Valerie loves dinosaurs. It all started back in October when we happened upon an episode of Dinosaur Train (which is awesome--especially Dr. Scott, the paleontologist). And it has not let up. Valerie knows more about dinos than I do. She plays with her dino figures every day. Usually she sets up some sort of social situation, like lunchtime at school, and then there is inevitably some sort of altercation between the carnivores and herbivores. Often the carnivores try to convince the herbivores to try eating meat. I can't tell you how much this whole thing tinkles me. Oh, and her favorite dinosaur is Tyrannosaurus rex.
On to the dress. Of course, dino fabric was requested. And it was harder to find than I had imagined. I finally found this at fabric.com. The pattern is Simplicity 2680, Valerie's choice. She also picked out the aqua grosgrain ribbon and lace trim. Then, a week before her birthday party, she asked if I could make her the jacket to go with it. I had to say yes! It was close, but I got it done just in time, including sewing on the two big T. rex buttons we had bought months ago (with snaps underneath--I just couldn't face another button hole fiasco). And honestly, I think that little jacket with it's ruffled collar is one of the most complex garments I've made to date.
And so now Valerie is six. As a teacher I spent most of my time, before she was born, around six-year-olds. I had been looking forward to the years Valerie would be the ages of the kids I used to teach. I thought I would feel like I knew what I was doing. But it is different, parenting vs. teaching. Oh, yes.
Who knew I would have a daughter who cuddles a stuffed T. rex to sleep at night? And that is just the kind of thing that delights me about Valerie day after day. She is so her own person, just as she should be.