Daughters – Now Entering Tweenhood

My daughter is a couple of months shy of 11. But, if you ask her, she’s just six short years away from being able to drive a car. She has a car already picked out and everything. She has claimed my husband’s jeep.

She’s been reading these American Girl books – the ones about your changing body and stuff. You know, the 2013 version of what Judy Bloom was to us when we were tweens. In the book, there are these tear out pages with fun activities you can do with your mom – girl bonding time. We did a few yesterday. I loved it. I think she did, too. There are also tear out signs. She has found the one that says, “Do Not Disturb” and read it aloud to her younger brothers – so they will understand what this means when it is hung on her door.

Do Not Disturb – man, that’s more than a sign – that’s a theme for most young ladies from about 10 to 22. I’ve caught the eye rolling and the exasperated sighs and now, here we are with an actual sign that essentially says, “leave me the hell alone.”

I swear, it wasn’t that long ago when she was my only child. She was this beautiful baby girl and I was a terrified new mom. All of a sudden, there was this little tiny girl who, among other more crucial things, needed her hair to be done and I was freaking clueless.¬† I still am clueless regarding the hair. In fact, my husband showed me this really cool picture on Facebook of a braid.

Easy Looking But Crazy Hard Braid

Easy Looking But Crazy Hard Braid

So yeah… that looked easy enough. I tried to do this to my daughter this morning. The woman doing the braiding in this photo must be an octopus because there is no freaking way you can do this with two hands. I had my daughter holding a piece and my son holding another (which was not the smartest move on my part, by the way…) while I attempted this braid-mare.

Needless to say, it didn’t end well. I braided – then undid it. I tried again. On the third time (and after a lot of under my breath cursing) my daughter suggested, “Mom, why don’t we try this again later tonight when we have more time?” God love that child.

I may try this braiding nightmare again tonight, if my daughter can stand it. But, I know for sure it won’t look like the masterpiece in the picture.

Back to the book and those bonding activities – of which, I do not think braiding hair nightmares is one – it asked what advice your daughter would give her daughter one day. What did my daughter answer? “Don’t rush.” Hmm. Fitting. And this was BEFORE I started massacring her hair.

What advice would you give your daughter and what advice do you think she’ll carry on for her daughter one day?


“Mom, Am I Fat?”

At some point in their lives, both of my older children have asked me if they are fat. They are not, by any means. However, that¬† got me thinking about why they would ask such a question. My daughter has to wear slim jeans. This morning, I had to tighten the adjuster bands (what an awesome invention, by the way!) on my kindergartener’s jeans to a level that was so tight it was ridiculous. They aren’t anorexic, but they are pretty darn skinny!

When I taught high school, I showed my students the cover of a magazine with Kelly Clarkson on it. She looked skinny. Then, I showed them a picture taken the day after of her performing at a concert. She looked at least 50 pounds heavier. Oh, the beauty of Photoshop. I explained to my students this perceived beauty concept and how magazines with tiny models on the covers were warping reality.

Today, I read an article about Israel banning skinny models. They will require models have a body mass index of at least 18.5. And, if the editors of a magazine trim down a model with Photoshop, they’ll be required to note that. This sounds like a wonderful plan! Imagine a whole generation of girls not saying, “I’m too fat” or “My thighs look huge in this skirt.”

Have you folks heard comments from your kids about their weight? What do you tell them?

Slumber Party!

As we all know, it’s Spring Break. For most, this conjures up memories of drinking, bikinis and bad choices. Lets rewind this a bit to the grade school level. For elementary kids, Spring Break means playing with your friends, staying up late and sleeping in the next morning. Sometimes those things combine into the epic event of a slumber party.

My third grade daughter is having two girlfriends over tonight. Yes, I said two. Yes, I know I won’t be getting any sleep tonight. But, here’s the deal: they don’t get to sleep in. I have to work tomorrow, which means they’ll be getting up early with me. So, how do I pack the most fun in to the small window of time we have this evening?

Here’s my daughter’s list of ideas of things we can do tonight:

Go to the movies

Have a dance party

Sing along to music videos

Go sledding

Go to the park

Go to the pool

I’m sure there were others, but at this point in the list, I realized we’d never be able to get all these things accomplished in one night. This isn’t Hangover 3.

Here’s my challenge: come up with a plan to entertain & feed three girls ages 5 – 9 from the hours of 6pm until 7am, while still accounting for sleep. GO!