But for now, let 's follow along with her as she insists on wearing her ballet costume, including her tutu, on the drive home from dress rehearsal. Mom felt sure it really would not hurt anything. The costume had to be washed fresh for Sunday afternoon's performance and Riley was certain that her life would come crashing down if she had to put on the jeans and t-shirt she had worn to rehearsal.
There was something about that applauding. It made Riley think she might never take off that costume (and we have been here before with Little Miss who can get "clothes fixated" and refuse to give up her garments even when stained or much too small.)
But this evening, Riley and mom crawled into the car and instead of heading home, mom drove straight to the doll store where she had a surprise for Miss Riley. Right after Christmas, mom had put a precious baby doll and cradle on lay-a-way. Today was the day of the last payment, just as mom had planned. She wanted to reward Riley for all the hard work put in to "be a ballerina".
At the store, mom rushed up to the counter to make the last payment and collect the booty. Riley, quite a good girl, was permitted to roam the store on her own.
Then it happened.
A beautiful, peaceful angel stood looking down at Riley. Riley felt like she was in heaven.
She got up as close as she could reach. Riley could hardly believe her eyes.
Riley called to her mom, "Mom, look, it's an angel."
But mom barely took a good look at the divine angel before she wisked Riley off to get her mind off this angel doll.
Right then, mom decided she better show Riley her surprise right now. She could keep the crib hidden until Sunday and it would be two great surprises. So, right there in the store, mom showed Riley her new baby doll, Lisa. Now you must know that Riley loves baby dolls. She has a wonderful nursery full of various baby dolls and their clothes and toys, bottles and beds, rockers and rollers, cribs and cubbies.
And Riley did love little Lisa. And Riley did think baby Lisa had the most beautiful eyes. And Riley loved the precious little lacey bonnet and the amazingly gorgeous, embroidered and lacey white dress. In fact, on a normal day, Riley would be the happiest girl in the world. And she was trying to be that happy girl.
Riley waited patiently for mom to come back so they could put little Baby Lisa back on the shelf -- Riley needed to get back over to that Angel. Riley had already named her Ariel and she knew that Ariel was not going to last over there. Riley was afraid someone else would scoop Beautiful Ariel right up and take her flying home with them.
Riley waited some more, a little less patiently, and finally mom came back and Riley asked her to please put the baby back on the shelf. Mom was shocked into silence.
Riley ran back to her Ariel and made a display not really much like a ballerina, in fact, not really much like Little Miss Riley.
Right then, mom knew she better pull out all the guns. She decided that she would show Riley the cradle to sweeten the deal. (Oh, dear, never did mom realize when she placed that lay-a-way that the "delivery" would be so painful.)
Riley did what mom asked and came back over to see the lovely cradle where Baby Lisa would sleep, right next to Riley's big girl bed. And Riley tried to love the cradle, too.
Then suddenly Riley put the baby in her crib and ran back over to protect her angel.
But soon mom was back and she was insisting that Riley leave the angel because the baby had a cradle and Riley would certainly like that better and be more happy later.... Riley had always wanted that dark, walnut cradle that matched her own big girl furniture.
But before much insisting could be done, Riley "proved" to mom this Angel was the best doll for Riley. Riley called out, "Look, mom, this Angel can have a chair." "This chair is just like my big girl chair." "Look, mom!"
Oh, dear... what was mom going to do. Riley saw mom "get that look" and Riley knew that the Angel was going to have to stay with Mrs. Michele at the store.
Then Riley pulled out her own set of big guns.
"Mom, Ariel can help me take care of Little Baby Lisa!"
But mom was still thinking of how much she had spent on the baby doll and the crib and how she really could not "undo" that when Riley made the "fate complete".
"Mom, please mom, Ariel is an angel. Grandma told me that any time I saw an angel, I could ask her to take my kisses to grandpa." "We have to get Ariel, she can make my kisses fly to grandpa!!!!!"
"Baby Lisa has to wait. Some new momma will come by to love her. I do love her, but kisses to grandpa.... Ariel.... Ariel is an angel, please, mom ..... can we take her home?"
Mom wiped the tears from her eyes and pulled out her wallet. Riley, Ariel, Baby Lisa, the cradle and the rocking chair all went home to Riley's big girl room that night.
Isn't it amazing how they can be so small and yet still wrap us around their tiny fingers.