Endings and beginnings…

Kathleen and James

James and I before my choir concert. I had a solo and was so nervous

Years ago, when I was 21, I met a young man named James. I was at work at the time, working my way through college as a part time dishwasher. His mother was the bartender and he came in one evening while I worked. Soon we were dating and were engaged a few months later. By the time we’d known each other for a year, we were living together and planning a wedding.

I was pregnant with Kait on our first anniversary and pregnant with Colin on our third. We broke up on our 6th anniversary, had a brief reconciliation, then separated for good in January 2001.

Those bare bones facts don’t share the struggles and the emotional pain I went through in our marriage. They don’t show James keeping all his student loan money in his separate account instead of placing it into his  joint account because it was easier… leaving me stuck in the position of begging for milk money. They don’t show our frequent arguments over college when it was apparent to me he wasn’t working on school work. Arguments where he insisted he was working hard at school and I was simply over reacting. An argument he kept using until his report card was handed out. He assured me he didn’t get the lowest grades in the class, just the second lowest, as if that made things all right. I was pregnant with Kait then and needed him to work hard and actually try.

I struggled for six years, raising two babies (Kait and Colin are 22 months apart) and keeping the house together. Meanwhile James kept sliding downhill. I’d give him a bill to pay (pre internet banking). He’d walk out the door, ostensibly heading over to the bank less than a block away, then he’d come home saying he’d paid the bill. Which meant everything was fine until the next month when, whoops, our phone bill was double and James had spent all of last month’s “extra money” on computer parts. I made sure that I, for the most part, paid the bills but, with two small children, it wasn’t always feasible.

I didn’t want to break up our marriage but it’s something that takes two people in order to work and I was the only one doing the work. By the time we separated for good (we’ve since divorced) he was doing nothing around the house. The kids barely noticed his absence. The closest either of them got to wondering where he went was when Kait asked where the big pillow in the living room went. What big pillow? Oh right, James used to fall asleep on the floor instead of going to bed or sleeping on the couch. Then the kids would use him as a pillow. I reminded her that pillow was her Dad. She said, “Oh okay” and went back to playing.

He did everything in his power to ensure no child support reached us. He wouldn’t say where he lived. He got friends to buy him a phone under their names so he couldn’t be searched for. His jobs were often under the table and, if not, he only stayed for a few months so that FRO (Family Responsibility Office) couldn’t track him down. They were always a job behind him. All of that over $50.

He showed up when he wanted, sometimes twice a month but more often two or three times a year. Every single visit was fraught with drama. He left the kids alone in the Walmart McDonalds while he went outside to talk on his cellphone, leaving them unsure what to do. He ran them across a local highway at rush hour because he didn’t want to walk half a block to the crosswalk. To this day Colin absolutely will not jaywalk. It doesn’t matter if there’s no cars on the road in either direction, he has to find a cross walk or he has an anxiety attack. They were that close to getting hit.

As the kids got older, his behaviour worsened. He’d share things that would be TMI even for adults, like the time his girlfriend overdosed on sleeping medication. Instead of checking up on her or calling an ambulance, he left her in their bedroom and went out to buy two cups of coffee as an alibi. She lived but it was through no help of his. He called Children’s Aid (Child Protective Services) and told them that 13 year old Kait was beating me up (she wasn’t). He spent a year trying to convince her that he wanted her to live with him then dumped her at the end of the year, calling her “that one” and asking me to back him on banning her from his visits. There was a lot more but this post is threatening to be a novel already. It’s hard to compress 25 years.

He gave up pretty easily on Colin, which wasn’t a surprise because he’s favoured Kait since Colin was born. Which means Kait got the brunt of his erratic behaviour. Once he called her late at night to say he’d bought a bike from someone then it got stolen so he didn’t feel he needed to pay them. They were coming to get their money no matter what so if he didn’t call her by morning, chances are he was dead. Then he turned off his phone and went to bed. Kait called me in a panic and I told her to call the police. The police did a wellness check and, sure enough, he was just sleeping. She was a teenager when he pulled this.

James and Brenda

James, after his baptism into the Mormon church, and his Mom. He celebrated his baptism with a cigarette, a joint, and a drink

Colin and I have had him blocked on Facebook and phone since the fiasco in June. Kait did initially but then we found out their paternal grandmother was dying of cancer and unblocked him so updates could be passed more easily. She died in mid January.

The kids and I had a great Christmas but there was one thing we didn’t know and that was Kait’s pregnancy. She got a positive test on Boxing Day and waited until the end of the first trimester before telling anyone in the family. I went to her 12 week ultrasound and got to see the little heart beating and to her 13 week obstetrician’s appointment. Sadly we couldn’t hear the heart beat with the doppler but she was still pretty early.

I don’t know if it was the loss of his Mom or finding out about the new baby but James pretty much lost his mind. He’s been texting Kait a bunch of crap and he went one step further.ultrasound

There’s a troll website called Kiwi Farms (don’t search them, they’re nasty) where people do nothing but find blogs, mostly trans and trans positive ones, and pick the posts apart badly. I posted about them back in December 2016 when they first found my blog. I know they’re still around because they show up in my statistics once or twice a week but otherwise I ignore them. Kait sent me some screen shots from their site recently that left me shaking my head. They are still convinced that I’m forcing Colin to be trans and shoving him into my clothes, like he doesn’t have clothes of his own. He borrowed a shirt from me for Christmas because he spilt something on his good shirt and suddenly they think he’s wearing all my clothes all the time. Not to mention, I’m 5ft3in and Colin’s 6ft3in. My clothes, other than one loose tank top, don’t fit him.

Colin is as stubborn as a mule and as movable as a boulder. I’m not manipulating him, no one is. He’s not saying he’s a man, he’s made it quite clear he’s female. But, thanks to autism’s black and white thinking, he feels that if he’s going to stay the way he is without hormones, he has to use he/him pronouns and go back to Colin. Which is no big deal for us. I remember 99.9% of the time now to call him Colin and he’s gone back to Colin at the doctor’s office. Maybe he’ll change his mind down the road and maybe he won’t but he’s loved either way and he knows that.

Their Dad has found the site and has started posting there, under the name Xofkathleen, as if being my ex is the only way he defines himself. Weird. His posts are pretty much a word salad mixed with almost incomprehensible spelling mistakes.


If I shrink these they become unreadable. Also 19 pages?!? Do these people have lives???


And, yeah, that’s Kait and I talking up in the corner LOL

His texts to Kait are just as badly written and even nastier. Kait’s comments are teal.

Text 5

Text 7

Yes, he’s bragging about blocking her. Also, I’m pretty sure mefs are meds

Text 24

I’m pretty sure he won Father of the Year right here

Text 25

Eww… like Kait or I needed that mental image. I’d like to believe I came via the stork, thank you very much. And spoiler, Kait blocked her Dad, they did not, in fact talk “tomorrow”.

The simple truth is our lives are getting better. I’m doing a lot better on my medication and branching out into new programs. Colin’s happily working towards his high school graduation. Kait and her boyfriend Josh are looking for a new apartment in April, after they’ve saved up some money. Both of them are working full time. Josh is the assistant manager of a furniture store. His store’s doing a seasonal close in November and then he’s eligible for free training in a trade from EI so he might end up with an even better job come 2019. Blackie’s perked up and happily eating her food. 2018 is an amazing year for us and I’m sure it’ll keep getting better.

Kait, Kathleen, and Emma

It can’t be seen but there’s a baby in this picture 🙂


Employable Me…

Are any of you neurodiverse and looking for a job in the United States? Do you have skills that are overlooked by the workforce? If so, I might have an opportunity for you.

Optomen Productions, a company that produces such shows as Food Network, Travel Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Bravo is making a new program called Employable Me. They want to find people on the autism spectrum or with Tourettes and help them uncover hidden talents that will land them jobs. They have a preview here, sadly it doesn’t work in Canada but hopefully it will work for you.

If this opportunity interests you, you can contact Liz Alderman at Liz.Alderman@OptomenUSA.com.

Good luck! If you do get accepted, please feel free to message me. I’d love to know.

Living with anxiety…

A few years ago, before mental illness fully struck, I would not have understood how someone could live every day and every night with anxiety. I would not have understood how simply rocking could be a relief. I would not have understood that feeling in the pit of my stomach. How, when the anxiety grows, that feeling creeps upward, pushing under my ribs and strangling my lungs, leaving me gasping and panicking. But that was then.

I’ve finally got a medication routine that seems to be helping. I no longer look at high places and think of death. I no longer pause before grabbing a knife to chop veggies. But that doesn’t mean I’ve gone back to normal. Normal doesn’t exist anymore.

These days I go to two very different community groups. Both are two hours long. The first group is social recreation. We make crafts, go bowling, watch movies, play board games, and simply talk. The second group, called Wellness, does something new each week as well. We’ve gone Nordic pole walking, done yoga, learned about finances, learned how to knit *cough* I mean other people learned how to knit, and baked cookies.

My social rec group is very small and easy for me to manage. I enjoy the Wellness group too but, when it’s crowded, it is hard for me to cope. I’ve had one panic attack in that group and the staff and other students were very helpful. I worked past it fairly quickly and was able to rejoin the group before it was over.

I also have people from the Canadian Mental Health Association coming in every other week now. They help with paperwork and will be there for moral support if I need to make a phone call but they’re mostly there for social interaction and to fuss over my kitties, who absolutely adore the attention.

And, finally, I’ve got friends who go out for karaoke with me once a month. They found a bar and it’s perfect for me. I think the highest number of customers I’ve seen (minus us) was six people. I don’t know how the bar stays in business, hopefully they have a good lunch crowd. But it’s something to look forward to.

I walk a fine balance between looking forward to things in my future and overwhelming myself with the sheer amount of days. I pick one or two for certain things and hold onto them as an anchor, proof that the future is coming and will be fine. And it’s not even just the far distant future. I’ve overwhelmed myself by planning dinner because it’s four hours away and what am I going to do with myself until then. There’s too much space to hold on to. That’s the difference between a good day and a bad day.

Some days are great. I chat with Kait, wash the dishes, make a meal for lunch, go grocery shopping, and make something simple for dinner. Other days, the best I can manage is scrolling through Facebook and messaging friends. Getting dressed is too hard, preparing meals is even harder, and there’s no way I’m getting out the door, except maybe in case of fire. Most days are in between. I might stay in my cupcake onsie pjs all day but make a kick ass dinner. I might go out grocery shopping but have an english muffin for dinner. As many people know, it’s all about the spoons.

I’m registered for a new group called Lead your Life. It’s only from early April to the beginning of June and I’m already low key concerned because it’s 2 1/2 hours and I find two hour groups a bit long. I know I’ll manage and I know the group will be great but the anxiety is still there.

I sometimes think about going back to work only, once again, to realize that’s out of the question. If I can’t manage attending a group for longer than two hours, there’s no way I could manage eight hour shifts. I would not be able to get away from loud noise or crowds. If I got anxious, the best I could do is take an Ativan tablet, something my previous manager joked about as in “Kathleen’s going to get high again”. There wouldn’t be an option for going home or going to a quiet corner. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to break my work into manageable pieces with plenty of short breaks in between. I’m reasonably sure I’d have another break down if I went back to work, something nobody wants… especially me.

Right now I’m sitting in my warm room, kitties curled up in various locations, and Facebook open and ready for me to chat. I’ve got enough spoons to make a decent spaghetti for dinner tonight. And for now, I’ll stay content and leave the future ahead of me.


Picture from Joy of Mom



“Yes,” I said.

I stopped walking and stood in front of Colin’s bedroom door. He was sitting at his computer desk, his video game paused behind him; one of his car games that make me dizzy when he asks me to watch.

“I don’t want you to call me Emma anymore. I want you to call me Colin from now on.”

“Are you still female?” I asked and he nodded.

“Okay,” I replied and, with that, he swung back to his game and I continued on to the kitchen.

We’ve been living in limbo since mid December, with Colin announcing every few days that he’s probably going to detransition and go back to male because he wants children… but he might stay female so keep calling him Emma. I’ve let him know that there are women who stopped their hormones and began producing sperm again. One couple I heard of ended up with twins. But there aren’t enough cases and no studies we could find. And his doctor told him he’d become infertile. That, to him, meant more than a handful of internet stories.

All I’ve ever wanted for my children is for them to be happy, not just in general but as themselves. Going back to male isn’t being himself. But it’s his life to live and his time to stretch out and make decisions. This isn’t my decision to make.

So I changed my “about” page again and got his permission to change his name on Facebook. This was more for me than him because I’m the one who tags him in funny posts, knowing he won’t see them otherwise. But it also sends a message to family and friends on what to call him.

I don’t know how long he’ll stay pretending to be male. He says he wants kids first but he’s not dating and, right now his focus is on school. He could change his mind in months if the dysphoria becomes worse. It could be years. But some day, he’ll come to me for support and I’ll have to relearn calling him Emma. No matter what, I love him either way.

Emma's new kitty ear headphones

I’ve shared it before but it’s one of my favourite pictures of him and worth sharing again 🙂

Yes guns kill people…

This Wednesday a young adult opened fire on his former classmates and teachers, killing seventeen of them. He obtained that assault rifle legally, despite the fact he was known to be unstable and people had warned the FBI about him.

Obviously so much went wrong. The FBI didn’t act on the warning and the store sold him an assault rifle. An assault rifle to a kid who wasn’t even old enough to drink. And now seventeen families have been torn apart. Seventeen futures are gone. Parents around the country are terrified to send their children to school. They have to answer questions like, “What if I get shot?” or “Will I get shooted in school Mommy?”

I live in Canada so the topic of guns rarely comes around in real life. But I’m also online and have many friends in the US so I get to read all the arguments every time there’s a school shooting. Which, sadly, is often. And those arguments infuriate me. Most of the reason is because people, quite often children, have just been killed by guns and part of it is because the arguments are so ridiculous.

I hope I never read another post claiming guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Followed along with, “If I put my gun down on the table, it does nothing.”

Seriously, are you that dense? Take the gun away and how many people would that shooter kill before he gets tackled? Probably none. Maybe a couple if he had a knife. Guns definitely need a person to operate them but they do kill people, and a lot more easily than a knife or other weapon.

Another argument that comes up often is that the gun is an inanimate object. When it’s left alone it does nothing, as all inanimate objects do. My water bottle is inanimate as well and it doesn’t do anything either. But if you pick up a gun and I pick up my water bottle, you have the potential to kill as many people as there are bullets in your gun. I have the potential to squirt someone and get them damp.

I can’t understand why people are allowed to buy assault rifles in the States. Guns are designed to kill but assault rifles are solely designed to kill people. One person tried to argue with me on that point but stopped when I asked if he was planning on shooting a deer fifty times. There is no reason to own an assault rifle. Absolutely none.

Then you get the people arguing that everyone should have guns. Could you imagine how many bullets would be in the air if everyone started shooting after the initial shots? The body count would be horrific. Besides, even trained professionals like police men and SEALs get shot and killed while alert and wearing a gun. If they can be shot to deal while armed and ready, what makes you think an already scared teacher or teenager has a chance. Arming teenagers and teachers is a recipe for disaster.

I don’t have any pat answers. I can point out that Australia banned certain kinds of guns after their only school shooting but the pro gun people claim it’s different in the States. The only difference I can see is an accent and the attitude that property is more valuable than lives. Pro tip, the court of law doesn’t not offer the death penalty for breaking and entering so neither should you.

I can also point out that the indigenous POC in Australia get harassed by the police, similar to how POC are treated in the States. Heck, I knew as soon as I read that the shooter was in police custody that he was white (or at least appeared white). Having armed police doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer for everyone. Yet I don’t see how having a gun would change that. Just as many people would get attacked, having a gun would mean getting treated worse, and using the gun would either end up with someone looking like swiss cheese or a lifetime in prison.

At the end of the day, I believe that if people want a gun they need to train on how to operate it safely first and pass a security check. They need to keep the gun unloaded in a place out of reach of children and the bullets secured in a second location. This would at least stop the heartbreaking deaths of small children playing with guns and accidentally killing a sibling, cousin, or friend. And there should be an age minimum. If you’re too young to drink then you’re too young to shoot. I’m sure an exception could be made for those who are currently in the armed forces.

I applaud the students who are planning on walking out on March 14th and April 20th. I hope enough of them leave to make the government take notice, although I’m not sure if Cheeto Hitler would even care. Maybe politicians in their areas will initiate changes.

But for now we’ll keep reading about school shootings until the US government realizes that “thoughts and prayers” aren’t the answer.


Valentine’s Day

My morning started with a 7am call from my daughter Kait. She chatted as the sunlight streamed across my bed and three of our cats curled up around my legs. We don’t chat for a short time, we’re two hour long gabbers so we ended up chatting while I dressed, fed the oldest cats their wet food, and got myself breakfast.

Then it came time to wake up Colin. I’m a romantic at heart and woke him up by opening the bedroom door and yelling, “Stank love, sweat poo!” This, of course, confused the heck out of him until I explained they were Valentine’s Day wishes written by an AI. Then he thought that was amazing.

We needed to do a bit of tidying up as Colin’s claimed our storage closet as his own and relocated everything from the closet to the living room. I hadn’t worried about clutter in the closet, that’s what the door’s for. I’m way more concerned about the clutter when it’s on my living room floor and dining room table. Then I washed the dishes while Colin cleaned his beaded mini lamp. I’m sure everyone who tiptoes around the closet stuff will be in awe over his lamp shade. If they don’t trip first and land in the hospital.

It was creeping close to dinner when I showed Colin an article about students who couldn’t say no to someone wanting to take them to the Valentine’s Day dance. Colin was furious. First at feminists, who he was positive were behind this. I have no idea why. Then low-key mad at the school in the article and raging mad about his old school. He decided that what the school in the article needed to do was ask the students to write down their likes and dislikes, hobbies, and favourite things, then the staff could pair the similar students with each other. That way they’d at least have something to talk about. I agreed with his idea although chances are the girls would end up paired with the girls and the boys with the boys at that age. I’m not sure how well that would go in Utah.

“I liked the school dances at first,” Colin admitted, as he settled in to discussing his old school. “Then I slowly started to hate them. The only thing good about them were the snacks and I couldn’t always buy them.”

“That’s because you were going to at least one dance a month,” I reminded him.

From the look on his face, that was a surprise. Then again he wasn’t the one marking them down on the calendar.

“I would just stand by the wall because no one wanted to dance with me,” he informed me.

I wasn’t surprised. I knew the teacher was pushing his classmates away from him. When he was with his friends at lunch time, the teacher would come up and ask the kids if they really wanted to be with him. Were they sure? They could always walk away.

Every. Single. Time.

I would have complained but I’d already seen how far I’d gotten with Colin’s pronouns. They followed the rules when writing paperwork, once someone from the board told them they had to, but used he/him pronouns when they talked to him. And, when I brought that up in a meeting I got told they most certainly used zie and zir during the school day. Considering how often they misgendered him in the meetings, it was pretty obvious they didn’t. There was definitely no way they’d admit to trying to manipulate one student against another.

Then he told me that the students were warned not to be like Colin when they acted up. He was their bad example. “I know you don’t want to work on your spelling right now but you have to. You don’t want to be like Colin, do you?” I would have exploded with rage if I’d known that before he graduated. As it is, I can understand why he didn’t want to follow up with their bridging program. He might have been their “bad example” but he’s been a hardworking and well liked student in his current programs.

Colin joined me in the kitchen while I made brownies and started on the spaghetti sauce and I listened while he chattered about computer parts and the different tests he does on the computers. I have very little idea what he’s doing. All I know is one test looks like a fuzzy doughnut and another looks like an old time office. But he’s interested and that’s what matters.

And now dinner’s done, the brownies enjoyed, and it’s time to relax.

For those who are interested, Blackie is still doing well. She’s not eating nearly enough, just half of one of the big cans of Friskies (the ones that are the size of a tin of tuna). But she’s not losing any weight and is active. She loves curling up in my arms while I’m at the computer or lying between my keyboard and monitor. And she loves getting petted.

And, since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m writing out the brownie recipe we use just for you.

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a square brownie pan. Place 1/2 cup margarine or butter into a glass measuring cup and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Microwave for 35 seconds.

In a medium sized bowl add 6tbsps aquafaba (otherwise known as the water in a tin of canned beans) or 2 eggs. Then add one cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cups flour, a dash of salt, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. My kids hate nuts in baked goods so I add 1/2 a cup chocolate chips instead. Don’t mix yet. Now stir the melted butter and cocoa mixture and pour it over the rest of the ingredients. Now you can stir until it’s all mixed evenly. I’m pretty sure these brownies cause the blood sugar to rise in everyone in the near vicinity, they’re so sweet, but they’re worth it. Now try not to lick the mixing spoon. Try harder. I know the batter is really good but you can do it. It’s okay, that’s what the tap’s for, just rinse it off.

Pour the batter into the pan, leaving a bit of batter in the bowl for you, then set the timer for 30 minutes. Let cool (I toss mine onto the balcony in the winter but they can go into a self defrosting freezer for a bit too). And enjoy 🙂

Blackie on my desk

Blackie-Boo on my desk. Ignore the clutter, I’ve already cleaned up most of it LOL

The comment section…

I remember my first exposure to the comment section. I was reading an article from the Toronto Star and noticed they had comments. I eagerly went to read, thinking it would be like the letters to the editor, heavily moderated and edited for brevity. They were no such thing. People were battling it out in the comments, complete with name calling. Later I realized that was the same for almost all sites. The comment section is where you tread carefully because trolls abound.

Then Emma came out as trans. I joined groups and made friends with both trans people and with parents of trans children. And, of course, articles about trans issues began flooding my newsfeed. And the trolls quickly followed. Once the transphobic trolls are weeded out, I find there’s five questions that surface again and again.

  1. The gender nonconforming girl and it’s always a girl. No men ever step up to talk about their gender nonconforming days *cough* toxic masculinity. She wanted to be a boy so badly when she was growing up. Boys had more freedom. So she wore boys clothes and had short hair. She might have even tried to pee standing up. Then she became a teenager and, voila, she because super girly. Loved lipstick and makeup and pretty dresses. Now she’s happily married to a man. If she was born today she would have been labelled trans. But, no, that’s not how it works. Trans children are almost always insistent and persistent. They know what sex they are and say it loud and clear. I’m a boy. I’m a brother. When will I grow a penis? They don’t just want to be a boy, they are a boy. If she was growing up now, she’d be labelled “gender nonconforming” just like countless other children today.
  2. There’s only two genders! Except there’s not. There are cultures all around the world who have more than one gender. Some have as much as five (the Bugis people in Indonesia for example). In North America, the indigenous people had a third gender known as two spirited. They were revered as wise people because they contained both male and female spirits. Our modern culture isn’t the only culture in the world.
  3. Tagging along with two genders comments are the people who say things like “my XX children are girls”. Maybe they think adding a bit of genetics into their argument will make them sound more intelligent. Pro tip, it’s not working. No one seriously thinks you took your children in for genetic testing just so you could rant on Facebook. There are well more than five genetic variants, with things like single X, XXY, XXX for example. If you haven’t tested your child, you don’t know what their chromosomes are. You could be in for a surprise.
  4. There’s always some who trots out the “My kid pretended to be a dog. Should I have changed his name to Rover and let him eat off the floor?” We all know kids love pretend play. They pretend to be cats and dogs and superheros and princesses… and sometimes an amalgamation of several of those. But there’s a huge difference between pretend play and being trans. Trans children are insistent and persistent. They often become withdrawn and confused because nobody else sees them as the gender they know they are. Some, as young as four or five, try to commit suicide. It’s not a game. Pretend play is fun and passes within a few weeks at the latest. Trans stays. The child might pretend to be cis if they’re met with extreme negativity, derision, or threats of or actual violence but they still know they’re trans and most eventually come out, whether it’s in their 20’s, 30’s, or even sometimes in their 80’s.
  5. Last, but not least, are the people who worry about the children changing their minds. How are they going to revert back? The answer is easy and should be obvious. They start using their birth name again and get a new wardrobe and haircut. Reverting back to their assigned gender isn’t very common however and often the child turns out to be non binary rather than being a cis male or female. The people who ask this question are usually quite uninformed and assume that transitioning to male or female in childhood somehow requires surgery. It doesn’t. No one is performing sexual affirmation surgery on children. That doesn’t happen until the late teens at the earliest.

I will sometimes wade into the comment section of articles and dispense answers, not because I think I’m going to get a bigot to think but because of all the people lurking. The people who know nothing about trans people and are willing to learn, the parents of trans kids, and trans people who are getting disheartened by all the transphobic comments. Besides, even if I only change one person’s mind, it could make a life time of difference to their child.


Colin, when he was younger, in some of his favourite dress up clothes