5 going on 15?

My daughter turned 5 just a few short months ago, yet instead of heading toward age 6, she seems like she is heading toward 15. I look over at her now as she chomps away on goldfish while 20 brightly colored necklaces hang from her neck. She looks like she just stepped off Bourbon street after a fun evening in New Orleans during Mardi Gras or she raided Claire’s Boutique at the mall.

Unfortunately it isn’t just necklaces, it is also the shoes that seem to be propelling her to teenhood. For the two weeks leading up to Christmas she asked me every day to buy her ‘high heels’. At 5 years old you can give them the dress-up plastic shoes to satisfy them, at least temporarily. Even Santa was smart enough to imbibe her with more ‘heels’ in the form of Ariel dress-up shoes. Surprisingly my daughter even managers to jump rope in these things. I look down at my own Dansko clogs and shake my head, why does my daughter look ready to dance at the club (or at least an upcoming ball) while I am stuck in comfortable shoes?

After receiving fancy dress-up shoes from Santa, one would have thought the need for shoes would end. But, no. One day after Christmas she was asking me to take her to buy boots. Not the practical winter variety (you don’t need them in Arizona anyway) but some pink cowboy ones or ones with pink fuzzy edging around the top. I sadly admit that I was over 40 before I bought my first pair of stylish boots, so should my daughter have them before she reached her 6th birthday? Through distraction and procrastination I have avoided the fancy boot shopping spree. If I can delay a bit longer I will be spared since it won’t be long before it is time to pull out shorts and flip-flops for Arizona spring.

My final straw and realization that my future ‘teen’ problems were brewing was a trip to ToysRus. She found lip gloss. Not just 1, 2 or even 3, but 5! When you open one of them, music comes blaring from it. Not Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, but some kind of rock music. I know, I should never have bought a set of 5 lip glosses, but what was the alternative? Nail polish and eye-shadow? Lip gloss sounded good. It is clear anyway so it doesn’t even look like she is wearing anything (thank goodness!).

Each of these individually didn’t seem like a big deal, but when I put them together I already had a teenager on my hand or a least one brewing. Now I just have to sit and wait for the hormones to start churning. Hopefully the lip gloss, high heels, and fancy necklaces will be enough to keep her busy for a while – like 6 years? A mother can hope can’t she?

Slutty Barbie Dolls?

A few weeks ago I was walking around the toy section of Target looking to purchase a child’s birthday gift and I noticed something strange about the Barbie dolls. Why were they dressed so slutty? The shorts and skirts were really short and they looked like they just stepped out of a nightclub, which made me wonder, would I really want these dolls walking into my daughters bedroom to play with her other toys?

In general I don’t have a problem with Barbie dolls, even if the shape of the dolls is anything but realistic. Last year I bought some clothes for the Barbie’s my 4-year-old already had, and I thought the clothes were cute. This year when I look at the dolls (or the clothes) I just can’t get the sluttiness out of my mind. I don’t know about you, but my daycare center teacher, dog-walker, and pediatrician just don’t dress like that. If the doll bent over, you would be lucky to see a thong – because frankly, I am not expecting that these dolls wear anything under their clothes if the top layer is any indication.

I was trying to buy a gift for a little girl turning 5, and the Barbie quickly fell to the bottom of the list of options. I found some cute little Disney dolls (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty) that have clothes that actually cover something (a.k.a ball gowns). As a working mother I certainly don’t like the idea of a girl (or woman) waiting around for Prince Charming to save her, however, at least these dolls were wearing clothes that covered essential body parts, which is a far cry from the Barbies. Because my daughter already owns so many Barbies, I can only hope that Mattel gets the message (when their dolls aren’t selling) that maybe they need create some more appropriate clothes (for 3 to 7-year-olds?). For now, my daughter’s Barbies are dressed in last years ‘rags’ and are hoping for a new fashion trend this fall. If not, then they may find themselves wearing princess dresses borrowed from Snow White or handmade clothes made from paper bags.

Toxic Aroma

The whole family was sitting together on the sofa looking at some old photos and movies clips of the kids when they were babies. Daddy (Chris) kept asking,”What is that smell?”, and, “Who farted?”. Apparently the odor that was passing by his nose was not good. Not good at all! I was on the other end of the sofa, so I couldn’t smell a thing. (I actually thought he was imagining things.) Finally Chris realized the origin of the odor, our 4-year-old daughter’s feet. “It is her feet!”, he exclaimed. It seemed that this stench was so terrible that it couldn’t even come from a men’s locker room, never mind our dainty daughter’s feet.

Unfortunately, I am the guilty party here regarding the smelly feet. It isn’t because I let Paige wear shoes without socks today, but instead because I have passed on to her the ‘stinky-feet’ gene. For years this gene has been a real problem for me. So many times I have found myself scrubbing my feet with anti-bacterial soap in an attempt to wash away the smell. If you can call it a smell. A smell can sound nice, like roses ‘smell’. “What a beautiful smell!”, someone might say as they walk by an aromatic rose-bush. What I ‘sensed’ through my nose now, was anything but beautiful.

Realizing that Chris is suffering from the odor of Paige’s feet caused by my faulty gene, I take Paige into the bathroom and scrub her feet clean. How sad is it that Paige already knows the routine for ‘cleaning her feet’? An overall bath, sure, but how many kids run a bath for their stinky feet?

I return to sit on the sofa with Paige and her feet (that now smell like flowers) and suddenly I am overcome (actually my nose is overcome) with another vile odor. It isn’t my feet (I don’t think?). Then I notice my son Tucker and his feet that are actually covered in socks. Too bad the socks didn’t cover the odor like they did with his feet. Now the harsh reality hits me that he also has the ‘stinky-feet’ gene. Chris promptly instructs Tucker to enter the bathroom for his feet fumigation. Tucker removes his socks and Chris says, “Your feet have a toxic aroma. Let’s take care of that.”

I never heard anyone say ‘toxic’ and ‘aroma’ in the same sentence. Aroma is what you experience when you enter someone’s house after they baked cookies or burned a vanilla candle. It is too bad the ‘aroma’ of my children’s feet wasn’t more like the baked cookies, but you just have to deal with the genes you are given. I am just thankful that I live in a time and place where water and soap are plentiful (along with scented bubble bath) and I don’t always have to suffer from breathing air with a toxic aroma.