south we have convenience stores called Golden Pantry, not that anyone ever calls it that) and it went up the back of the dress. You are soooooo happy you took a picture before the disaster! What a shame she chose that moment to let one rip. Alas, there just wasn't time to get it dry-cleaned (since I assume a frock like that requires dry-cleaning, though no clothing meant for a child should). Problem solved.

  7. hahahaha, hey at least it is the first birthday party, that is the one where you let them go to town in the cake. I suggest teaching her now what cake looks and tastes like and leaving the baby's cake on a low surface unsupervised at the beginning of the party to "show it off"

  8. Depilator from my loving mother-in-law. Hair waxing pull out by the roots machine. For my legs. Wasn't that thoughtful? This was back in the days before I had a 'stache too.

  9. I also agree that a picture of the dress is needed. I only have boys so I can't even imagine such a dress. Well, I am IMAGINE...but I can't see it ever happening to me. I think the picture will help us =)

  10. Here is your solution: BRIGHT pink icing made with real food coloring that will not wash out and grape juice. And in continuing with the "pooped the dress" notion, I say go ahead and make it happen for real. Feed the child prunes and raisins and anything else that, uh, sweeps the field. Then put your MIL in charge of her for the day. ;)

  11. nip it in the bud... or you are going to have to endure many more years of "that kind of fancy"... plus I would definitely be irritated that she was crossing the line - first birthdays should be for the parents to plan. Love the underwear chart!!!

  12. My grandmother used to buy us dresses like that. I can remember wearing them up until the 5th grade. Good luck reigning her in.

  13. Easy solution- Take her over to Picture People or something like that, get a shot or two of her in this ensemble, all dolled up, give g'ma the photo in a nice (ala Target) frame, saying the dress was too pretty to spoil with the arts/crafts planned and you wanted it to be her "special dress", but look how beautiful she looks (throw in her holding a Tony award for good measure). You are DIL of the year and your daughter will not have to go into therapy for what YOU dressed her in (b/c the g'ma never gets blamed!).

  14. I only have boys, so this is not something I have to deal with, thank heaven. My MIL just buys the boys outfits that make them look like country bumpkins or gives me outfits that her boys wore 30 years ago and requires that I photograph my children in them. *sigh* MILs. Can't live with 'em. Can't kill 'em and stay married.

  15. OK, I am about to e-mail you ladies a photo of the gift my MIL once gave for our daughter (around 6 months old at the time). She thought this was the most brilliant, hilarious, and cute thing ever. I kinda smiled politely, she really means well, but I couldn't even muster the "put it in her once and take a photo".....

    What can I say... we have completely different taste?

  16. I agree with the whole messed the dress theory. Picture first is a nice touch, make sure you give her a grand hairdo to go with it! I wouldn't do the prune feeding as it usually meant my kids were puny from crapping their liver.

  17. Are you getting first pictures taken? Put her in the dress for the pics and pick something more appropriate for the brunch. Good Luck!

  18. That is HILARIOUS!! But at least it's only for one day (a day filled with photographs, but only one day). You should see the needlepoint -in colors that manage to clash with everything else in the room - that I had to put on the wall near the crib. And have to look at every damn day.

  19. After thinking about it, I would take MIL aside and explain that even though the dress is beautiful, I don't feel it is appropriate for the party, or that you don't think little girls should dress this way, or you already had something picked out for her, or all of the above. Then I'd express my wish that she let me make the decisions for my child, and she could run gift ideas past me, first. Or, along the same lines, if she had any advice, she could give it to me in person, and not in front of others.

    If unable to face MIL with said conversation, I'd hit up FIL to fill in. "I don't want to hurt her feelings, but this really is inappropriate for the occasion and for any little girl regardless of the occasion.

  20. OMG! That chart is filled with awesomeness!

  21. My MIL gave me and hubby and "inversion table" for xmas. My sister in law too. You may have to google it. I gave it away.

  22. Our MIL's must be related!! I have a solution though. Let the baby play with it right after she's had something sticky, or let her wear it the first time she drinks grape juice from a big girl cup. Or wash the thing on hot and throw it in the dryer, then blame your husband when it's ruined.

    My oldest got a rash from her first grandma dress. It was similar to what you described. She was allergic to it!

  23. Redirect the dress wearing. Say lets go out for a birthday dinner that night and insist she wears the dress to that and put something else on for the day party.
    I have had the same situation before with inlaws. Usually resulting in either my kids just wearing it, me 'accidently forgetting' about the outfit or somehow something got on the outfit and it is not wearable.
    My SIL just bought my 2 month old a pretty sweater dress she thought would be cute for thanksgiving if i had not already had a dress for it as well as one for christmas and taking in account for the fact the it is a size to big she will wear it some day when it fits her.

  24. you had me at "crinoline" and "pantaloons."

    had it been me accepting said dress, i would've asked if it was a joke and then looked around for cameras and ashton kutcher to pop out.

    love me some mommyshorts!

  25. Yet another reason why I love having a boy instead of a girl. Love the chart too!

  26. too bad Ella won't be there, we could stage a rumble and have the crinoline "accidentally" get ripped!

  27. My SIL bought my girls dresses and my toddler son a suit and had pictures taken with them and her girls (teens). Nice gesture, but word is that my son is to wear the suit to our Christmas get-together. It is non-negotiable, and not worth arguing with DH about. Is our stuff not as "quality" as hers is? One wonders how she would react if I were to do the same and require her girls (one sporty, one goth-suggestive) to wear, oh, I don't know, maybe something with CRINOLINE? Tee-hee.

  28. You are a brave person. I would lie and say the dress didn't fit, I would not dress an innocent child in 45 pounds of fabric, jewels, and hairspray no matter what Grandma said.

  29. That was so awesome. The *asterisk* section of the undergarment trajectory chart is by far my fave. A couple of years ago, my MIL bought me a stick on strapless bra for Christmas. Which I opened in front of my husband's entire family. I almost threw up, I laughed so hard and my abs were sore for days. Basically, she gave me a set of pasties and told me she LOVED her set. TMI.

  30. Never had anything this awful from my MIL for my kids--but they are boys. However, I did get a sailor top (for me!) when I was 27 from her! My husband is in the military and she thought it would be nice to wear to a parade on base. Maybe if I were 2 or 92!

  31. Oh. My. God. This is hilarious and I would die. Die! Also, this strangely reminds me of the time my Grandmother presented me with a nightgown on Christmas for me to wear "on my wedding night." It looked like something Scarlet O'Hara would wear. During the war. Very curtain-like. Plus? Uhh...I'm not wearing an actual grandma nightgown on my wedding night. (And I didn't, but she'll never know that.)

  32. LOVE the chart!!!

    Although I do have a boy that could find a mud puddle in the Sahara Desert, Grandma insists on buying him dress clothes. And, because I refuse to cut his beautiful curly locks, when she has him she insists on putting a Scunci in his hair...sigh...

  33. I love your chart. A similar chart could be made for number of times you shower per week to life stage.

    Second, one of my pet peeves since becoming a mom is the whole child-as-doll concept. I have relatives who l-o-v-e to send beautiful but impractical garments to my daughter and I'm supposed to do what with these? Dress her up and take her to the playground? Or do finger-painting? Yes, my little girl is adorable...but have you met her?! She is always covered in goop and tonight she farted in my face while I was tucking her in. Can we skip the fancy dresses and just stick to the sweat pants? They're really more her style...

    Kate & Lydia--I heart MommyShorts!

  34. Ahh, first birthday party attire. I feel ya! My husband is Korean, and his mother/50 bazillion aunts are crazy and extremely bossy. I had put a lot of thought into what to dress my daughter in for her party, and finally settled on an adorable little outfit from my sister. She wore it for 5 minutes. Until the Koreans arrived. She second they walked in the door, they undressed her (WITHOUT ASKING) and dressed her in a traditional Korean kimono-style gown. No don't get my wrong, my daughter's half-Korean and I love the idea of her wearing the gown. But on my terms. So now she's wearing the get-up in all of her pictures from that day. Until cake time, at which I politely told his mom that she would have to take the gown off because I wouldn't want to ruin it with cake. So she's at least wearing my cute outfit (under her bib so you can't really see it) for the cake eating part. But then it got cake all over it and she had to change. Fun day.

  35. haha I can't wait to hear what happens when you sit her down in front of a smash cake in that thing :))

  36. My Sister-in-Law sent me this post. All I can say is awesome... And I may have wet myself a little.

  37. Also my captcha was "Pormon" which I can only imagine is a very sedate from on mormon porn...

  38. I actually had to ban my MIL from babysitting my oldest. When the oldest was born, she was the only grandchild - on BOTH sides of the family. Cue all out war for "favorite grandmother". They lived less than three miles from each other.

    Anyway, for a while MIL would keep baby girl on Thursdays while I was in class, until I discovered that she was making appointments for her picture to be taken, dressing her up in the most godawful outfits EVER (yes, the dress described sounded VERY familiar), quite often outfits that she and her sister and her neice had MADE themselves (add one more layer of awkward here), and then presenting EVERYONE WE KNEW with a copy of the photo.

    My mother chose to view this as some kind of competition. Headache. Although my mom had slightly better taste.

    2nd birthday, they both wanted to be the one to dress her. I said, "Oh, save it for the present! That way I won't have to choose between such lovely outfits!"

    SO they did.

    When 2-year-old opened each outfit, she SLAMMED the lid back on the box (both times) and screamed, "Don't like dresses!" Cue tears and hysteria. Priceless.

    Thus ended that competition.

    The outfits continued as my girls got older. Fortunately my oldest has the type of personality that enables her to laugh inappropriate gifts off without hurting MIL's feelings (much). (Somehow she makes it sound like she KNOWS her grandmother is joking, and can't possibly be serious, and tickled that she's part of the joke. I don't know how she does it.)

    Now the one daughter who has a daughter herself is feeling the battle between her grandmother and her MIL. Every family dinner that poor child shows up in some inappropriate velvet/lam-may (I don't know how to do the fancy "e" thing for gold lame)/overly lacy dressy dress that promptly gets ruined (my daughter appears to take that advice to heart) by someone allowing the child to eat something sticky. (Lollipop in the car anyone?) Then she changes clothes.

  39. I haven't finished reading the post but the chart alone had me spitting chocolate gingerbread men all over my crumb stained coach. I'll fain ignorance if DH asks.
    I just received my Kris Kringle's wish list and it includes Victoria Secret items. My Kris Kringle is 20 years old. The last pack (yes pack) of underwear I bought was from Target and I was thrilled they came with a 'sporty' stripe around the waist.

  40. My sister in law continues to buy dry-clean only dresses for my daughter. The first was a beautiful pink cashmere sweater dress. Trying to make a point at how useful it was,I put my daughter in it for her first birthday party at which she had a ladybug birthday cake. Yes, red and black icing got all over the dress much to my sister in law's horror. (evil laugh)

    Unfortunately, that didn't stop her, and dresses continue to arrive, and I continue to put my tom boy daughter in them and let her roll around in them. If the stains come out at the once a year cleaning, great. If not, oh well. The girl looked good for a few seconds and then had fun.

    Said sister in law now has her own child - a beautiful little boy who is now approaching toddlerhood when those inappropriately beautiful outfits start getting ruined. Playing in the leaves this thanksgiving, she was upset that he was getting his pants wet. Hopefully she will soon start seeing children less as a fashion accessory and more as the wild beasts that they are.




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