I'm starting to lose my daughter. She's nine and her hormones have started to kick in. I was looking at her the other day and she's starting to get a waist. I was telling her goodnight last week and noticed she's got some little pimples on her face.
She's still very much a little girl with Barbies, Ponies and Littlest Pet Shop, but she has discovered Lady Gaga and Hannah Montana. (You want to feel like a parent who knows they're fucking it up? Load your daughter and two friends into the car to go to a Girl Scout event. Agree to put on Lady Gaga and listen to the three eight year old girls sing "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" at the top of their lungs.)
She's pickier about her clothes than she used to be. She spends time in her room having "by myself time". She turns items into microphones. I've caught her sashaying around the house. She flips her hair.
I know this is the beginning of the dreaded adolescence. But Scott and I are doing all we can to delay that as long as possible. We've been diligent in making sure the movies she watches and the games she plays are age appropriate. (Well, except the Lady Gaga thing.)
One of Zoe's teachers told me she could tell we protected our daughter. She then clarified that she called it good parenting. I'm still trying to keep to this standard.
Last year, a friend of her's asked to watch "Nightmare on Elm Street". When I said "Ah, no!" she told me the story line of all the Freddy movies. She also listed "Night of the Living Dead" and "Carrie" among her favorite movies. I was horrified.
We don't have cable but we do have Netflix streaming, which allows me to see what she's been watching. Currently, I can trust her to choose her own shows.
We've already moved our computers into the living room. There won't be any computers with online access in anyone's room. I watch "To Catch a Predator", I know what goes on!!! And once boys start sniffing around webcams will be a thing of the past. AND I'm hiding the video camera.
I've gotten this whole new, Tipper Gore type angle on pop music now that I have children. I was watching some early Elvis footage not long ago. He was so good looking, sang suggestive tunes and did that sexy dancing, I can see why parents were terrified.
I took one look at the Pussycat Dolls and felt my mind snap shut in regards to girl groups. 'AHHHH!!! SLUTTSSSSSS!! My daughter will become a prostitute if she listens to this music! Here, listen to Madonna!'
She's starting to talk about her friends and what they do. She tells me how late her friends get to stay up, where they go on vacations, where they buy their clothes. When she goes to friend's homes for sleepovers she gives me a full report on the ways their home is better than ours.
After this school year, we only have one more grade before middle school. I know that's when she's going to stop thinking for herself and let her opinions be led by her friends, magazines and television.
And that's going to be it for me until she needs me to help plan the wedding. My opinion will be only slightly above that of the principal of her school. If I want her to wear the white dress, I need to say I like the black one. If I think she should stop talking to her friend who is being mean, I need to say "Well, maybe you two need to talk it out."
Her friends are going to call the shots and I'll be Satan in a dress. Only I'll be fatter and uglier.
I walk around our neighborhood, looking at the boys who live here thinking This is the dating pool. These kids are going to be coming to my house in five years to walk Zoe up to Starbucks.
These are the boys she's going to giggle about, get dressed up for and cry over. We're going to go to the neighborhood pool in not so very long and I'll get to watch my daughter and her friend walk really slowly past the guys pushing each other into the pool. And she'll complain to her friend that I make her wear a one piece bathing suit. I get twitchy thinking about it.
I can only hope she'll end up a choir/drama geek with a lot of gay guys for friends. I would love that. She'd have someone to go places with and I wouldn't have to worry about a thing.
I will live through it I swear. I wonder if I can book therapy appointments that far in advance?
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: Don't use the chunky apricot facial scrubs on your face! They're too harsh. But they're great for the rest of your body.