A Tale of Two Flower Girls

Bennett, in his favorite outfit

After two previous posts, I wasn’t planning on writing yet again about my son’s fondness for wearing dresses.  Most of the time, he’d rather wear his Thomas the Train t-shirt and jeans, but occasionally, he asks to wear something out of his sister’s closet.  None of us makes a big deal about it, except maybe his sister, who likes to gush about what a beautiful princess he makes.

But this was a very special dress… and a very special day.

Drew’s brother Peter was getting married.  Drew and his other brother were the Best Men, Sutton was a flower girl and Bennett was a ring bearer.

At least, that was the plan.

Naturally, we made a big deal about the flower girl dress, at the risk of causing Sutton to spontaneously combust with glee.  It had a sash, Aunt Ali had picked it out personally and it was so special it could only be worn on that one magical day.  It wasn’t white, as Sutton would remind us over and over.  It was “cream-colored.”

We looked at pictures of the dress online almost daily until it finally arrived, when Sutton began asking us every ten minutes if we would take it out so she could look at it.

As with most formal occasions, men’s fashion was an afterthought.  Bennett would wear a white shirt, dark pants and suspenders, which we could shop for and purchase at our convenience.

We shouldn’t have been surprised when Bennett announced that he was going to be a flower girl, too.  He never showed much interest in the dress itself, never stood at the closet door and gawked at it with his sister, but he insisted that on the wedding day, he was going to wear it.

His uncle and aunt-to-be assured us that they didn’t care what he wore or what he carried down the aisle, just as long as he was a part of their big day.

This was months ago, and Drew and I had to make the call.  The flower girl dress was expensive, and it needed to be ordered way ahead of time.  Would we have a ring bearer in the family… or two flower girls?

Those of you who have never been parents of a three-year-old need to know one thing:

You can’t plan for a kid’s desires five minutes in advance, let alone five months.

Trust me, I live with this kid.  One moment, he might ask very sweetly for me to play “Part of Me” by Katy Perry, but 22 seconds later, once I’ve found it on my iPod and hooked it up to the speakers, he’s furious that we’re not listening to Maroon 5.

Who knew what he would really want to do on the wedding day, when he saw the other ring bearers in their white shirts and suspenders?  Would he do a 180 on us and refuse to go down the aisle in the cream-colored gown?

OK, I’ll admit we also considered the fact that a little boy in a dress was going to steal some of the spotlight from the bride.  If our son identified as a girl and this were a matter of acknowledging his gender identity, that would’ve been different.  But it seemed like it was more the case of a little boy who was jealous of his sister.  We bought him the suspenders.

Occasionally over the next few months, the subject of the wedding would come up, and we’d mention that Bennett was going to be a ring bearer.  “Nope!” he’d say.  “I’m a flower girl!”  Then, we’d quickly change the subject.

This past weekend, we went to Philadelphia for the wedding.  The other kids in the wedding party weren’t at the rehearsal, and Bennett continued to insist that, during the ceremony, he would be spreading rose petals down the aisle.  We knew we had blown it.  Bad call.  The next day, we’d have one very hurt, angry little boy on our hands.

The morning of the wedding, we met up with one of the other ring bearers.  Bennett had actually had a play date with him a while back, during the bridal shower.  “You remember Little Pete?” I asked him.

“Yes,” Bennett said.  “I played with his trains.”

When it came time to put on his ring bearer outfit, Bennett didn’t put up much of a fight.  He thought Sutton looked pretty in her dress, and he beamed when we told him how handsome he was.

We breathed a sigh of relief.  We had made the right call.

Sutton did an amazing job as flower girl, and Bennett and Little Pete were top-notch ring bearers.

“I’m so proud of you,” I told Bennett after the ceremony.  “Did you like Little Pete?”

“Yes,” Bennett said.  “When I grow up, I’m going to marry him.”

I smiled at my kid and said, “Bennett, nothing would make me prouder.”

29 comments on “A Tale of Two Flower Girls

  1. We are going through a similar phase with Neal. Although “phase” might be deluded thinking. At the onset of Halloween planning, he was hellbent on being a witch. It’s changed several times until he got a Peter Pan costume from Gramma (who works at Disney World) in the mail. He wore that to his preschool parade but cried most of the time b/c the girl in his class dressed as a witch wouldn’t let him ride her broom. He was also coveting pirate swords and other various weapons I denied him, thinking the school would frown upon it…silly mommy! Neal deals almost exclusively in extremes – instead of “no” its often “never.” And last night he told me I was “terrible” and that I “don’t like him” b/c it was time to get out of the tub. All with lots of tears and a contorted face that just crushes souls.

    Phoebe, his twin, knew from day one she wanted to be a spider. No drama from her.

    Since the storm is washing away any hopes of trick or treating in Cleveland Wednesday, perhaps it’s much ado about nothing.

    • Jessica, “phase” is probably the right word, although you never know. My son went through a phase for much of the last year where he was ALWAYS a character (you couldn’t even use his real name), and usually in a costume of some sort (a cape or a mask or even a full blown costume). He started out wanting to be boy characters (Simba, Spiderman, etc.) but then switched to girls (Nala, Firestar from “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends,” Emily from the Power Rangers, etc.). He did occassionally choose boy characters if they were the smallest (e.g., Michael rather than Wendy from Peter Pan; Robin rather than Batman or Batgirl). He’s almost 4 now and still VERY into pretend and costumes, but it’s not an around-the-clock thing anymore. And, and a few months ago, he started preferring the boy characters again.

      I think most of what they do as preschoolers are phases, unless it’s something that permeates multiple aspects of their personality and lives. Oh, and Harry Potter rides a broom and is a witch (albeit by a different name). Neal sounds like he’s got a lot of passion, which hopefully will translate into good things as he outgrows the preschool phase!

  2. I was having a difficult day today, then I read your post. I laughed, cried and my difficult day vanished. I love how you two deal with all life’s challenges with humor. I have no doubt that the knot in your stomach disappeared when Bennett walked in carrying that sign and sparkled in his suspenders. What a great day!

  3. How adorable! They look wonderful. I know what you mean; the only thing faster than the speed of light is the speed at which children change their minds. It can be frustrating! Sometimes I find it easier to simply offer no choice, and no possibility of a mind-change. hehe

  4. My son was very fond of wearing his older sister’s princess dresses as well. Since turning four, he doesn’t seem quite as interested, and I have to say, I kind of miss it. There is something incredibly endearing about a little boy wearing a dress while doing ninja kicks to save the world from monsters. Great post…and my heart went out to you concerning the changing whims of children. It is definitely one of the most frustrating parts of parenthood. But it seems like you handled this one well.

  5. I am so glad everything worked out well in the end! I applaud you for handling the situation so well. My brother used to follow me around when we were little (he’s 3 years younger than me) and so he had to have his own Barbie and a blue tutu 🙂 I’m proud that my parents handled the situation well too (20 something years ago). So many people are closed minded and think it’s taboo to let little boys wear dresses or take on ‘feminine’ characteristics. I say that’s ridiculous.
    Also??? That sign around his neck – SO CUTE!!!!! x

  6. My eldest son, Joshua, loved to wear make-up & dress in my clothes until he was 7 or so. Then, he just stopped. I never encouraged or discouraged him, but I did have to laugh when he looked like MiMi from the Drew Carey Show. Now he’s a grown man, laughs about being a silly boy in the not-so-distant past.

  7. They are both so cute all dressed for success. You guys did great…no tears as they headed down the aisle? I’d say that alone is a tribute to well adjusted and confident kids.

  8. We have identical twin daughters who are 15 and when our niece got married two years ago,there were no little girls to be her flower girl.My two girls were 13 at the time and the niece had both of them as her “little flower girls”.She got them identical,poofy,white,top of the knees dresses,with matching veils,gloves,lace anklets and white mary jane shoes.To complete their ‘little flower girl’ outfits i made them each a cloth diaper to wear under their dresses with loose fitting rubberpants over the diaper.The niece was happy that they both had the diaper and rubberpants under their dresses and both daughters felt cute and little girlish in their outfits! They both have worn their flower girl diaper and rubberpants for easter and christmas the last two years since the wedding.

  9. To Carole M.-Yes,i fully agree with flower girls wearing a cloth diaper and rubberpants under their dresses and have been to several weddings and have seen both young and older flower girls with a cloth diaper and rubberpants under their dresses and they look cute! We are catholic and our daughter made her First Holy Communion at age 10 and wore the traditional cloth communion diaper and rubberpants under her dress like all the other girls had on as well.She was a flower girl a year later in her cousins wedding along with a 12 year old and i put her first communion diaper and rubberpants on her under her dress.The other girls also had them under her dress as well.In many catholic families,the first communion cloth diaper and rubberpants is worn under flower girls dresses,and symbolizes the girls purity and innocence of an infant as a flower girl like it does for first communion.

  10. To Clarice and Carole-I went to my cousins wedding last saturday and was in the bridal dressing room helping out and i saw her 3 flower girls who were 13,10 and 9 being diapered in cloth diapers and rubberpants.The rubberpants all had ruffles sewn across the back of them and when the 3 girls had them on they looked very cute! I asked my cousin about them and she told me she had the rubberpants decorated with the ruffles especially for them to wear over their cloth diapers.All three girls were then put into their poofy,top of the knees,flowergirl dresses and veils and looked very cute and adorable!I think flower girls should be diapered under their dresses as the diapers do make them feel cuter and little girlish.

    • I went to a friends wedding a couple weeks ago and her two flowergirls were 11 and 12 and they each had a size 8 pampers diaper with ruffled rubberpants over it under their dresses.The pampers and ruffled rubberpants looked very cute under their poofy dresses!

  11. When i was 14,i was the ‘little’ flowergirl in a cousins wedding and wore a white,poofy,sleeveless,top of the knees dress with a veil,lace anklets and white shoes.Mom and my cousin got me a pair of white toddler size rubberpants and had ruffles sewn across the back and made me wear them under the dress.I got a rash from them by the end of the day!

  12. To Princess Maddie- Would you wear a cloth diaper and rubberpants under your pink dress?I fully agree with teen girls being flowergirls and being dressed up cute like little girls and wearing a cloth diaper and rubberpants under their dresses.A friend of mine daughter was 15 and a flowergirl in her Aunts wedding and wore a cute ,pink,poofy,sleeveless,midthigh length dress with a pink and white head wreath with ribbons down the back,pink lace anklets with white lace at the top and pink mary jane shoes.She had a 10 ply thick cloth diaper on with pink rubberpants over it under her dress! She looked very cute and adorable and little girlish!

  13. When i was 14,i also was a flowergirl in my Aunts wedding and ware a cute,poofy,top of the knees white dress and veil with the lace socks and white shoes.My mom made my cloth diaper by sewing a package of the Gerber flat cloth diapers in the 24×27 inch size together to make the one diaper out of them.My Aunt got the rubberpants in the snap on style and mom snaped them on me after she put my diaper on me.They fit a little snug and the absolute worst thing happened- when i was walking down the aisle to the alter the snaps came undone and the rubberpants fell out from under my dress and landed on the floor! A woman sitting near the aisle had the presence of mind to pick them up right away and held onto them untill after the ceremony! I was so embarrassed and that was my wedding disaster!

    • I went to a wedding in june of 2018 and there were 4 flowergirls,all between the ages of 11 to 13 and all 4 were in cute,pastel pink,poofy,knee length,sleeveless dresses with flower head wreaths,pink lace socks and white patent leather shoes.They each had a size 8 pampers with pastel pink rubberpants over it on under their dresses.They looked very cute and little girlish in their outfits and the bride told me that she had them wear the pampers and rubberpants to make them little girlish.

  14. When i was 13,i was one of four flowergirls in my Aunt Kathys wedding.the other girl were 12,9 and 7.The morning of the wedding,all four of us were taken to the church nursery where Aunt Kathy had a cloth diaper and ruffled rubber pants for each of us to wear under our poofy white dresses.There were two cribs in the nursery,so me and the 12 year old laid in the cribs first while our moms put our diaper and ruffled rubberpants on us.Then the 7 and 9 year old got into the cribs and were diapered next.We all wore a white sleeveless undershirt as our top.Our cute dresses were put on us that came to the top of our knees,followed by our veils,gloves,lace anklets and our white mary jane shoes.After we were all dressed,we were taken to the bridal dressing room and shown to Aunt Kathy and her bridesmaids.All four of us lifted up our dresses and showed them our diaper and ruffled rubberpants and Aunt Kathy thought we all looked adorable and just like little girls!

  15. Just after i turned 13,i made my First Holy Communion in the class with the 7 year olds and mom and gramma put me into a 10 ply thick cloth diaper,pinned on me with pink diaper pins,and a pair of white loose fitting plastic pants over it with an undershirt as my top that i wore under my poofy communion dress.They had me wear them to make me feel like the little girls in my class.Mom put the diaper and plastic pants and camisole away in the box with my communion dress,veil,lace socks and the shoes.A year later when i was 14,going on 15 in two months,i was the flowergirl in my nieces wedding and mom took my first communion diaper and the plastic pants and camisole out of the box and told me i was going to wear them under my poofy flowergirl dress! That saturday morning of the wedding,three hous before the ceremony,mom took me to the church nursery and put the diaper and plastic pants and camisole on me with my lace socks and then had me sit on the floor and ‘play’ with the stuffed animals for two hours untill it was time to put my dress,veil and shoes on.She took a pacifier off of the shelf and put it in my mouth and told me it would help relax me.So there i was,almost 15,sitting on the floor in my first communion diaper and plastic pants and camisole and lace socks sucking on a pacifier!Two hours later,i was put into my poofy white dress and veil and shoes,shown to my niece and then at the start of the ceremony,walked down the aisle feeling like a little girl!

    • All of the girls who made their First Holy Communions last sunday at our parish had the cloth diaper and rubberpants on under their poofy communion dresses.The four teen girls in the class looked the cutest!

      • I am 14,and just made my First Holy Communion a week ago this past sunday,May 21st.I was in the class of 23 with the 7 year olds so my parents dressed me in a short sleeve,poofy above the knees communion dress with the veil,lace socks and white maryjane shoes.After my shower,I was rubbed down with baby lotion from my neck to my knees.Then babypowder was applied to my groin area,then mom brought out a size 8 pampers and fastened it on me!Then she put a pair of rubberpants on me over the pampers.I felt like a baby! Next a white tee shirt was put on me as my top.My dress and veil were put on me then the lace socks and the shoes.I felt like a little girl! Before the ceremony,mom showed some of my friends the pampers and rubberpants under my dress! During my party sunday after noon,mom showed my cousins and other friends the pampers and rubberpants and i was embarrassed!

  16. I am 13 and in puberty that is causing me to wet the bed every night.Before bedtime i lay on my bed and mom pins a thick cloth diaper on me,then puts adult size rubberpants on over it that keeps my bed dry.Back in may,i was the flowergirl in a cousins wedding also and three hours before the ceremony,mom took me to the church nursery where she put one of my cloth diapers on me and a pair of my babyprint rubberpants on over the diaper with a camisole as my top.She then had me sit on the floor and play with the toys that were there.She then took a pacifier from the bin on the shelf and put it in my mouth and told me it would help relax me.For and hour and a half i sat there on the floor in my diaper,rubberpants and camisole playing.Then mom told me it was time to get my outfit on and put my poofy,white,above the knees flowergirl dress on me with my veil,lace anklets and white shoes.I felt little girlish and cute! After the ceremony and reception,mom took me back to the nursery and took off my babyprint rubberpants and diaper,the put a pair of ruffled rubberpants on me to wear for the dinner and dance.

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