The Inner Monologue Of A 4-Year-Old Getting Dressed

by Joelle Wisler
kid getting dressed
Joelle Wisler

Oh, wow, I slept great. I did have to wake Mommy up five times to let her know about those scary shadows making a monster in my room. I totally knew that it was just the moonlight shining in on my curtains, but I was thinking she was probably missing me anyway. Judging by the way she squeezed me so hard that last time, I know I was right.

It’s a good thing she has me. Otherwise, she would get lonely at night.

I had a dream about a bear and some swings and we were all in a crooked house, and I better remember to take three hours to tell my parents about it. They just love to hear my voice. I love to hear my voice too! I have so many important things to say and so many songs to sing. I’ll start now.

I’m so excited I’m going to my first day of preschool today!

I have to look my best. No way am I wearing that dress Mommy laid out there on my dresser. I only loved that dress when it was hanging in the store and she was saying, “So, you promise if I buy this, you’ll actually wear it?” Well, it looked great in the store, but now it seems sad. I think I can smell her hope on it. Gross. And besides, she knows I don’t like blue since yesterday.

I found the perfect outfit! The most special day deserves wings, after all. And gloves. And a crown. And all of my hair barrettes at once. And my Christmas dress. And my snow boots, because why not?

The outfit I found sparkles, and I love sparkles. And it twirls, and I love twirling. I look like a princess and all of my dreams are completely coming true. I imagine that fairies cried tears to make it and that unicorns are totally jealous of me right now.

I’m going to go make an entrance on the stairs like a real princess at a magical ball, which is what I am.

Wow. Mommy looks kinda horrible this morning. I’ll have to tell her that so it doesn’t ever happen to her again. And she looks like she might have a baby in her tummy. Later, I’ll say this to her, maybe when we are checking out at the grocery store.

She’s never fancy, and I really feel bad for her whole life. She just wears black and jeans and her ugly old sneakers, even though I’ve totally seen those bright red high-heeled shoes in her closet. When I’m a mommy, I’m going to wear ball gowns and wedding dresses and bright red high-heeled shoes every day because I won’t let my dreams of being the most beautiful fairy lady ever die.

Or else I’ll be a mermaid. I saw a mermaid once, and she was super glittery.

Daddy looks well-rested.

They’ve finally noticed me standing on the stairs. I’m smiling shyly, like, “Oh! I didn’t notice you standing there, Mommy and Daddy. But while you’re there, you might as well admire my glorious presence.”

They are looking at me kinda weird.

Mommy says, “You look very, um, colorful?” She looks tired when she says this. “Do you think you are ever going to wear that new dress, or should I bring it back to the store?”

I think about the new dress, how it did look sorta magical when it was on the hanger that once. I can tell by the way she’s looking at me that I need to answer carefully.

“Maybe tomorrow?”

And then I begin to twirl.


Parent note: These events really happened. I’m just hoping that someday we can channel all of her creative energy into some kind of career that will benefit the rest of the world — like maybe the president or the next Beyoncé.

And when we see each other in the grocery store, my child in an Elsa costume and yours looking like an extra in some kind of toddler circus, we can lock eyes and nod in solidarity for all the battles we know went into getting out of the house.

I see you and your crazy circus child. Godspeed.