Wednesday, February 24, 2010


It was touch and go there for awhile, folks.

But in the end... she cracked!

As planned, we went to Target last night. The deal: if Natalie would finally say her name for me, I'd buy her a Princess Tiana dress on the spot.

First stop: princess aisle. I took the dress of the rack, held it in front of her, saying nothing.

She stared at it, then looked at me.

It was on.

After much hand-wringing, Natalie decided she'd rather wait until her birthday in May. Even though, I told her, her birthday was awfully far away. But ok, that's fine. And I pushed the cart away, fighting the urge to bargain and plead.

She sat there in the cart, biting her lip and then her fingernail, silent as I shopped. By the time we'd finished with my list, she was asking to go back upstairs.

"Ok, honey, you going to say your name?"

She nodded, her brows furrowed. Back among princesses, I again took the dress off the rack. My heart quickened. This time I put it in her lap, let her little fingers touch the sequins and feed the lust in her heart.

"You can have the dress right now. You can wear it tonight." I could feel her resolve weakening as she imagined coming to the dinner table dressed as Tiana. Is this the thrill interrogators feel when the suspect starts to crumble?

She said she was scared. I told her I believed in her. I knew she could do it. She asked if I'd help her. But she wanted to say her last name first.

So we sounded it out together, whispering: Fitz - si - mons. Over and over until we were saying Fitzsimons together and then she was saying it all by herself. I kissed her forehead, told her what a good job she was doing.

"Ready to say Natalie now?"

And so together we said it softly, our faces just inches apart: Na - ta - lie. Over and over once again.

And then she said the whole darn thing herself. Natalie Fitzsimons. And I was about to do backflips down the aisle. But I remained calm, even managing not to cry so as to not totally freak her out.

I raised my right hand instead.

"Gimme five, baby. You just scored yourself a Tiana dress."


  1. HOW did you not cry??? I did!

  2. I wiped away a couple tears too last night when Elizabeth and Natalie sat and the couch (with Natalie and her new Tiana dress) and practiced saying her name. Great night! Great post! T

  3. Holly, I think I didn't cry because I was so happy to have WON. I imagined Ivan Drago walking in. "I will crush you." I know, not so motherly.